Post Classifieds

New library databases promote extensive student research

By Jasmine A. Willis
On April 17, 2013


E.H Butler Library has purchased several new online databases this semester to be used for
extensive student research.
The new databases are funded through the library budget.
Electronic database librarian Albert Riess said that faculty members come to him asking for
certain databases, and he does his best to get what they want.
"Each department has its special needs and we have to look at the big picture," Riess said.
"We can't get everything but we try to do our best to see who we can help."
New York Review of Books is a database that covers magazine and book reviews reaching
back to 1963. The database was established due to a newspaper strike in 1963, when the
founders decided to create a magazine.
Riess said this database is well known for its depth of book reviews on all kinds of different
World Geography and Culture Online covers a wide range of information on all countries a
nd U.S states. This database can be used for any kind of research for learning more about
other cultures.
Riess said that many teachers want their students to use maps with their research, and
this database allows them to use not only maps, but find out anything they wanted to know
about the country or state.
Art Source is an extended version of another database called Art Abstract, with over 200
more full-text articles on art journals.
Riess said that one student who was looking for a particular painting found plenty of
information about the theme of the painting.
Nineteenth Century British Library Newspapers is another new database that helps
students search for 49 different British national, regional, and local newspapers, covering
the 1800-1900 period.
Riess said that anyone who is interested in any kind of research on the United Kingdom in
the 1800's should use this database.
State Papers Online is a complete collection of English Government Official documents
ranging from 1509 to 1714. This database is already highly used by Chair of History
Department and Professor, Andrew Nicholls.
Andrew Nicholls, chair of the history department said he is very excited about this new
database, because it allows his graduate students to get a more in-depth research for their
master thesis and to be able to pick more themes.
"This serves as an invaluable add-on to our existing British History databases (State Papers
Online Tudor Period) and Early English Books Online," Nicholls said.
Nicholls said that he intends on having all of his students use this database for his Early
Modern British History and European History classes.
"You can find documents from the 16th and 17th century on this database and they are the
English government's official documents from these centuries, which can be accessed using
peoples names or topical words to find relevant documents," Nicholls said. "The original
documents are all written in period long hand, but the database provides modern calendar
entries as well, and can help readers understand the documents better."
Nicholls explains that previously people wanting to use these collections would have to
access them through the Public Record Office in London, England.
"It's just amazing what we have access to now in the online era," Riess said.
Nicholls said that the Butler Library staff has been great about getting these databases
Art education department professor Shirley Hayes, said she believes the New York Review
of Books is the most helpful resource for faculty and students.
"Overall I am very pleased to hear about these new databases," Hayes said. "Students in our
graduate capstone courses are involved in their individual research projects or theses."
Hayes said that each person needs a variety of information for writing their reviews of
literature, and that these databases are used by gradates.
"While we still recommend the actual use of the library to refine searches, the databases
allow a major portion of most projects to be completed online," Hayes said. "Indeed we are
making progress in serving the needs of our students at Buffalo State College."
Jasmine Willis can be reached by email at

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