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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is “Digital Collections”?

    The Digital Collections unit at Princeton Theological Seminary Library builds and curates digital library collections and creates web-based applications for access and use of those collections. Our digital resources include books, journals, photographs, audio recordings, manuscript collections, and archived web pages. For details, see our list of projects.

    Our digital collections will expand over time as more of the Seminary Library’s holdings are digitized and as we incorporate relevant public domain materials digitized elsewhere.

  • What is the difference between digital collections and library databases?

    Unlike the free public access to copyright-cleared materials provided by our digital collections, library databases represent fee-based content that is licensed to libraries by commercial publishers for restricted institutional use.

  • What am I searching when I search this site?

    When you enter a search query in the Search box, you are searching bibliographic records (title, author name, etc.) across all of our digital collections. The search returns results that match your query and identify the particular collection containing that resource.

    Titles within the search results are links that allow you to navigate directly to that specific digital resource within the collection that houses it.

    Note: The Theological Commons includes not only a bibliographic record (title, author name, etc.) for every digital resource it contains, but also a complete textual transcription of the content of each text-based resource (books, journals, theses, transcriptions of audio recordings, etc.). To search both the bibliographic data and the complete text, use the search box in the Theological Commons. The same is true for Guides to Manuscript Collections; the Princeton Lectures on Youth, Church, and Culture; and our Web Archive.

  • Do I need any specialized software to use these digital collections?

    No. The digital materials presented here are accessible simply with an Internet connection and a web browser. Viewing PDF documents requires software capable of displaying such documents, but most web browsers can already display PDF documents.

  • What happened to the original PTS digital library?

    Digitized materials from our original digital library, created in 2006 and formerly available at, are still available from other locations, as listed on this site.