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Guide to Reference Resources

A curated guide to finding and using electronic resources at Wright Library

Using electronic resources at Princeton Theological Seminary

Welcome to the guide to reference resources at Wright Library,

Whether you are a first year Master's student or a sixth year PhD student, you should be able to find information you need using these resources.

Below are four highlighted aggregate databases with search tips to begin your research. Below that is a quick guide to using eBooks at Princeton Seminary and beyond. To the left of this box, you will find a list of the departments here at the seminary. Clicking on their names will take you to a curated list of subject specific databases to further your research.

Wright Library also has a print reference collection of over 10,000 books. For questions about these resources, or support with your research, please email or book an appointment with the Reference Librarian. 

Aggregate databases

Here is a quick overview of how to search Atla Religion Database, including how to do scripture citation and scripture range searches.

Below is a quick overview on how to use Religion Database


To browse the e-books accessible through Wright Library's Summon Search, follow these steps:

screen snip of Summon search box on Wright Library website


After running your search, select the limiter "eBooks @Wright Library" from the options on the left. Include any other limiters you want, like "Discipline", "Author", "Publication Date", and "Language".


A screenshot showing the eBooks @ Wright Library filter in Summon

When you find one you would like to read, simply click the title, or the "Full Text Online" link underneath the e-book's description.

Perlego logo 

Many e-books, including numerous biblical commentaries, are available via Perlego. Some of these books are currently not searchable in Summon, so if you can’t find an e-book in Summon, try searching for it in Perlego.  

When you click the link, you will be prompted to register. If you've already registered, look for "Login" in the upper right. If you have any difficulty, please contact the Discovery & Web Services Librarian

Free eBooks

Brill Open E-Book Collection

Almost 400 e-books on topics like Religion, Asian Studies, and History. These titles are also included in DOAB.

De Gruyter Open

Open Access Books program encompasses 25 academic disciplines, each of them supervised by the Managing Editor and endorsed by members of Editorial Advisory Boards. These titles are also included in DOAB.

Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB)

The primary aim of DOAB is to increase discoverability of Open Access books. The directory is open to all publishers who publish academic, peer reviewed books in Open Access and should contain as many books as possible, provided that these publications are in Open Access and meet academic standards.

Google Books

Millions of public domain books (generally pre-1923) are freely available in Google Books. Discover other books by searching in Google Books and then checking in our library's catalog to see if we have the books available in print or online.


Columbia University Press is pleased to announce that Gutenberg-e is now an open access site. These award winning monographs, coordinated with the American Historical Association, afford emerging scholars new possibilities for online publications, weaving traditional narrative with digitized primary sources, including maps, photographs, and oral histories. The American Council of Learned Societies also carry Gutenberg-e titles on their Humanities E-Book platform.

Hathi Trust Digital Library

Princeton Theological Seminary users can download copies of public domain books in the Hathi Trust collections by clicking on "Full-View Only" and then "Download Full Book." Partner relationship is necessary to download the full book.

Internet Archive E-Books and Texts

Internet Archives contains 2,000,000+ items, page images and some transcriptions. Many of these books are actually digitized by Internet Archives in the scanning center located in the Princeton Theological Seminary Library.

Met Publications

Five decades of Met publications (approximately 680 titles) on art history, available to read, download, and/or search for free.

Project Gutenberg

Gutenberg offers over 70,000 free e-books: choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online.

OAPEN (Open Access Publishing in European Networks)

The OAPEN Library contains freely accessible academic books, mainly in the area of Humanities and Social Sciences. OAPEN works with publishers to build a quality controlled collection of Open Access books, and provides services for publishers, libraries and research funders in the areas of dissemination, quality assurance and digital preservation.

The Online Books Page

Listing of more than three million free books on the web.

Open Edition

OpenEdition is a non-profit center for Open Access established by French universities and research organizations that provides digital access to international academic publications related to humanities and social science research. OpenEdition provides access to ebooks, ejournals, academic announcements, and blogs through the following four platforms: OpenEdition Books,, Calenda and Hypotheses

Princeton Public Library offers a number of electronic resources to its patrons, including e-books, audiobooks, digital magazines, music, digital videos, and online language curriculums. To access these materials, you will need a Princeton Public Library card and PIN.

E-book options:

Princeton Libby/OverDrive: To sign in to Princeton Libby/OverDrive, enter your library card barcode and PIN. (Your PIN is usually the last 4 digits of the phone number on your library account.) This collection is hand-selected and built from the ground up with a focus on quality selections that meet the diverse reading and listening preferences of the Princeton community. New titles will be added on an ongoing basis, and OverDrive's popular library of more than 11,000 public domain e-book titles will be available, too. Also, visit the Princeton Overdrive Kids & Teens eReading Room to access titles for children and young adults. Our collection can be enjoyed on your computer (PC or Mac) or transfer the title to a compatible eBook reader (including Kindle, Nook, Sony, iPad, and iPod Touch). Check out a maximum of 5 books at a time for up to 21 days. No overdue fees; books are automatically returned to the library at the end of lending period. Visit Overdrive's guide to find customized downloading instructions for your device.

TumbleBookLibrary: This collection of TumbleBooks (animated, talking picture books), Tumble Puzzles, and Tumble Games may be viewed online or downloaded for 90 days. TumbleBooks collection includes fiction, non-fiction and foreign language titles, Read-Alongs (chapter books with sentence highlighting and narration but no animation), eBooks and audiobooks.

EBSCO eBooks: Try out our starter collection of reference and text books. EBSCO eBooks offers the ability to read on the screen and search within the eBook's text. The collection is primarily non-fiction eBooks on topics including Arts and Architecture, Business and Economics, Computer Science, Engineering and Technology, Health and Medicine, History, Law, Literature and Criticism, Mathematics, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Self-help and Family, Study Aids and Language Learning.

Princeton Theological Seminary students, faculty, and staff can access Princeton University Library's e-Book collections when onsite at the Princeton University campus. 

Library of Congress Classification System

The Wright Library uses the Library of Congress call number system to organize the collection by subject. Catalogers assign specific call numbers to books and journals. Call numbers are printed on the spine or front cover of every book and journal in the main collection. The bibliographic records in the online catalog (OPAC) provide the call number for items in the collection. The call number indicates both the general subject and the location of the item.

Anatomy of a call number:

  Sakenfeld, Katharine Doob,
        Louisville, Ky. : John Knox Press, c1999.
 BS1315.3 .S25 1999  


BS-letter line, describes general subject area (Bible)

1315.3-number line, narrows subject area (Book of Ruth)

.S25-"cutter" line, further narrows subject area or specifies author (Sakenfeld)

1999-year of publication