What is the Puritan Studies Index?
An index and collection of printed articles available in the Puritan Research Center (at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, MI), primarily related to Puritan studies, both in Europe and the New World.
Specifically, what kinds of resources are available here?
The majority are articles reprinted or photocopied from scholarly journals to which PRTS has access. A small number of book reviews are included where the book reviewed deals with a Puritan or with Puritan studies. Most such reviews are at least 5 pages in length. When this collection of articles was first begun (from a personal donation), it also included a number of entire chapters from selected books. However, book chapters are no longer being added to the file. Dissertation abstracts relevant to Puritan studies are included in the file when they are of substantial length, with an indication of how and where the full dissertation may be obtained.
How do I search the online index of the Puritan Studies Index?
To research a topic (New England politics, for example) it is wise to begin using a keyword search. When searching for works about a certain Puritan, a keyword search will also work. The Title and Author searches are primarily if you have a bibliographic citation that provides this information. The simple search tab is for one word or phrase-searching. The advanced search tab is best used for searching multiple words or combining author/title searches.
How do I retrieve my article, once I’ve found the citation in the online index?
The articles are located in filing cabinets in the Puritan Research Center. They are organized by the author’s last name and then by title. If no author is listed, the article will be in alphabetic order by title. When finished using or photocopying the article, place the folder on the cart in the library to be re-shelved by library staff.
Are any of these articles available online, and if so, how can I access them?
Certain of the articles in this file may be found online utilizing a search engine such as Google Scholar. In many cases, however, the full text of such articles may only be found accessed using the subscription databases of your library. Ask the librarian for help in locating these. When a journal article indexed here is available online to PRTS-registered students, such as through the library subscription to the ATLA-Religion database, it will be indicated by an asterisk (*) following the journal name.
For example, the article by Karyn Valerius on the “antinomian controversy,” can be found “full-text” online in the New England Quarterly* 83:2 by accessing the NEQ through our online catalog, then searching for vol.83, issue 2 (2010). Another example: articles found in the Scottish Journal of Theology* or in Calvin Theological Journal*may be found online using the ATLA-Religion database for anyone who has subscription access (as do all PRTS students).
A double-asterisk (**) following a journal name indicates that the article was originally retrieved from another “full text” database to which PRTS does not currently subscribe, such as JSTOR.
For example, if you want an electronic copy of an article but you are physically unable to visit the Puritan Research Center, ask the Librarian for help in determining whether the article can be accessed electronically. Let’s say, for instance, that you notice (he double asterisk** for an article by John Spurr, “Rational Religion in Restoration England,” found in the Journal of the History of Ideas** (49:4, 1988). The Librarian may be able to direct you to the JSTOR database where this journal is accessible online.
What “Puritans” are included? What subject areas?
Broadly, the file covers English or New England Puritans: their lives, writings, beliefs, society, historical context, influence, political environment, and theology. Bear in mind that these are mostly “secondary sources.” There are, however, several primary source documents by select Puritans in this file that have been reprinted in journals and also photocopied excerpts from rare books-for example: Mather, Hooker, Edwards.
For the purpose of this database, a “Puritan” is one whose works are included in the PRC. Generally, this begins with William Perkins and ends with Jonathan Edwards, spanning the years 1575-1758.
How can I suggest additions or corrections to the Puritan Studies Index?
Simply email your suggestions, corrections or questions to: Theological Librarian,Fred.Sweet@puritanseminary.org , or to PRTS Library Director, Laura.Mustafa@puritanseminary.org who both update the database regularly.
How can I create a bibliographic list of select works to print, email?
For each record in the file you can click on “Save Item,” and then “View Saved Items.”