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This page contains a selection of high-quality content in religious studies and related disciplines from publisher websites, institutional repositories, scholarly societies, archives, and stable public domain collections. Wherever possible, introductory videos to the individual resources. See the Help Videos & FAQs tab for more information.
Understanding "Free" Resources
Open Access (OA) is the designation used to describe published research content which is distributed online and free of cost. Many open access titles are also for sale in print form.
Public domain refers to content that is not copyrighted and may be used by anyone without the author's permission. Most public domain content was published before 1923.
An institutional repository (IR) is a digital collection owned and maintained by an institution (often a university or scholarly association). Content in institutional repositories is often copyrighted, but can still be read and cited. Content in institutional repositories is generally not in the public domain and should not be reproduced without permission from the author.
Source: The Open Access Digital Theological Library. "FAQ." Accessed 22 June 2022. https://oadtl.org/faq.
Open Access Databases
Art in the Christian Tradition (ACT)
Designed for scholars, students, pastors, and religious educators, the ACT database contains over 7,000 images representing the continuum of the practice of Christianity from the 1st century to the present. All images may be used for non-commercial purposes, with attribution.
A free resource for professional and armchair canonists; includes GIRM, GILH, CCC, CCEO, DC, SST, ESI, USCCB Norms and Vos estis
The Catholic Research Resources Portal provides global, freely available access to rare, unique and/or uncommon materials in libraries, seminaries, special collections and archives.
Christian Classics Ethereal Library
Use this free internet resource to locate writings of saints, and selections from the Early Christian Fathers and The Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers reference series.
Digital Vatican Library/DigiVatLib (DVL)
This digitization project of the Vatican Library aims to digitize the entire Library's collection of manuscripts: 80,000 codices (excluding the archival units) mostly from the Middle Age and Humanistic period.
Internet Archive/Open Library
Millions of books available through Controlled Digital Lending. The OpenLibrary.org interface allows users to explore the Internet Archive (archive.org) using digital shelves organized like a physical library.
JStor Open Content
7800+ Open Access eBooks from 90 publishers and a growing number of Open Access Journals
Featuring the Catholic Encyclopedia: 1908-1914 ed, The Summa, Church Fathers, The Knox Bible, along with Church Documents
Open Access Digital Theological Library (OADTL)
Access to over 190,000 ebooks and thousands of journals.
Papal Encyclicals Online
Your guide to online Papal and other official documents of the Catholic Church.
St. Andrews Encyclopaedia of Theology
The St Andrews Encyclopaedia of Theology is a nascent online, free-to-access encyclopaedia of the highest academic standards, treating the full discipline of Theology with rigour and clarity.
The Revised Common Lectionary (RCL)
A service of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, the RCL includes added scriptural reflections based on art images in the Art in the Christian Tradition repository, along with slideshow formats, black & white illustrations, and printable pdfs.
Your CDU Online Librarian
Subjects: Church History
, Religious Education
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, Social Justice