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How to Use the ATLA Database with Serials

ATLA Religion Database
ATLA Religious Database(American Theological Library Association) provides informaiton on topics such as biblical studies, World religions, church history, and religion in social issues. ATLA contains more than 1.2 million bibliographic records covering the research literature of religion in 35 languages. It includes more than 350,000 article citations, from more than 1,500 journals(600 Currently indexed), more than 200,000 essay citations. Most coverage spans from 1949 to the present and is an essential resource for researchers and students in Theological Library Association.

ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials
This database is the full test version of the ATLA Religious Database. ATLA Religious Database with ATLASerials is a collection of major religious and theology journals selected by noted religion scholars in the United States. Full text journals representing all major religious faiths, denominations and language groups are included. As with the ATLA Religion Database, coverage dates back to 1949.


This tutorial is intended to give an overview to those seeking to search the ATLA RDB through Midwest University.
It is intended to cover the basics of navigation in the database as well as some general searches.

  • Introduction ->what is the ATLA Religion Database.
  • Access -> how to access them through the Midwest University Library.
  • Searching -> how to find articles and essays on a topic or biblical passage.
  • General Searching -> basic searching of the databases
  • Specific Searching -> specific searching for user's particular needs
  • The Display -> understanding what is found.
  • Obtaining Material -> how to use what you found

The ATLA Religion Database is an essential tool for the study of religion. It is the premier index to journal articles, book reviews, and collections of essays in all fields of religion. The fact that many publishers solicit the inclusion of their journals in ATLA RDB is indicative of the stature it has achieved in the community of religion scholars.
The more than 1,315,000 records in the ATLA Religion Database include :

  • 429,900 journal articles (including more than 5,000 RIP records)
  • 203,800 essays from 15,300 multi-author works (a number of Religion Index Two annuals were migrated to Religion Index One and this accounts for the temporary drop in the number of essays)
  • 404,900 book reviews of 196,100 books
  • 1,577 journal titles; 645 of which are currently indexed
  • languages: 59% English, 9% German, 6% French, 1% Spanish, 1% Italian, 24% Other

Journals are selected for inclusion according to their scholarly merit and scope. Journals representing all the major religious faiths, major denominations, and numerous language groups are included. A title list of all journals included in the ATLA Religion Database may be found on the ATLA web site (http://www.atla.com/products/titles/titles_rdb_a-c.html).
ATLA's indexing of multi-author works, such as Festschriften and conference proceedings, is unique among religion databases. Unlike indexes that catalog books of essays as a single entry, ATLA indexes each individual essay in such works.
ATLAS is an online collection of major religion and theology journals selected by leading religion scholars and theologians. Users can read articles or research the history of a topic from 1949 to the present. Currently, researchers are able to use ATLA Serials as a search tool to retrieve images of the pages in more than fifty different journals.
In the second phase, page images will be supplemented with fully searchable texts of the articles (XML). Furthermore, during the second phase, images and indexing coverage will be extended back to the original publication date of each journal.
Currently ATLAS contains more than 100,000 full-text records. A title list of all journals included in ATLAS may be found on the ATLA web site (http://www.atla.com/products/titles/titles_atlas.html).


Access to the databases is limited to students, faculty, and staff of Midwest University.
Midwest University students simply need school ID and Password. School ID and Password can be asked to Librarian.
Should you have difficulties gaining access, please contact the Library at 636.639.1616 or e-mailing library@midwest.edu

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