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Freshman Seminar 32C: The Christian Bible Then and Now: Formations and Debates

This guide was created to help you in researching the cultural and material history of the Christian Bible.


Saint Jerome reading

Saint Jerome Reading. Harvard Fine Arts Library, 375 L 3523 38 J

This guide is a place to begin your research on the cultural and material history of the Christian Bible. For a more wide-ranging guide to research, see Tools of The Trade: A Library Starter Kit for Harvard Freshmen. For information on using Houghton Library's Reading Room, see Houghton Library: A Student's Guide.

Starting Your Primary Source Research

Primary sources, like the books and manuscripts you are consulting at Houghton, or objects you are studying at the Harvard Art Museums, are sources that were created during the time under study. Secondary sources, like journal articles or encyclopedia entries interpret and analyze primary sources. As you begin researching your objects, try the following starting points:

  • Find background information through secondary sources that contextualizes the primary source you're examining.
  • Read the HOLLIS catalog records for the objects you're researching at Houghton Library. If some of the terminology in the HOLLIS record doesn't make sense to you, try consulting a an encyclopedia, dictionary or glossary.
  • Talk to a librarian! We are delighted to help you. For help in this class, contact: