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Research Sources and How To Use Them

This guide goes over a number of our licensed resources and how to use them.

About the CCEL

Most of the editions at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library are based on classic Christian books that are public domain in the United States. However, they may have copyrighted introductions, cover art, and other special contents... A few books are under another publisher's copyright and are used by permission; these are noted on the book information page.

The CCEL was started in 1997 by Harry Plantinga of Calvin University with books selected for edification and education. Meditations associated with the library continue to be posted on the Classics to Life blog.

Read more about the CCEL copyright policy here.

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Search the Christian Classics Etherial Library

Searching and Browsing the CCEL



The CCEL developed a robust search engine for its time. It remains very functional discovery tool allowing extensive keyword searching, limiting by genre, and sorting by relevance, title, popularity, author, or date.

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The Christian Classics Etherial Library is browsable by title, author, language, genre, and topic.

Authors: It includes author biographies as well as information about their timeline of influence and works about them.

Genres: Apologetics (5), Bibles (42), Biographies (29), Christian Life (71), Commentaries (231), Creeds and Catechisms (31), Early Church (58), Fiction (33), Histories (67), Hymns (72), Language Tools (3), Liturgical books (2), Mysticism (49), Philosophy (7), Prayer (2), Reference (75), Sermons (130), and Theology (110).

FAQs about the CCEL