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Religions of America

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Religions of America makes available many valuable primary sources that one could not otherwise study without traveling to several archives in person. Multiple advanced search options make it possible to zero in on specific documents and publications that are relevant for one’s research, something that wouldn’t be as easy when browsing the original documents within archives.

Despite the fairly general name, the resource is very specialized. Materials in the collection only relate to a few denominations in America, many of them small, and several at the extreme end of the spectrum (e.g., Branch Davidians, People’s Temple). While the resource would be invaluable to researchers interested in these specific groups and topics, the collections are not as useful for more general audiences seeking a broader picture. Some of the advanced search options and digital tools (e.g., search publications by date, Topic Finder visualization) are clunky to use or don’t add that much research value.

Publication date: October 1, 2019

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