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Searching Library Databases: Welcome



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.

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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.


Creative Commons Attribution License

You are welcome to reuse the content of this Guide as long as you attribute Butler University Libraries.


Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937

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