Universiteit Leiden

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Subject guide

Religious Studies

Overview of databases, reference works and websites for Religious Studies

History of Religions
Christianity: focus from 1750,
New Religious Movements (Scientology, Wicca)

The majority of the physical collection for religious studies is placed in the closed stacks of the main University Library. These books can be requested through the Catalogue. Reference works and other relevant books are available on the first floor.

Reference collection in the reading room

The reference collection comprises encyclopedias, bibliographies and primary and secondary literature on an array of subjects. Items from the reference collection are for library use only and can’t be borrowed.

The reference collection is organized by the Library of Congress Classification (LCC). Book titles in the field of religious studies are usually placed under subject code B in study room 1:

BL Religions. Mythology. Rationalism
BM Judaism
BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc.
BQ Buddhism
BR Christianity
BS The Bible
BT Doctrinal Theology
BV Practical Theology
BX Christian Denominations


Paper journals

Current issues of journals in the area of religious studies which are not digitally available are placed in the round journal cabinets at the entrance of study room 1. Back volumes are located in the closed stacks and can be requested through the catalogue.

Paper journals which are also available online are placed in the closed stacks. Electronic journals can be accessed via the catalogue.

  • Oxford Reference Premium gives access to dictionaries, encyclopaedias and other reference works, also on the subject of religious studies (for example the Oxford Companion to the Bible, the Dictionary of the Popes, the Encyclopedia of the Reformation, etc.).

  • Cambridge Collections provides access to the fulltext of Cambridge Companions on historical subjects and persons. The database contains a wide range of e-books in the field of religious studies.

  • Cambridge Histories contains ebooks from the well known Cambridge Histories series, in which one can find works on the history of the bible, Christianity, Judaism and Islam.