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THEO 6751 Methodist History (Doug Strong)


Although it will be possible to find more Works By than listed under Early Autobiographies Online in some cases, we shall focus here on Works About, i.e. identifying the scholarship.

One additional comment by way of Introduction.  Keep in mind that you must search for Works About a given individual in two ways:

  • in Subject fields via the authoritative form used by the catalog or database in question, as, for example, Kim, Hwal-lan, 1899-1970; or Ramabai Sarasvati, 1858-1922; or Ray, L. P., Mrs., 1859- ; and
  • in Title and all other (for example Keyword and Full Text) fields via all of the relevant natural forms, as, for example, Hwal-lan Kim, Hwallan Kim, and Helen Kim; or Pandita RamabaiPandita M(ary) RamabaiPandita Ramabai Saraswati [(note the w)] M(ary) Dongre Medhavi, and so forth (I have also seen Pundita rather than Pandita); or Emma RayAnd so on.

Keep in mind also that

Identifying Books About

Having determined the authoritative form of the name established by the Library of Congress (and I list them all for you under Early Autobiographies Online above), identify books about the individual in question by searching the Subject field of the two book catalogs in Advanced Search mode,

Thus, this Advanced SPU Library + Summit Search (Search Scope:  SPU Library + Summit, Subject contains the two-word phrase—held together by quotation marks—"Ramabai Sarasvati"), which yields 35 hits,

and this Advanced WorldCat Search (Subject "Ramabai Sarasvati"), which yields not 35, but 154 Books (some of them duplicates, and some not really books):

Identifying Articles About

The Article Databases indexing journal articles (and sometimes essays- or chapters-in-books) about a given individual will vary depending upon the academic disciplines interested in the individual in question.  Thus, the SPU database America: History and Life might index far less (if anything) on Pandita Ramabai than on Frederick Douglass or Rosa Parks, while the University of Washington database Bibliography of Asian Studies might index far more.  (And so, the more you know about a given figure, the better your sense of where to start.)

For the religious or theological aspect of an individual's contribution, however, start with the Atla Religion Database, and then add others just to be sure, for example the Religion and Philosophy Collection, the Proquest Religion Database, the open-access database Index Theologicus (which, because open-access, isn't linked to SPU full text), and the multidisciplinary database Academic Search Complete.  For a complete list of the databases taken or tracked by the Library, go to the Library's home page and click on Article and Research Databases.  For lists of those relevant to theology and religious studies in particular, choose Theology from the drop-down menu beneath All Subjects here, or go to the Articles (or Find Articles) tab of a Theology Subject Guide here.

Recalling, again, that authoritative forms of the name may vary from article database to article database (as distinguished from book catalog to book catalog—between which, by contrast, they shouldn't vary, for the most part), determine the authoritative form by beginning with the various natural forms in the Title field and then examining the Subject headings that ensue, and either click on the one you're looking for, or enter a portion of it into the Subject field.  Take this example from the SPU database Historical Abstracts, for example, just because it wouldn't necessarily be your first choice in this case:

As it turns out, this happens (but only happens!) to be the authoritative form of the name that the Atla Religion Database, too, inserts as a DE (Descriptor) for you when you click on the authoritative Subject heading:

For as I've already said in the Introduction above, it is, rather, Ramabai, Pandita 1858-1922 in the Article Database Index Theologicus (and so forth).

But as I say on Identifying Essays or Chapters About (Unindexed) in books below, don't despite that natural language Title or Keyword (Select a Field) search here either.  For this one carries Pandita Ramabai in the Title field, but a surprisingly irregular form of the name the Subject field,

and this one (back to Historical Abstracts), nothing at all there:

Identifying Essays or Chapters About (Unindexed)

Rare if non-existent is the database that covers the relevant literature exhaustively in even its own area of concentration.  For this reason be prepared to search also the "book" catalogs (SPU Library + Summit, Libraries Worldwide (WorldCat), etc.) for unindexed essays- or chapters-in-books as well.  (Increasingly, the "book" catalogs will turn up undiscovered journal articles as well, but we're concentrating here on unindexed essays or chapters in books.)

To do this, add to the high-priority search for the authoritative form of the name in Subject fields (for example Foote, Julia A. J., 1823-1900) searches for all of the forms of the name as it is naturally written or pronounced, but this time in Title or even Keyword (or Any) fields (for example Julia A. J. Foote, Julia Foote (including also the name with initials spelled out in cases where the names they stand for are used), etc.).

Thus, Title contains "Pandita Ramabai" NOT Subject contains "Ramabai Sarasvati", as run in just the Advanced Search sector of the SPU Library + Summit catalog, returns 10 hits.

And at least one of those hits (I haven't checked them all), the book Clouds of witnesses:  Christian voices from Africa and Asia, written in 2011 by the prominent Notre Dame church historian Mark Noll in collaboration with Carolyn Nystrom, contains an essay entitled "Pandita Ramabai (1858-1922):  Christian, Hindu, reformer," an essay not indexed in any of the EBSCOhost databases taken by SPU, not even the Atla Religion Database.

A similar natural language Title or Keyword (or Any) field search of Libraries Worldwide (WorldCat) returns not 10 but 126 such print and electronic books.  And many of those, too, will therefore contain essays neither indexed in SPU databases nor present in titles recovered by the authoritative Subject searches (for whole books) advocated above.

