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Primary Sources: Finding Primary Sources in Religion

This guide will discuss the difference between primary and secondary resources for use in research.

Finding Primary Resources in Religion

The key primary sources for most religions are the religious texts themselves, but primary sources in religion can also include: books, pamphlets, sermons, and other contemporary writing by religious officials or members of the church/organization.

Listed below are locations for finding primary resources in religion found on the Jerry Falwell Library website as well as online.

Finding Primary Religion Resources on the Jerry Falwell Website

Bible Museum at Liberty University


Rawlings Scriptorium Museum

  • The Scriptorium features a number of rare books and Bibles made available by the Rawlings Foundation. The exhibit’s sacred texts are valued at over $1 million. Interactive multimedia screens help students research particular sections of the books and ancient texts.

Other Locations for Online Resources in Religion

Christian Ethereal Classics

  • A digital library of hundreds of classic Christian books maintained at Calvin College

Dead Sea Scrolls

  • This site offers a brief introduction and guide to resources on the Dead Sea Scrolls, starting with a short essay on the Dead Sea Scrolls discovery and associated controversies, intended to help orient readers new to the subject, which is augmented by a descriptive catalog of the best currently available Dead Sea Scrolls Internet Resources.

Digital Scriptorium

  • Digital Scriptorium (DS) is a growing consortium of American institutions with collections of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts.

Internet Sacred Text Archive

  • Includes public domain texts of the Scriptures, Gnosticism, Early Christian, Eastern Churches, Medieval, Renaissance and Reformation, as well as miscellaneous texts from the modern era.

The Theological Commons

  • The Theological Commons is a digital library of over 130,000 resources on theology and religion. Developed in partnership with the Internet Archive it contains books, journals, audio recordings, photographs, manuscripts, and other formats dating from 975 C.E. to the present.

The Wesley Center Online

  • A collection of historical and scholarly resources about the Wesleyan Tradition, theology, Christianity, and the Church of the Nazarene. Content provider: Northwest Nazarene University.