Introductory Overview

What's in BIBLOS?

BIBLOS provides information about most (but not all) items owned by Turpin library, including nearly all print books, print journals, microforms, and AV materials. It lists over 10,000 ebooks and a few ejournals, but for a much fuller listing of ebooks and ejournals, see these databases. BIBLOS does not include records for individual essays in books, individual articles in journals, individual slides in slide sets, individual e-texts in big digital collections (like the TLG cdrom), or individual archival manuscripts. Use these databases and bibliographies to find journal articles, essays and book reviews.

Connection, Login, and Browser Configuration

BIBLOS is normally available 22 hours/day, seven days/week. It is not available from 4:00am to 6:00am, Dallas time. A status message is posted on the library home page when the system is unavailable.

There are many ways to connect. Most people go to the library website at and click the BIBLOS tab in the upper menu. Image of BIBLOS login button This automatically logs you in as a guest. The GUEST login requires no ID or PIN, but BIBLOS will prompt you for a personal ID and PIN if you attempt to renew a book, place a hold, or view your personal account. Once you are in BIBLOS as guest, you can switch to a personal login at any time at the basic search screen. Alternatively, you may start off with a personal login if you prefer. You can configure your browser to remember and supply the ID and PIN automatically. Read about your ID and PIN here.

BIBLOS works with most modern web browsers. However, JavaScript must be enabled. Browser diagnostics are available here along with instructions on how to enable JavaScript.

Don't use your browser's "Add Favorite" or "Add Bookmark" command in an attempt to save a link to a search result page inside of BIBLOS. This will fail to work correctly because the pages are dynamically created and because the addresses that appear in your browser include transient session IDs.

Main Menu Options

Click for enlarged image.

Figure 110: Top rows

The top row of every page lists root-level menu choices like Basic Search, My Account and so forth. These menu choices remain constant throughout a session. The second row lists navigation options (e.g., GoBack) and special services (e.g. Kept). These choices vary page to page.

Pick Basic Search to query the library catalog by author, title, subject, date, etc.

Other Searches provides access to other ways of looking up items in BIBLOS, including Power Search, Media Search, eBook Search, and several Browse options. The distinction between searching and browsing is important and is explained in detail below.

You may use the Course Reserve module of BIBLOS to see what is currently on reserve for any course or instructor.

With the My Account module you can list all items you currently have on loan, renew those items, or change your PIN. You can also view your pending holds.

Popular Lists allows you to view predefined lists of New Books, Important Biblical Commentaries, DTS Doctoral Dissertations, Award Winning Books, Books Authored by DTS Faculty, and so forth.

Record Structure

The library database consists of bibliographic records. Each record describes a bibliographic entity such as a book, a journal or a DVD. Each record consists of fields. Each field contains information about a particular category that helps describe the bibliographic entity. Author fields, title fields, call number fields, and subject fields are examples. Here is a simplified library record with typical fields labeled. In this particular example, there are two separate author fields, and three separate subject fields.

Author: Bibfeldt, Franz
Author: Doe, John
Title: John Knox and the British Reformations
Publication info: Dallas : Nonesuch Press, c2001.
Physical desc: xii, 177 p. : ill., maps, plans ; 22 cm.
Series: Studies in Reformation history
Subject: Reformation––Great Britain
Subject: Great Britain––Church history––16th century
Subject: Knox, John, ca. 1514-1572

Searches can be limited to a specific field or group of fields: Categories

You can readily see how targeting searches in this way can improve precision of searches. For example, a search for "John Knox" in the Everything category (all fields, the entire record) yields over 1500 records (because there is a John Knox publisher); as subject it yields about 95, and as author about 40.

Search TermsCategoryNumber found
John Knoxeverything1500
John Knoxsubject95
John Knoxauthor40

Query categories

There are scores of different fields, but you don't need to keep track of them. In BIBLOS similar fields have been grouped into seven commonly used categories. For example, all the different kinds of titles (title of book, title of series, title of periodical, etc.) are grouped into a generic title category.

