The Digital Library of Classic Protestant Texts | Alexander Street
The Digital Library of Classic Protestant Texts

The Digital Library of Classic Protestant Texts

In the 19th century, Jacques-Paul Migne dramatically advanced theological scholarship by assembling a massive collection of Greek and Latin writings from the early Christian and medieval eras. The Digital Library of Classic Protestant Texts brings together an enormous collection of Christian texts from the Reformation and post-Reformation eras.

A uniquely exhaustive resource for historians, theologians, political scientists, and sociologists studying the religious and social upheavals of the 16th and 17th centuries, The Digital Library of Classic Protestant Texts gives researchers immediate, Web-based access to hundreds of often hard-to-find works, never before published in a single collection. The texts are indexed and marked up to the highest quality digital standards, giving easy access to the full range of authors whose writings shaped and defined the Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican, Presbyterian, Baptist, and Anabaptist traditions. Users can study and compare these writings in new and creative ways. Questions that might previously have taken years to research can now be answered in seconds.

Rare and hard-to-find texts

The contents of The Digital Library of Classic Protestant Textscannot be found together in any library in the world. Indeed, many of the works in the collection have not been reprinted since the 17th century.

With more than 1,200 volumes in all, including the opera omnia of numerous major writers (Luther, Calvin, Melanchthon, Zwingli, William Perkins, and Johannes Cocceius, among others) this is the largest collection of Protestant writings ever assembled, and the only such searchable electronic resource. Users will find works by the familiar and the not-so-familiar: Beza, Bucer, Bullinger, Chemnitz, Episcopius, Thomas Firmin, Stephen Nye, Oecolampadius, Menno Simons, Peter Vermigli, and hundreds more. Complementing the theological writings is an extensive selection of confessional documents, biblical commentaries, polemical treatises, catechisms, and liturgical works.

Powerful searching

Our deep indexing and the powerful capabilities of the platform mean that queries such as the following can be answered in seconds:

  • For any work by Caspar Olevianus, list all instances in which the Latin roots ecclesi* and auctorita* occur within ten words of each other.
  • How often is the term heretic used in works published in Geneva between 1550 and 1575?
  • Identify passages in which Anabaptist writers after 1600 address the topic of the role of women in society.

The ability to display several text passages on-screen simultaneously makes it easy to compare authors writing about the same subject or to trace the evolution of one writer’s ideas over time.

World renowned editorial board

The world-class editorial board includes recognized scholars from around the world: Irena Backus, University of Geneva; Emidio Campi, University of Zurich; Patrick Collinson, Cambridge University; John Patrick Donnelly, Marquette University; Richard Gamble, Reformed Theological Seminary; Timothy George, Beeson Divinity School; David Hall, Harvard University; Frank James, Reformed Theological Seminary; Thomas M. McCoog, British Province of the Society of Jesus; Elsie McKee, Princeton Theological Seminary; Jurgen Moltmann, University of Tübingen; Mark Noll, Wheaton College; Oliver O'Donovan, Oxford University; James I. Packer, Regent College; Wolfhart Pannenberg, University of Munich; David Steinmetz, Duke University; Harry Stout, Yale University; and David Wells, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Publication details

The Digital Library of Classic Protestant Texts is available on the Web, either through one-time purchase of perpetual rights or through annual subscription.