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Religious Studies: Religion in America

A guide for reference and online resources for Religious Studies.

Online Reference Sources

American History and American Studies Research Guide

American Memory

The American Presidency Project

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

The Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy

  • The Avalon Project of the Yale Law School will mount digital documents (transcripts) relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government.

Catholic Encyclopedia

  • Online version of the 1913 edition.

Center for Religion and Democracy

Eletronic Text Center

  • University of Virigina's Scholar Lab; Contains publically accessible important texts
  • Religious Resources

Encyclopedia of American Studies

Encyclopedia Mythica

  • An encyclopedia of mythology, folklore, and legend. Covers a variety of cultures and time periods.

The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, & Abolition

Making of America

Mormons in Transition

  • Sponsored by the Institute for Religious Research, this page provides criticism on different aspects of the Church of Latter Day Saints.

New Testament Gateway

  • Directory of internet resources of possible interest to New Testament scholars.

Religion Gateway

  • Annotated guide to religion resources on the Internet.

Theory and Method of American Cultural Studies

United States Department of Justice Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Reading Rooms

University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections

  • This site showcases some of the print, photograph and textual collections held in the University of Washington Libraries and in UW academic departments, as well as some found in the collections of their partner libraries, museums and historical societies. Current collections include an extensive collection of images and texts on American Indians of the Pacific Northwest; the "Digital Northwest" image collections; several biological and environmental image collections, and a database of architecture and city views from around the world.

Valley of the Shadow Project

  • The Valley of the Shadow Project takes two communities, one Northern and one Southern, through the experience of the American Civil War. The project is a hypermedia archive of thousands of sources for the period before, during, and after the Civil War for Augusta County, Virginia, and Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Those sources include newspapers, letters, diaries, photographs, maps, church records, population census, agricultural census, and military records. Students can explore every dimension of the conflict and write their own histories, reconstructing the life stories of women, African Americans, farmers, politicians, soldiers, and families. Also included is a GIS Atlas of the areas covered.

Western History Photography Collection

  • This collection of the Western History/Geneology Department of the Denver Public Library and the Colorado Historical Society, contains some 80,000 selected images and catalog records of Native Americans, pioneers, early railroads, mining, Denver and Colorado towns, from their total archives of over one million items. Notable collections depict the daily lives of the Tenth Mountain Division ski troops and Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, the Clarence Moreledge photographs at Wounded Knee, and the Charles S. Lillybridge collection which depicts daily life in Denver around the turn of the 20th century.

Wilfred Owen Multimedia Digital Archive (WOMDA)

  • The Wilfred Owen Multimedia Digital Archive contains a host of material relating to the First World War poet Wilfred Owen, in particular, and a large amount of related background material on the War in general . Contents include high quality digital images of his manuscripts and letters, copies of photographs, audio interviews with WWI veterans, video clips from official British Army films of the war and other miscellany.

Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000

  • Women and Social Movements is intended to serve as a resource for students and scholars of U.S. history and U.S. women's history. Organized around the history of women in social movements in the U.S. between 1600 and 2000, the website seeks to advance scholarly debates and understanding at the same time that it makes the insights of women's history accessible to teachers and students at universities, colleges, and high schools.

World War II Resources

  • This site, created by the Pearl Harbor Working Group, is an extensive collection of primary texts covering World War II, and the pre- and post-war periods, from many of the governments involved, plus links to other WWII Web resources. The original core of the collection was the complete Congressional hearings on the Pearl Harbor attack (over 5,000 pages) but it has grown to encompass far more than that.

Virtual Religion Index

  • Rutgers University offers one of the best gateway sites for Religious Studies.

Primary Sources

Subscription Databases (Login with UCSB NetID)
Other Primary Sources

  • A collection of religious adherent statistics and religious geography citations. Contains references to published membership/adherent statistics and congregation statistics for over 4,200 religions, churches, denominations, religious bodies, faith groups, tribes, cultures, movements, ultimate concerns, etc.

All-in-one Biblical Resources Search

  • Engine which searches the full text of several versions (in several languages) of the Judeo-Christian Bible.

The American Religion Data Archive

  • A database of quantitative data on American religions including churches and church membership, religious professionals, and religious groups.

  • Southern history and culture. Not to be confused with Documenting the American South, see below.

Documenting the American South

  • Provides access to digitized primary materials that offer Southern perspectives on American history and culture including slave narratives, first-person narratives,Southern literature, Confederate imprints, materials related to the church in the black community, and North Caroliniana.

Lincoln/Net: Abraham Lincoln Historical Digitization Project

  • Presents historical materials from Abraham Lincoln's Illinois years (1830-1861), including Lincoln's writings and speeches, as well as other materials illuminating antebellum Illinois.
  • Lincoln/Net offers comprehensive interpretive materials including discussions of eight historical themes and an online Lincoln biography.

Perseus Project

  • Tufts University's digital library project, containing materials related to: Greece & Rome, Renaissance, 19th century America and more. Access to Greek and Latin lexica.

Restoration Movement

  • Contains primary and secondary source material for researching the Restoration Movement (out of which came the Churches of Christ, the Christian Churches, and the Disciples of Christ).

Salem Witch Trials: Documentary Archive and Transcription Project

  • Collection of primary source materials, including court records, contemporary books, maps, images, and literary works, relating to the Salem witch trials of 1692.

Shaker Manuscripts Online

  • Links to various Shaker manuscripts.

United States Historical Census Browser

Print Reference Sources

Atlas of American Religion: The Denominational Era, 1776-1990
   Main Ref  BR 515 N49  2000

Complete Guide to Buddhist America
   Main Ref  BQ 724 C65  1998

Contemporary American Religion (2 vols.)
   Main Ref  BL 2525 C65  2000

Encyclopedia of African American Religions
   EGSL Ref  BR 563.N4  E53 1993

Encyclopedia of American Jewish History (2 vols.)
   Main Ref  E 184.35 E53 2008

Encyclopedia of American Religion and Politics
   Main Ref  BL 2525 D58 2003

Encyclopedia of American Religions (2 vols.)
   Main Ref  BL 2525 M449  2003

Encyclopedia of Islam in the United States (2 vols.)
   Main Ref  BP 67 U6 E 53 2007

Encyclopedia of Cults, Sects and New Religions
   Main Ref  BL 2525 L49  1998

History and Annotated Bibliography of American Religious Periodicals and Newspapers Established from 1730 through 1830
   Main Ref  PN4888.R4 A43 1994

New Historical Atlas of Religion in America
   Main Ref  G 1201 E4 N4  2001

New Religions: A Guide
   Main Ref  BP 601 C47 2006

Religious Periodicals of the United States: Academic and Scholarly
   Main Ref  PN4888.R4 L5 1986

The Religious Right:  A Reference Handbook
   Main Ref  BR 526 U88  2007

Libraries and Research Centers

American Religions Collection

  • A guide to the holdings in UCSB Library's Special Research Collections.
  • Includes J. Gordon Melton's manuscript collection.

Center for the Study of American Religion & Culture

  • A research and public outreach institute devoted to the promotion of the understanding of the relation between religion and other features of American culture.

Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism

  • A leading center for the historical study of Roman Catholicism in the United States.

Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Religion and Public Life

  • Promotes the study of religious pluralism. This web site also has a useful list of links to other pages about this topic.

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