Subject Guides

First-Year Writing

What are Databases?

You've probably heard of databases, but what are they and where does all that content come from? Find out by watching this brief video from NCSU Libraries:

(NCSU Libraries)

While the video focuses on scholarly article databases, there are actually many other types of databases. Through the Binghamton University Libraries, you have access to hundreds of databases which contain a variety of content including news, data/statistics, primary sources, maps, images, ebooks, streaming video, and more.

Accessing Databases

There are several ways to access databases from the Libraries' website. These are the recommended ways:

  1. Most Subject Guides include recommended databases. There's a guide for every subject that you can take courses in at Binghamton.
  2. The Databases A-Z List provides the full list of all the databases you have access to through the Libraries. The list can be filtered by database subject and type.


When accessing databases, be sure to go through the Libraries' website to ensure that you'll have access to all of our content. If you try to access databases directly, you'll likely run into paywalls.

Selecting a Database

Selecting a database can seem overwhelming, especially when there are hundreds to choose from. Here are some tips:

  • Make sure you read the database description before you start searching. The description will tell you about the type of content, dates covered, full-text availability, language, and more.
  • When selecting a database from the A-Z List, use the dropdown menus to narrow the options by subject and/or type
  • Consider who is producing information about your topic. How would those people share that information? Depending on who they are, the answer may be scholarly journals, books, newspapers, magazines, blogs, and/or social media. This will affect which type of database is most useful for you.

Recommended Databases

The best database for your research will depend on your topic. The following is a list of suggested databases that are applicable to topics across many subject areas.

Background Research


News Sources