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Early Christianity and Patristics: Databases

Introduction to Databases

An electronic database is a digitized collection of printed materials, which may vary from books to journal articles to dictionary entries to images to websites. Databases organize their materials according user-friendly categories and keywords (metadata) that make it easier for users to search for and find relevant information (data).

Unlike Google, which uses metadata to point users to data it does not own (websites), these databases often house both metadata and data. Consequently, once you have found useful material, you may generally access it immediately and directly. Be sure to be on a Yale network!    

Search Oxford Reference

Search Oxford Reference Online

Search HathiTrust

Finding and Searching Databases

Yale University provides hundreds of (electronic) databases. Before searching within a database students must search for a database. Databases critical to ancient Christianity studies are listed to the right. To search for your own, follow this link:

Yale also has digitized hundreds of its own collections. Digital archives, as opposed to databases, specialize in historical artifacts (books, notes, drawings, photos, etc.) available at Yale. To search for your own, follow this link:

Searching within databases varies from database to database. Most offer basic searches for title, author, date, subject, or keyword. Pay attention especially to the keywords and subject headings (metadata) your chosen database uses to organize material. Try to "speak the same language" as the database's metadata.  

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Databases for Early Chistianity