  1. The "Everything" category is comprehensive; it supports searching for any word or combination of words in any field(s) of a catalog record: author, title, publisher, subject, . . . anything at all. It includes all of the more specific categories.
  2. "Author" means any party responsible for the publication, including author, editor, translator, sponsoring conference, etc.
  3. Item titles and subtitles, as well as series titles are included in the "Title" category. Some records list chapter titles or essay titles in a contents note, but these contents notes are NOT indexed in the title category. (Prior to 2010 they were.)
  4. The "Subject" category includes all words from all Library of Congress subject headings. It also includes words from titles. Use the Subject category for topical access, i.e., when you need to find materials about a topic.
  5. The "Bible passage" category covers books of the Bible, and specific chapters and verses in many cases. Special problems with searching for Bible passages are discussed below.
  6. "Periodical title" actually covers all serials (journals, magazines, annuals, continuations, etc.) This means titles of journals, like Evangelical Quarterly, not titles of articles in journals. Individual articles are not included in the library catalog.
  7. "Series" is limited to titles of monographic series. Series browse includes more information than title browse for series fields. (A bibliographic series is a group of separate but related items that share a group title designated by the publisher. So each item [book] has it's own distinct title, but all the items also share a common series title.)

Searching, Navigating, and Displaying Results

Let's describe a sample search and view a few screen images as an introduction to BIBLOS. A search for works on infant baptism might proceed as follows. Beginning at the Basic Search screen (Figure 120), just type the words "infant baptism," pick "subject," and click Search. A display like Figure 130 appears.

Click for enlarged image.

Figure 120: Search on the Topic of Infant Baptism

Click for enlarged image.

Figure 130: Search Results: "Hitlist"/Multi-record Display

The sample search retrieved 142 items. Twenty of them are displayed on the first page (a so-called "hitlist page"). To see the next twenty items, click the Next button on the top row. By default the system displays items approximately in order by year of publication, recently published works showing first.

The multi-record display like Figure 130 provides incomplete bibliographic information for each title. Click the Details button to see information about each specific volume and copy as in Figure 140.

Single Record Details screen

Click for enlarged image.

Figure 140A: Single Record: Item Information tab

Note there are two tabs in Figure 140: the Item Information tab and the Catalog Record tab. Item information is showing in Figure 140A. It indicates the book is a two-volume work. The library owns two copies of each volume. A copy of vol 1 is available at the reserve desk. A copy of vol 2 is available in the stacks. The other copies are checked-out (on loan). BIBLOS indicates the due date but it does not reveal who has the book on loan; that is considered confidential.

The Catalog Record tab (Figure 140B) provides fuller bibliographic information including subjects, series, contents notes, etc. Did you catch that? You must view the Catalog Record tab to see the subject headings assigned to a record. See Figure 140B.

Click for enlarged image.

Figure 140B: Single Record: Catalog Record tab

For some items there may also be a "Look Inside" tab which shows a book review, a bibographical note on the author, a formatted table of contents, etc. Look Inside Tab
Words you see in the "Catalog Record" are searchable, but words you see in the "Look Inside" tab are not searchable (because the "Look Inside" material is stored off-campus and fetched only when you display a record). I say there may be a "Look Inside" tab because this is an extra cost service and we may or may not get funding to continue it for the next year.

There are three basic screen navigation buttons: Next, Previous, and GoBack. Next moves you forward to display the next page; Previous moves you back. Next and Previous are context sensitive. For example Next from a multiple record display like Figure 130 results in another multiple record display (i.e., 20 more records) but Next from a single record display like Figure 140 results in another single record display.

GoBack is a little harder to explain. As you review the last several figures you will see the screens are arranged in a three level hierarchy: level one is the search screen (Figure 120); level two consists of brief multiple record displays (Figure 130); level three consists of detailed single record displays (Figure 140). You normally progress through the hierarchy in that order. GoBack moves you back through the hierarchy of screens from level three to two to one; it is not the same as Previous. For example, suppose you search and BIBLOS displays the first 20 items on a single page. Then you click the Details button to display a single record in detail, then click Next five times (seeing a single record each time). The GoBack button from this last single record display will return you to the last multiple record display like Figure 130, whereas the Previous button would take you back one screen to display the previous single record like Figure 140.

Advance to next chapter in tutorial.