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Using the Library's Catalogs
For general instructions on using the Library's catalogs, please consult "How To Find Books". The following information is specific to the subject of Religion.
When researching an item in the catalogs, check under the subject entry most specific to your interest:
• historical personality (Luther, Martin)
• church or denomination (Church of England)
• doctrine (predestination), a movement (Oxford Movement)
• ritual or practice (baptism).
In performing your research at The New York Public Library, you may need to consult two catalogs: The Dictionary Catalog, an 800-volume set of materials acquired by the library before 1972, and CATNYP, the online catalog of materials acquired after 1972. (Please note that as a result of an active retrospective conversion project, the vast majority of the items in The Dictionary Catalog will also be found in CATNYP.) CATNYP employs Library of Congress Subject Headings, available at the Information Desk or at www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/lcco; however, as noted below, it is best to employ a keyword search when utilizing CATNYP. For advice on subject headings in the pre-1972 Dictionary Catalog, consult the librarians at the Information Desk.
Searching by keyword will usually generate the most accurate and beneficial results, as this approach utilizes keywords from both titles and subjects. For example, in order to search the Episcopal Church and its history during the Civil War, a researcher ought to employ the keywords Episcopal Church and Civil War.
Saints | Church History | The Bible | The New Testament | The Old Testament
Works by or about Christian saints are to be found under the name of the saint in question. Thus, if you wish to research Saint Bartholomew in the Dictionary Catalog, check under Bartholomew, not Saint Bartholomew. In CANTYP, a keyword approach permits the researcher to enter Saint Bartholomew to find all references to this apostle.
In the field of church history, there are different arrangements in the Library's two catalogs. The Dictionary Catalog uses the subject heading Church History to include not only general works in the area, but also materials dealing with church history in specific countries. Therefore, books on Polish church history will be found under Church History-Poland. However, to find church histories of individual countries in CATNYP, please employ the keyword approach, as in this example: Poland and Church History.
Similarly, the Dictionary Catalog lists works on the Quakers under Friends, Society of, while CATNYP places this same group under two separate subject headings, Society of Friends and Quakers; once again it is preferable to employ a keyword approach for this group. The churches of Eastern Christianity are placed under the subject heading Eastern Orthodox Church in the Dictionary Catalog, but CATNYP uses the subject heading Orthodox Eastern Church, that same term being appropriate as a keyword.
The different editions of the complete Bible are listed in the Dictionary Catalog before the editions of the New and Old Testaments and other separately published parts of the Bible. Different editions of the complete Bible are arranged by language and, within that, by year. In the Dictionary Catalog these listings commence with the heading Bible. Polyglot (volume 71, page 344) and continue with listings by individual languages beginning with Bible. Afrikaans. 1957 (volume 71, page 347).
For English-language Bibles look under Bible. English (volume 71, page 358); like all other entries, these are broken down by year beginning with the earliest imprint. The first editions of the King James Bible are listed in the Dictionary Catalog under Bible. English. 1611 (volume 71, page 373). The Roman Catholic Douai-Rheims version of the Bible is found under Bible. English. Douai Rheims (volume 71, page 455).
These same subject headings can be used to search CATNYP, and these can be employed also as keyword searches.
Two electronic databases offer access to the Bible in full-text. Please note that these databases are only available from within the Library:
The Bible in English
Contains 20 different versions of the English Bible from the tenth to the twentieth century.
The King James Bible
This online version, which includes the Apocrypha, allows one to go to a specific chapter and verse, browse by book, and search for keywords.
In addition to these databases the research is recommended to examine the following which provide full text of the Bible as well as of other publications, both religious and secular: Early English Books Online (covers the period from 1475 to 1700); Early American Imprints, Series I, Evans (covers the period 1639 to 1800); Early American Imprints, Series II, Shaw-Shoemaker (covers the period 1801 to 1819); and Eighteenth Century Collections Online (covers the period from 1701 to 1800 for Britain only). (Provide link to these databases)
The New Testament
The Library has many separate editions of the New Testament and the Old Testament. Like whole editions of the Bible, these two divisions are also arranged by language and then by year. In The Dictionary Catalog, entries for the New Testament begin with Bible. New Testament. Polyglot (volume 72, page 372) and continue with Bible. New Testament. Albanian (volume 72, page 373). Other languages follow in alphabetical order. Bible. New Testament. English. begins in volume 72 on page 382.
Dual-language New Testaments are normally found after the primary language. Thus, Bible. New Testament. Spanish-English follows Bible. New Testament. Spanish (volume 72, page 491); Bible. New Testament. Greek-English. appears in volume 72, page 468, and Bible. New Testament. Greek-Latin is found in volume 72, page 469.
Specific books of the New Testament are also included in the Dictionary Catalog; thus Bible. New Testament. Acts is found in volume 73 on page 25, and other books of the New Testament follow this entry in alphabetical order. Note that the New Testament Apocrypha (in English) is found under Bible. New Testament. Apocrypha. English beginning on page 39 of volume 73.
The Old Testament
The arrangement of entries for Bible. Old Testament parallels that for Bible. New Testament. The entries for the former begin in volume 73, page 267, with Bible. Old Testament. Polyglot (arranged by year) followed by the alphabetical arrangement for different languages. Like the New Testament, the listings for the Old Testament are also subdivided according to the appropriate book beginning with Bible. Old Testament. Amos (volume 73, page 389).
There also exist distinct references for Bible. Old Testament. Pentateuch (volume 73, page 551), Bible. Old Testament. Apocrypha (volume 73, page 392), and Bible. Old Testament. Pseudepigrapha (volume 74, page 166).
In researching the Bible on CATNYP, it is advisable to employ the keyword approach to locate appropriate materials. For example:
New Testament and Apocrypha (for this topic, also employ New Testament and Apocryphal);
Old Testament and Spanish;
Bible and Icelandic;
Gospel and Thomas.