The Year's Top Databases | Best Reference 2019

LJ's best databases of the year are a wide assortment, from a one-stop shop for fashion students to archives of sex and sexuality.

Archives of Sexuality & Gender, Part III: Sex and Sexuality, Sixteenth to Twentieth Century; Gale

As part of Gale’s suite of Primary Source collections, this third collection in the Archives of Sexuality & Gender looks beyond the first two parts’ focus on the history of LGBTQ+ history and culture to explore the study of sex and sexuality in general. Widening the scope of the resource and taking material from restricted and once-private collections, Gale provides an unrivaled selection of primary source documents on formerly taboo subjects.

Adam Matthew Sex & Sexuality; Adam Matthew Digital

Pulling together rare and valuable primary source material from the highly regarded Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, this collection covers sex and sexuality through lenses such as criminology, medicine, anthropology, sexology, and public interest. With a streamlined, easy-to-use navigation, this is a high-quality, user-friendly collection for researchers of sexuality, gender studies, and psychology.

Bloomsbury Fashion Central; Bloomsbury

Bloomsbury Fashion Central is a one-stop resource for the study of fashion and dress, with peer-reviewed material including ebooks, case studies, biographies, lesson plans, bibliographic guides, photos, and videos. The database more than meets its promise to serve as the central source for interdisciplinary research on fashion and dress, and the breadth of content sets it apart, making it a crucial resource for students of the history of fashion, industry, culture, and more.

Ethnomusicology: Global Field Recordings; Adam Matthew Digital

Adam Matthew has compiled 60 global field ethnomusicology collections with material spanning the mid-20th to the early 21st centuries, with especially strong representation of West ­African, North American, Southeast Asian, and Caribbean cultures. The selection of primary sources is stellar, and search functions are seamless. This is a bonanza of information for anyone interested in the study of world music ­cultures, particularly non-Western ones.

Nineteenth Century American Drama; NewsBank/Readex

With excellent navigation and beautifully digitized materials, this comprehensive collection of 4,700 American plays published or produced between 1820 and 1900 includes comedies, tragedies, satires, farces, one-act plays, pantomimes, melodramas, and historical plays, as well as hundreds of annotated prompt books and manuscripts that convey the views of playwrights, directors, and stage leaders. Drama students, teachers, and researchers, along with scholars of 19th-century American life, will be captivated.

ProQuest One Academic; ProQuest

This exceptional offering features a single cross-searchable and user-friendly platform to four of ProQuest’s best-known resources: ProQuest Central, Academic Complete, Academic Video Online, and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. Despite an overwhelming amount of content—approximately 50 databases, 67,000 streaming videos, 150,000 ebooks, and four million dissertations as well as thousands of scholarly journals, newspapers, trade journals, reports, wire feeds, blogs, podcasts, websites, and conference papers and proceedings—this database is intuitive and easy to navigate. Essential for academic and community college libraries.

Shakespeare’s Globe Archive: Theatres, Players, & Performance; Adam Matthew Digital

This archive of the performances at the new Globe Theatre (a reconstruction of the open-air theater where many of William Shakespeare’s plays were first staged) is a trove of information. Students interested in theater history and the cultural history of the Bard will discover here a rich, comprehensive resource with outstanding content; multiple search options make navigation effective and rewarding.

Mahnaz Dar is Reference & Professional Reading Editor, LJ & School Library Journal. Gricel Dominguez is a Librarian at Florida International University Library, Miami. Rob Tench is a Librarian, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA

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