For your family religious history project, you will need to find articles on religion published during your ancestors' lifetimes. There are several article databases you can use for this purpose:
For scholarly articles on the history of religion and religious practices, try these databases:
More information about these databases can be found in the boxes below.
The main article database for American history is America: History and Life. This is usually the best starting place to search for scholarly articles in English on historical topics. America: History and Life covers articles, book reviews, and dissertations on all periods of North American history published since 1964, and in some cases it provides links to the full text of the articles online. To search this database, use the Quick Link on the History, Philosophy and Newspaper Library web site.
If you select the Easy Search tab on the Library Gateway, your search will be run in America: History and Life, as well as several other multidisciplinary sources. In addition, you can click on “Easy Search” under Quick Links on that page to get the option to limit your search to articles on history.
Searching America: History and Life directly, rather than through Easy Search, offers you more search options. Use the Subject Browser in the database to select your subject term(s) by clicking on the open book icon to the right of the search box. You can narrow your search by adding a keyword or using more than one subject term. Your search results display as short records, which you can expand by clicking on “Expand Record” at the bottom of the record on the right. The full entry shows you an abstract or summary of the article. If a particular article is linked to full text, the link is highlighted.
Produced by the American Theological Library Association, Religion Database, or ATLA Religion Database, includes citations to journal articles, essays in books, and book reviews published since 1949. Approximately one-fifth of the nearly 1 million citations in the database is linked to full text, presented in PDF format.
You can use the "Quick Links" on the History, Philosophy and Newspaper Library web site to connect to Religion Database.
There are many other specialized or multidisciplinary article databases that you could search, depending on the focus of your topic. The master list of article databases is available on the Library Gateway’s Online Research Resources page. You may find material on revivalism and evangelicalism in America, for example, in Expanded Academic ASAP (1980- ), Academic Search Complete (1980- ), Reader's Guide Retrospective (1890-1982), PCI/Periodicals Archive and Index, or in Nineteenth-Century Masterfile, which combines several key periodical indexes covering the 19th century (including Index to Legal Periodical Literature, 1786-1922; Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature, 1802-1907; and several indexes for general and religious periodical literature of the late 19th century).
American Periodical Series is an important collection of 1,100 periodicals, published between 1741 and 1900. The articles in the database are fully searchable by keyword, but there is no subject indexing, so you have to be careful to construct your searches using the language of the original articles. To get to American Periodical Series Online, go to “Quick Links” on the History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library web site.
There are several major collections of full-text electronic journals. In these databases you can browse individual issues of journals, or you can do a search across the entire database.
For older journals, use JSTOR ("journal storage"). This is a digitized, fully searchable version of the full content of more than 700 scholarly journals from their inception (sometimes as early as the 18th century) up to the last 1-5 years (recent issues are excluded). To get to JSTOR, go to the "Quick Links" on the History, Philosophy and Newspaper Library web site, or go to Online Research Resources and type "JSTOR" in the search box. Several key historical and religious studies journals are included in JSTOR, such as
Conveniently, America: History and Life provides links to articles in JSTOR journals.
For the full text of more than 300 recent scholarly journals, use Project Muse. These too are fully searchable. In most cases, only the issues from the last few years are available. Here you will find, for example,
To get to Project Muse, go to the "Quick Links" on the History, Philosophy and Newspaper Library web site, or go to Online Resources from the Library Gateway and type "Project Muse" in the search box.