LJ Reviewers Weigh In: Must-Have Reference Databases

LJ’s database reviewers share their thoughts on databases that inspire, surprise, and offer new learning opportunities.

GRICEL DOMINGUEZ l Florida International University, Miami, FL

One database that really stands out in my mind is HeinOnline’s Water Rights & Resources. It focuses on the legal history and current issues surrounding water rights and resources in the United States, a highly relevant subject in light of the climate crisis and the environmental impact of recent water-related incidents. It’s a topic that I’m particularly interested in, but I don’t normally have access to HeinOnline’s products, so it was a treat to get to review the collection and share it with colleagues.


I was struck by AM’s Conflict in Indochina, which offers a different lens through which to consider the events leading up to the war in Vietnam. This database provides insight into strategies and interests in the U.S., China, the Soviet Union, the UK, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. The documents are drawn from Britain’s National Archives, providing a perspective not centered on U.S. interests but seen through the lens of British foreign policy. This resource serves as an important reminder that history is not a single, pat narrative but reflects the layered experiences and stories of many.

JAMES RHOADES l Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

One of my favorite databases is Statista. Librarians looking for statistics across a broad range of disciplines will want to check this one out. The depth of coverage—statistics and reports combined with market, consumer, and company insights—is complemented by a wide array of search features and informational formats. I’ve used the resource more than a few times to help with research and presentations, and it truly is a game-changer.

MICHAEL RODRIGUEZ l Lyrasis, Philadelphia, PA

Shakespeare’s Globe to Globe Festival on Bloomsbury’s Drama Online platform offers a unique window into Shakespeare’s works. These stage performances reimagine centuries-old English plays through varied global lenses. Companies from all over the world perform Shakespeare in their cultures’ languages and in tune with their cultures’ sensibilities. Patrons can experience Richard II in Palestinian Arabic, Coriolanus in Japanese, The Winter’s Tale in Yoruba, and more. It’s extraordinary to witness Shakespeare transformed culturally and linguistically while staying true to the source texts.

ROB TENCH l Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA

I learned so much while exploring ProQuest’s Rolling Stone Archive, which provides access to the magazine’s backfile from 1967 through today. First, while Rolling Stone is known for its coverage of music and entertainment news and reviews, its often-controversial interviews, photographs, political pieces, and works of fiction attracted attention and came to wield considerable influence. Secondly, many albums that critics panned became classics; others that were highly praised didn’t stand the test of time. Third, music can change the world!

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