Databases

The Database area is a key component of the live site. It brings together some of the most elaborate and sophisticated online facilities. The full list of websites currently available for registered students is given below, but licensing agreements prevent us from making the links active on this demo site. The University buys permission to use these commercial databases. Students have access to them at home 24 hours a day for the entire academic year. In this demo site only the first link in the list is live. This link takes you to the New Grove II demonstration site. In the live site, this link takes students to the full New Grove II resource.

The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (New Grove II)
The most comprehensive online music reference tool in the English language; the latest version of Sir George Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians, first published in 1878. This version incorporates the New Grove Dictionary of Opera. The site is fully searchable. Read the Music Internet Handbook to find out how to get the most out of this site.
Academic Search Elite (EBSCO)
A large, versatile database that provides an index of more than 3,000 journals and full text of 1,500 across a range of subjects including some in music. It is not the best place to start looking for information, but the sources of information are varied and you may encounter some that you did not know about. It is important to master the Boolean-type search engine to keep the data manageable.
AMICO
78,000 digitized art works from several different sources. Possibly useful for iconographical information about music, but remember that the database was not compiled for this purpose.
Annual Register
A calendar of world events from 1758 to present times, containing facsimile images of print pages from a variety of periodicals and other publications. There are many sources relevant to music. The images are excellent and the search facilities are clear, easy to use and fast. This is a first-class resource, but remember that despite its size and scope the data contained here is selected: it is not comprehensive.
Article First
This is an index to the contents of 12,600 journals, from 1990 onwards, across a range of subjects, including music and related disciplines. It is a tool for finding information about writings rather than obtaining them.
Arts and Humanities Citation Index
Another index for finding information about writings, covering post-1981 publications. The strength of this database is that it is made up of references that have been cited in mainstream journal articles. Can be awkward to navigate until you’re used to it: log in to WoS (Web of Science); select search type; check (tick) ‘Arts & Humanities Citation Index’ box.
British Humanities Index (BHI)
One of the most respected indices of periodical literature, covering 400 newspapers, magazines and academic journals since 1962 with sophisticated search facilities. Especially good for tracing obituaries of musicians. Make sure you check the ‘BHI’ box before searching.
Early English Books Online (EEBO)
One of the most wide-ranging and ambitious web-based products for the humanities. It aims to prove facsimile images of 125,000 publications issued before 1700. The search facilities are excellent, but viewing the pages can be a slow process. Its strength lies in the fact that it brings to the computer screen a collection of primary source literature (including early books about music) that otherwise would only be available in dozens of specialist archives. The investment of time in learning how to find and navigate early books is well justified by the rewards it can bring.
ERIC
Education database including the British Education Index, a bibliographical database listing sources from 1986, and ERIC, an American education database listing sources from 1965. It may be useful for topics on music education.
Getty Provenance Index
This is a project of the Getty Research Institute. It accumulates and disseminates information related to the history of collecting and the provenance of individual works of art. It maintains several electronic databases, as well as non-automated material on the history of ownership of works of art (primarily European paintings) gathered from sales catalogues, archival records and museum files. The Getty Provenance Index provides scholars and museum curators with important information about the history of taste and collecting. The database holds some interest for musical iconographers.
Global Books in Print
Claims, with some justification, to be the most comprehensive index of English language books in print. Excellent and easy-to-use search facilities. This facility is similar or identical to that used in bookshops for tracing publications. The search facility covers printed music too, but remember that it must be currently available in print to be listed here.
Global Market Information Database (GMID)
A database of statistics of modern market trends.
Grove Dictionary of Art
The best online art dictionary. The format and search facilities follow a near identical design to that used in the music dictionary (New Grove II).
History Online
This huge resource is directly useful to music. It holds a number of immensely important databases that can be searched by keywords and through full-text searches. It needs to be explored and understood before you use it for research. The most useful resource is the full-text version of The Times newspaper and its related indices covering the period 1790-1980. The post-1980 issues are covered by other indices.
International Index to Music Periodicals (IIMP)
One of the most important online resources for music. An index to 370 international music journals, with 50 available in full text. There is also an excellent search engine.
Index to UK and Irish Theses
Gives the titles of UK and Irish postgraduate research theses from 1970. Abstracts are included for many of the theses. Theses can sometimes be obtained on inter-library loan through the British Library, and most can be consulted at the library of the awarding institution. Other free websites exist which list postgraduate dissertations, and these can be viewed by searching for ‘theses’ in the WWW Links area of the Postgraduate Music site. A selection of Open University theses can be viewed online through the DART project of the Open University Library.
KNOW UK
A full-text database that brings together information found in 87 UK reference books. It contains a vast depository of handy information (much of it to do with social services and leisure facilities), but it also contains extremely useful information for postgraduate students. For example, it has an excellent facility that will enable you to find library facilities in any part of the UK, and one of the sources that is embedded in the database is the current edition of Who's Who.
LexisNexis Exectutive
The size of this database means that it is sometimes very slow, but it is a good source for current and recent information. It is based on digitally stored archives of newspapers and other public news sources (such as company reports) published worldwide. Amongst other things, it will do full-text searches of newspapers published in the last 20 years. If deftly handled, this could contribute valuably to a research project on the music industry.
Literature Online (LION)
A collection of thousands of digitized full-text works of literature in English. Fast and efficient search engines reach actual texts, and the impressively didactic site also contains sectors on literary criticism. Helpful for tracing the sources for musical settings of texts, but vastly useful in its own right.
MLA International Bibliography
This site is owned by the MLA (Modern Languages Association of America). It searches about 6,500 sources from 1963 onwards to provide bibliographical records and (sometimes) abstracts.
OCLC First Search
A compilation of several bibliographical indices, some of which are in music. Important to select the databases that you are interested in before you start searching.
Palmer's Index to the Times
This site provides an alternative route to data that is found in History Online, and also contains the Official Index to the Times, 1906-1980.
The Oxford English Dictionary(OED)
The online version of the complete Oxford English Dictionary. A fabulous resource that is under-used by music researchers. It traces the origins of words and illustrates their use by reference to a range of published documents. To taste the potential for this resource, try looking up the names of musical instruments or genres.
RILM
One of the primary bibliographical search engines for writings about music. Its database is made up of bibliographical information (including abstracts) supplied by authors and publishers.
WorldCat
Bibliographical search engine tracing 48 million books and other media (including sound recordings).
Introduction   Online Annexes   Online Databases   How Databases Work   WWW Links   Study Calendar   ETMAs   FirstClass   Library   Student Home   Help