Best Databases 2023

Databases foster deep research, expansive reading, and a myriad of inquiry avenues. These 10 tools, covering food, Shakespeare, study skills, and much more, are our selections for the best databases of 2023.


Bloomsbury Food Library. Bloomsbury

Through reference books, podcasts, research and learning tools, and image collections, researchers can explore a myriad of topics, including food waste, fast food, organic farming, food inequality, cultural food histories, and more in this comprehensive, multi-disciplinary resource. The database covers the global history of food from prehistory to the present day. Content is available across three beautifully presented collections—the Core Collection, Global Food Histories, and Food Sustainability and Security.

Conflict in Indochina: Foreign Office Files for Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, 1959–1964. AM

This first installment in AM’s two-part module covering the Vietnam War draws upon reports, correspondence, maps, photographs, newspaper clippings, and economic data from the UK’s National Archives to illuminate the political, social, and cultural upheaval wrought by years of instability and conflict. This sophisticated resource examines the role of regional actors within the area, from Chinese and Soviet intervention to the complexities of Anglo American relations.

Gale Business: Plan Builder. Gale

With this step-by-step online planning tool, entrepreneurs can learn how to start, manage, evaluate, and optimize a business or nonprofit organization. With the help of metrics, charts, guides, questionnaires, and worksheets, aspiring or current business owners can analyze start-up ideas, develop comprehensive business plans, and identify costs, taxes, and sales targets. A suite of practical, analytical tools assists users through every step of the process.

LGBT Magazine Archive. ProQuest

With documents dating back to 1945, the first collection in ProQuest’s LGBT Magazine Archive offers a panoramic selection of leading magazines and serials serving LGBTQIA+ people. These difficult-to-find publications address a range of topics, from activism and politics to mental health, lifestyle, and arts and literature. Notable titles include Gay News, Gay Times, The Pink Paper, Man and Society, and Transgender Tapestry.

Platino Educa. Platino Educa

Created by and for teachers in Spain and Latin America, and now expanded into the U.S. higher-education market, this outstanding resource presents unlimited and exceptional access to Spanish- and Portuguese-language films for teaching and learning. In addition to over 330 feature films, shorts, and documentaries, many of which are unavailable for streaming elsewhere, the site supplies supplementary teaching guides with learning objectives, discussion prompts, filmmaker profiles, worksheets, and more.

ProQuest One Psychology. ProQuest

This impressive database assists students exploring psychological research methodologies, theories, and therapies, through user-friendly access to a robust collection of curated multiformat materials. Content includes scholarly journals, reference works, dissertations, and access to thousands of videos and transcripts of counseling sessions. Interactive topic pages cover subjects ranging from anxiety and depression to cognitive behavioral therapy, through journal articles, books, related therapy videos, and more. 

Sage Skills: Student Success. Sage

An interactive digital resource designed to help students practice essential skills to ensure academic success. The platform comprises 10 comprehensive modules covering critical interdisciplinary skills such as academic writing, data literacy, information literacy, study strategies, and even personal development and well-being. Each module employs different learning modalities (including self-guided assessments, videos, and interactive scenarios) to take advantage of varied learning styles and approaches.

Secret Files from World Wars to Cold War. Coherent Digital

A superb primary-source collection offering students and researchers access to over 12,000 secret intelligence files, revealing previously unavailable information about the Spanish Civil War, WWII, the Korean War, and the early years of the Cold War. Users will find maps, meeting minutes, memoranda, correspondence, and more drawn from the UK National Archives, made searchable through the platform’s sophisticated keyword and proximity finder tools. 

Shakespeare’s Globe to Globe Festival on Drama Online. Bloomsbury

A must for scholars, performers, and students of Shakespeare and intercultural theater, this rich database features filmed performances of Shakespeare’s plays, presented by companies from all over the world in their native languages and with their own sensibilities and styles. Performances are given in languages that range from Castilian Spanish to Shona, Yoruba, and Turkish. English subtitles and transcripts make for a frictionless viewing experience.

State Papers Online Colonial: Asia (Far East, Hong Kong, and Wei-Hai-Wei), Part I. Gale

The first installment in Gale’s four-part State Papers Online Colonial: Asia database draws upon recently digitized documents from the UK’s National Archives to provide insight into the early history of the East India Company, subsequent colonial governance, and the decolonization in the Far East, Hong Kong, and Wei-Hai-Wei. Materials include original correspondence, calendars, monographs, maps, photographs, and more, all of which are superbly imaged, allowing for rich study and exploration.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing