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This guide was originally created for a group doing historical research using library databases. However, I hope it will be helpful to anyone interested in an introduction to research using library databases.
Library databases are organized and searchable sets of information that lead you to a variety of kinds of materials such as books, articles, reports, videos, sound recordings, newspapers, images, plays, and more.
- Some databases include information for only one format of material, such as newspapers or videos, but other databases include materials in many formats.
- There are databases covering a wide variety of topics, but there are also databases with a very specific subject focus.
- In some databases, you will be searching only the records that describe an item. In other databases, however, you will be searching the full text of the the item or a combination of the full text and the record describing the item.
- Some databases include the item itself (pdf, streaming video or sound recording, image, etc.), but other databases provide a link to the item (or a link to request the item through Interlibrary Loan). At a minimum, though, the database should provide a citation so that you can find the item elsewhere.
You are welcome to reuse the content of this Guide as long as you attribute Butler University Libraries.