Identifying Dissertations (Unpublished) About

Obscure figures on whom not all that much has been formally published are sometimes treated by unpublished doctoral dissertations, which can be identified via the book catalogs (and epecially Libraries Worldwide (WorldCat)), the SPU database Dissertation Abstracts, and some Article Databases.

And the full text of these unpublished dissertations can often be found in the University of Washington database Proquest Dissertations & Theses Global, accessible from the University of Washington campus.  Increasingly, unpublished dissertations are also (or, rather, alternatively) being placed directly online, where they are easily discoverable via a Google search for, say, the Title.

Pandita Ramabai is hardly someone on whom not all that much has been formally published, but let's stick with her as our example.  An uncomplicated search of Libraries WorldWide (or WorldCat) for "Ramabai Saravasti" in Subject OR "Pandita Ramabai" in Keyword returns a fairly comprehensive list of 92 mostly North American Theses or Dissertations, all too many of them—because of the exceedingly wide net cast by the Keyword component of that search—irrelevant.  Two of the several that are relevant, however, will illustrate what I need to illustrate here.  The full text of this one was turned up by a Google search, whereas the full text of this one (throughout the Abstract of which "Pandita Ramabai" occurs) can be downloaded at the University of Washington out of the University of Washington database Proquest Dissertations & Theses Global.

Finding Full Text: An Overview

Step 1:  Find citation using a database, Google Scholar as accessed via an SPU database list, or the SPU Library catalog.  (You may, of course, have been simply given a citation (author, title, date, etc.).)

Step 2:  Determine whether you're looking at the citation of

  • a book.  If what you're looking at is the citation of a book, then
    • search the SPU Library catalog (set to SPU Library + Summit (the default)) for the book, and either
      • Sign in and open up the eBook if available (Immediate Access via the SPU Library);
      • pull the Print Book off the shelf at SPU and check it out (Immediate Access via the SPU Library);
      • Sign in, Request this SPU item (i.e. Print Book) for pickup, wait for notification, and then pickup (Immediate Access via the SPU Library); or
      • Sign inPlace Summit request for Print Book, wait for notification, and then pickup (Access within 3-5 days via Summit Borrowing).
    • search Libraries Worldwide (i.e. WorldCat), Request Interlibrary Loan of Print Book, wait for notification, and then pickup (Access within 14-21 days or so via InterLibrary Loan).  Last resort.  Request Interlibrary Loan only if the book in question is unavailable via both SPU and Summit Borrowing.
  • an essay or chapter or entry in a book- or work-of-reference-on-paper.  If what you're looking at is the citation of an essay or chapter or entry in a book- or work-of-reference-on-paper, then either
    • follow the instructions for the book, above, or, if the Print Book is owned by SPU,
    • place an ARTICLE (Scanning) request via Interlibrary Loan and wait for electronic delivery.
  • an article in a periodical (journal, magazine).  If what you're looking at is the citation of an article in a periodical, then follow the remaining steps below:

Immediate Access via the SPU Library or the Internet

Step 3:  Look for an indication of the presence of full-text, for example an icon indicating the presence of PDF or HTML.  (SPU and other full text indexed by Google Scholar will appear in Google Scholar, too, if accessed via SPU database lists.)

Step 4Check For Full Text link in database =Search for the periodical containing an article in the SPU Library catalog.  Should the former fail you, Check For Full Text is the equivalent of the latter, that is, an Advanced Search for the journal (not article) title in the SPU Library catalog.  Thus, Title contains "Theological studies", limited to Material Type:  Journals and Search Scope:  SPU Library:

SPU Library search box with "Search Scope: SPU Library" highlighted, "Title", and "Material Type: Journals"

This will tell you if the Library subscribes to or holds the periodical (and which issues of it) in

  • Electronic form (cf. the EJOURNAL SEARCH in the Advanced Search area of the SPU Library catalog).
  • Print (Library, Lower Level, alphabetically by title).  To procure full text from print
    • Locate the periodical (journal or magazine) and relevant volume/year and issue on the Lower Level alphabetically, and then either read or scan, or
    • Place an BOOK CHAPTER (Scanning) request via Interlibrary Loan and wait for electronic delivery.
  • Microfilm (Library, Lower Level).  To procure full text from microfilm, place a Microfilm Reprint Request and wait for electronic delivery.

Step 5:  Look for the periodical homepage over the Internet.  Some respectable journals make at least some back issues available at no charge from their own websites.

Access within 1 day via a Seattle Library

Step 6:  Consult the catalogs of other libraries in your area, for example those of the University of Washington and Seattle University (or the Seattle or King County public) library systems.  It may be that you can get what you need in an hour or two by making a quick trip across town.  (The full text of an eJournal at the University of Washington, for example, may be accessible from a laptop on the University of Washington campus even if the University of Washington's traditional journals-available-only-on-paper are not because the relevant building is closed.)

Access within 3-21 days via InterLibrary Loan

Step 7Request via Interlibrary Loan link in database =Request the article via InterLibrary Loan.  To do this, click within an SPU database on Request via Interlibrary Loan or proceed to the manual InterLibrary Loan form.  Most (though not all) articles (as distinguished from books) requested via InterLibrary Loan are received within a few (say two or three) days.