Library databases

You'll find a list of online databases held by your library on its website. They may be referred to as eresources, ejournals, an elibrary or simply as databases.

You can access many of these resources from home if you have a library card. However, some resources can only be accessed if you visit your library in person.

State Library Victoria eresources

As an example of the kinds of databases you can access, let's take a look at State Library Victoria's eresources page. The image below shows the range of subjects covered.

The following quick exercises provide practical examples of how these resources can be used.

Note: when accessing databases from home, you will be asked to enter your library card number and your last name.

Task 1: Looking for information on the fast food industry in Australia

Go to the Business heading and choose IBIS Industry Reports.

Click on Australian Industry Reports, then search for the keywords fast food.

From here, you can access an industry report on the fast food industry in Australia, which includes the predicted outlook and performance.

Task 2: Looking for examples of racing fashion in the 1930s

Go to the Fashion & Costume heading and choose the Vogue Archive.

Next, search for the keywords racing fashion.

When your results display, you can use the sidebar to limit your search by date of publication (eg 1930–1939). This will bring up Vogue articles from your era of interest.

Task 3: Looking for information on the treatment of prostate cancer with laser surgery

Go to the Heath and Medicine subject and choose ProQuest Health and Medicine.

Next, type in the keywords "prostate cancer" laser. This will retrieve articles about treating prostate cancer with laser surgery.

As you can see, there are databases to cover a variety of topics! And remember: different libraries subscribe to different databases, so it's well worth checking what databases you can access for free through your national, state and public libraries.


Now that you’ve learned how to unlock collections, it's your turn to have a go.

Think about your research task and what information you would like to find. Would a library, archive or museum hold relevant material? Start by checking their website and, if available, their online catalogue.

To search across a variety of libraries, give Trove a go. If you’re interested in journal articles, try searching online databases.

What did you find?

Things to remember
  • You can access many databases from home for free if you have a library card
  • Different libraries subscribe to different databases, so you may want to join several libraries

So that's it for this course. Interested in finding out more about learning opportunities at State Library Victoria? Let's talk about next steps.


Last modified: Thursday, 6 April 2017, 3:00 PM