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Library Orientation: Electronic Resources

Whether you're a new student, or a not-so-new student unsure about library resources and services, the library orientation guide is here to help you get started.

Off Campus Access

If you are unsure of how to access material in our digital collections when not on campus, see the Remote Access LibGuide for more information. Off-campus accessibility is only provided to PTS students, faculty, and staff, with the exception of ATLAS for Alums. When entering your last name to log in for electronic access, omit hyphens, apostrophes, and spaces. If you encounter problems with remote access, call the circulation desk during library hours at 412-924-1354, or email Carrie Carter, Mark Russell, Tisha Woo, or

Online Commentaries

Two Volume Commentary Sets
Multi-Volume Commentary Sets


Recently, Barbour Library has begun to increase the number of eBooks in its collection. Most eBooks are available through the library's catalog, and the following steps will teach you how to search for them. There are also some eBooks we have available only through databases. See the eBooks LibGuide for more in-depth instruction on utilizing the full range of available eBooks.

At this time, Barbour Library doesn't offer eBooks for checkout or download but for online reading purposes only. Some vendors allow portions of an eBook to be saved or printed but it varies by publisher.

How to Find eBooks

Online Catalog - Advanced Search

1. Go to the library's catalog and click on the Advanced Search link, located next to the search button 

2. Enter in your search term(s)

3. Check the box next to Ebooks under the "Limits" section

4. Click the Advanced Search button

5. To view the full text, click the View Electronic Resource link on the results page

  • You can also click on the title to view more details. To get to the full text from this display, scroll towards the button and find the View Electronic resource link. 

Online Catalog - Library Search

1. Go to the library's catalog 

2. Enter your search term(s) into the box and click the Search button

3. On the results list, on the right had side under the "Material Type" facet, check the box next to Electronic Book

4. Click the Include button

5. To view the full text, click the View Electronic Resource link on the results page

  • You can also click on the title to view more details. To get to the full text from this display, scroll towards the button and find the View Electronic resource link. 

Online Catalog - Database Search

1. Go to the library's catalog

2. Enter your search term(s) into the box

3. Select the Database Search from the first drop down menu

  • OR select the Database Search tab once your results display

4. Click the Search button

5. If you have a limited view of your results page, please Log In to get a complete view of your results list. 

6. To view the full text, click on the "Full Text" or "EDS Full Text" buttons. 

  • If you are off-campus, you may be asked to login using remote access. 

Bible Commentaries

Barbour Library provides access to over 400 Bible commentaries. These commentaries are made available on a few different platforms, depending on where we purchased them (EBSCO, Project Muse, JSTOR, etc.). Click on the other tabs in this guide to find platform-specific information, such as how many pages are allowed for download.

Follow these instructions for finding online commentaries:

  • Go to the PTS library catalog.
  • Select 'Ebook' from the first drop-down menu 'Subject' from the second
  • Type your search terms 
  • Click 'Search.'
  • From the list of results, click on a title link to see the full record.
  • Click on the 'View Electronic Resource' link (you may get more than one).

Find Online Resources in the Library Catalog

In order to find online resources for particular books of the Bible, follow these instructions:

  • Go to the PTS library catalog.
  • Click on the Advanced Search link or select Ebooks from the first drop down menu.
  • Type your search terms in the "All These Words" or "This exact phrase" fields
  • Check the box next to Ebook under Limits.
  • Click Advanced Search

Here are a few more searches that will give you online Bible resources:

Bible - Criticism, Interpretation, etc.
(use the facets on the left to narrow the results)

Bible Dictionaries


Find Online Resources in Databases

BI210 English Bible Exegesis - Find Articles
(this is a page in another guide that provides resources and instructions for finding journal articles related to Bible research)

More guides for particular Bible courses can be found on the LibGuides page.

Finding eBooks in Databases

You can directly access the majority of the library's eBooks through the catalog including eBooks from the following vendors: EBSCO, Project MUSE, JSTOR, ProQuest, Brill, Liverpool, and Oxford. There are a few eBook collections that aren't available in the library's catalog, including Early English Books Online (EEBO).

Recommended Websites

There are a number of sources for material relevant to theology and Christianity that are freely available on the internet, like the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. These sites are trustworthy places where you may find a range of materials, from data and statistics about religion and congregations in the US to classic Christian texts in the public domain. The library has no affiliation or subscription for these sites, so if you encounter any access issues or site maintenance it is beyond our staff's control. See the list at our Online Resources page

Journal Articles - PTS Databases

The Barbour Library's databases will be your primary source for electronic scholarly articles, and through indexing can also assist you in finding relevant print materials.

Accessing the Databases 

Searching the Databases

  • Visit the Finding Articles LibGuide for instructions on navigating our various databases, as well as brief descriptions of their specific contents and subject coverage.

  • Check out the Using the ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials Plus guide for more detailed instruction on using the ATLAS database. This database is a massive theological resource and the one you will likely find yourself using with the most frequency during your seminary studies. It also has specific tools for searching that are very helpful when doing biblical studies research.