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Theology: Getting Started

This guide is a gateway to Theology resources in the J. William Horsey Library at Tyndale, including electronic and Chinese language resources. / 含中文資料

What are reference sources?

Reference sources are online or print encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases or any other source that is designed to provide a concise yet authoritative overview of a topic of research.

Reference sources are excellent sources to use when you are starting your research, because they provide:

  • general background information
  • brief and factual overviews
  • explanations of terminology and definitions of terms
  • a list of authors who are experts in the field
  • bibliographies of sources for further reading

What about Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is an online resource that can be edited by anyone who has access to the internet.

It has been subject to much criticism by librarians and faculty in academia because:

  • there are no guarantees that the writer(s) of the articles are qualified to write about the subject matter
  • there is the real possibility that the author(s) could post misleading information
  • the lack of any quality controls of the content in Wikipedia (i.e. fact-checking)

Wikipedia does have its good points:

  • the content in Wikipedia is updated on a continual basis
  • it does provide introductory information to a topic
  • the bibliographies at the end of the articles do oft-times lead to authoritative resources

Because of its open nature Wikipedia is still held in much suspect by the majority of librarians and scholars.

If you decide to use any resources found in a Wikipedia bibliography you should make sure that that resource is authoritative.

For more information on assessing online resource, please see the "Evaluating a Website" page.

Print Reference Materials

The J. William Horsey Library at Tyndale University College & Seminary has an extensive collection of print reference materials that deal with theology.

You can browse the titles of theology encyclopedias, dictionaries and more through WorldCat. Click HERE for a list of reference books about theology in the J. William Horsey Library. They are not online, you can actually hold them in your hand! If they are in the Reference collection the books cannot be borrowed so you should always be able to find them in the library.

Cambridge Companions in Theology

Looking for images?

Looking for some great pictures to use in a lecture or presentation?

Try CAMIO (click on image)

CAMIO is OCLC's online collection of art images representing the most prominent museums from around the world.