Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Theological Commons?
The Theological Commons is a digital library of 78,017 books and journals on theology and religion, including 28,367 volumes from the Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
Princeton Theological Seminary is developing the Theological Commons in partnership with the Internet Archive, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building and maintaining a free and openly accessible online digital library. Princeton Theological Seminary shares in the vision and mission of building a digital library freely accessible to scholars, pastors, and other readers around the globe.
- How does Princeton Seminary select material for inclusion in the Theological Commons?
Selection of materials for inclusion in the Theological Commons is guided by the Library’s Collection Development Policy. Additionally, due to legal restrictions on copyrighted works, the Theological Commons only includes materials that are out of copyright, or for which special permission has been obtained from the copyright holder. Typically, works published before 1923 are unambiguously out of copyright, and such works constitute the vast majority of content in the Theological Commons.
- What should I do if I cannot find an item in the Theological Commons?
If you cannot find an item you are looking for, there may be several reasons for its absence. The item may yet be under copyright or it may fall outside the scope of the Library’s Collection Development Policy. It may also not yet have been digitized or brought into the Theological Commons. Contact us to nominate materials for inclusion.
- What subjects are represented in the Theological Commons?
The Theological Commons draws broadly from the fields of religion and theological studies, along with relevant material from ancillary disciplines.
- What institutions have contributed digital resources to the Theological Commons?
The Theological Commons includes books scanned at libraries and cultural institutions both nationally and internationally. The largest percentage of works in the Theological Commons has been contributed by the Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
- For some books, the “Search within this book” option and “Send to Kindle” button are unavailable. Why?
In order to generate a searchable text, the Internet Archive runs digital images of the printed pages through an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) program. Currently there is no OCR software that produces 100% accuracy in character recognition. Text files produced through OCR vary in error rate, due to factors such as the physical condition, typeface, page layout, and language of the original document.
Due to the fluctuation in the error rate, Princeton Seminary’s goal is to limit the availability of the computer-generated text to books with an estimated error rate of less than 20% and to make this estimate known in the interest of full disclosure.
- How do I cite materials found in the Theological Commons?
Please use the following form for citation of materials found in the Theological Commons:
Schaff, Philip. Christ in Song: Hymns of Immanuel. New York: Anson D.F. Randolph, 1868. Digital Presentation in the Theological Commons, http://commons.ptsem.edu/