VThK
Meta-Catalogue accessing 8 million media – including 1 million articles – from
theological and religious special libraries of churches in the german speaking area
Arbeitsgemeinschaft katholisch-theologischer Bibliotheken
Verband kirchlich-wissenschaftlicher Bibliotheken

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Catalogue help List of all catalogues About the VThK Service, Resources Statistics Back to search  

Catalogue help


(1)  Which catalogues can I access via the VThK?
(2)  How do I search in the VThK meta-catalogue?
(3)  Articles, conjunctions, wild cards, etc.
(4)  Search Terms
(5)  Settings and options
(6)  Where can I get further information?


(1) Which catalogues can I access via the VThK?

You can find a complete list of the catalogues here List of all catalogues.

(2) How do I search in the VThK meta-catalogue?

You can search the collections of scholarly religious libraries or theological collections in libraries of state universities or other state libraries, all in German-speaking countries. Here are some search tips:

(2.1) Standard search

Select one or more of the following subject areas (the gray subject areas cannot be accessed at the present time):
  1. Theology / Philosophy
  2. Pastoral Theology / Ministry of Religious Education
  3. Missionary work
  4. Social Sciences / Diakonia
  5. Spirituality / Spirituality of Religious Orders
  6. Specialized Areas of Research
  7. Multidisciplinary Union Catalogues

Click on the info-icon Library info to get further information about the respective library.

(2.2) Post Code Regions

Wählen die PLZ-Bereiche aus, in denen sie suchen wollen.
Sie können die PLZ-Bereich auch durch Klicken auf die Karte markieren.
Durch Klicken auf das Info-Symbol erfahren Sie, in welchen Bibliotheken jeweils gesucht wird.

(2.3) Church Regions

Select the dioceses, archdioceses, or established regional (Protestant) churches you are interested in. Click on the info-icon next to the names of the dioceses/established regional (Protestant) churches to see which catalogues will be accessed. Libraries of autonomous institutions are assigned to the respective geographical regions.

(2.4) More Catalogues

These catalogues cannot be accessed via the VThk. You can search individually in their catalogs by clicking on the name of the library.

(3) Articles, conjunctions, wild cards, etc.

  • Articles, conjunctions
    Omit articles and conjunctions such as "der, die, das, the, and, und, etc."

  • Wild cards / Truncation
    Use ? at the end of a word for variations in word endings. (Some catalogues will truncate automatically in the author field)

  • Waiting Times
    Catalogues require varying amounts of time before they show their search results. If the catalogue being searched doesn't reply, the search will be terminated after 3 minutes. This is generally the cause of long waiting times. In this case, please let us know.

  • How complete are the results of searches?
    Please keep in mind that online catalogues don't include all the books in a library's collection. Generally you can rely on finding results for searches in literature of the past 10-20 years.

(4) Search Terms

  • Title
    The Title search allows you to enter several words from the title or subtitle of the book. They will be automatically combined with the Boolean AND.

  • Author
    The Author search allows you to search for an author, editor, or anyone involved in the publication. For an efficient author search, please enter the author's complete family name followed by a comma and then by the complete first name, for example: "Mueller, Uwe".

  • Organisation (Corporate Author)
    The Organisation search allows you to look for associations, organizations, government agencies, clubs, institutes, colleges, universities, congresses, companies, states, cities, administrative bodies, conference names. If you get zero results, try entering these names in the title field.

  • Subject
    The Subject search allows you to look for materials about a precise topic, using a list of controlled vocabulary knows as "subject headings". You cannot use subject strings as subject headings.

  • Date of publ.
    The Date of publ. search allows you to search for the year in which a work was published.

  • ISBN
    The ISBN search allows you to search for the International Standard Book Number of a publication. The ISBN consists of ten numbers. You need not enter the hyphens when searching for the ISBN.

  • ISSN
    The ISSN search allows you to search for the International Standard Serial Number of a publication. Newspapers, periodicals, serials, etc. generally all have ISSN. The ISBN consists of eight numbers.

  • Publisher
    The Publisher search allows you to search for the publisher of a publication. In some VThK catalogues it is not possible to search for publishers.

(5) Settings and Options

  • Save/load settings
    You can save your preferred catalogue selection and the "unsorted/sorted" setting and load them again whenever you want. Depending on the search page, you can select and save a combination of individual catalogues (standard search), postal code regions or church regions. If you have saved your preferred settings, they will be loaded automatically whenever you access a VThK search page. For Save/Load settings you must enable cookies and JavaScript.

  • Sorted hit list
    At the end of the hit list you can have a cumulative list of all the abbreviated titles in alphabetical order. Titles published as part of a series are not shown here. In all catalogues titles published as part of a series are shown in the full title format of the series and are included in the lists of results of the individual catalogues. A structural analysis for transforming these full titles into their component individual titles is beyond the means of the VThK.

  • JavaScript and Cookies
    Important: To use the VThK, you must have JavaScript and Cookies enabled.

(6) Where can I get further information?

If you have any questions, please send an e-mail to:

Prof. Dr. Siegfried Schmidt, telephone **49-(0)221/1642-3781, Dombibliothek@erzbistum-koeln.de
Armin Stephan, telephone **49-(0)9874/509-300, Armin.Stephan@augustana.de

Last updated: 22.03.2017