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Hidden Treasures of the Library Databases: Home

#Databases #LibraryDatabases #ResearchTools #LearningResources


Prepare to embark on an off-the-beaten-path tour of some of the lesser-known, often overlooked, super cool features of the MDC Library Databases.

And the best part is, it's all expenses paid! No credit cards, Venmo, or traveler's checks required. Your passport is your MDC login, and this web page is your trusty guide.


Reference Desk

If you need assistance along the way, call or visit your Campus Librarians or connect to the Ask-a-Librarian service: Chat | Email | Text


Is your final destination a research paper, project, or essay? Be sure to bring along the handy toolkit you can find in Literary Reference Center Plus. Once inside the database, locate the Reference Shelf and then click Research Guide to find helpful handouts on developing a thesis statement, avoiding plagiarism, organizing your essay, and more.

HIDDEN TREASURE: Many databases provide citation tools that will help you document your sources in frequently used styles such as MLA and APA. Keep your eyes peeled for cite buttons like the ones shown below.

Cite buttons


You've boarded your transport, your carry-on is stowed, and your seatbelt is securely fastened. Now it's time to sit back, relax, and leisurely browse through some popular magazines. Reach into the imaginary seat pocket in front of you to find Flipster, a database of cover-to-cover digitized versions of magazines such as National Geographic, Time, Vogue, Essence, Sports Illustrated, Southern Living, Forbes, People, Hola, Seventeen, The New Yorker, Wired, Rolling Stone, and more.


You also have full access to the websites of Consumer Reports and Science Magazine.

No need to purchase a subscription! Simply enter through the links above to unlock premium content like Consumer Reports' Ratings & Reviews.

HIDDEN TREASURE: Students will enjoy JSTOR Daily, a magazine-style collection of short, engaging stories on arts & culture, business & economics, politics & history, science & technology, and education & society. All stories include references to related academic journal articles from the JSTOR database.

Be sure to check out JSTOR Daily's Quirky History and Cabinet of Curiosities.


Our itinerary begins with a visit to the museum. Or, more accurately, hundreds of museums! The Artstor Digital Library contains over 2.5 million high quality art images from world class institutional and public collections. Once inside the database, create a free Artstor account for full access to premium content and features.

As demonstrated in the brief video below, you can zoom into images for close-up examination, and compare two or more works in a side-by-side view.

HIDDEN TREASURE: Ready for some sightseeing? Enter cty:contributed_panoramas into Artstor's search box to experience 360-degree views of some of the world's most famous architectural structures and archaeological sites.


Visit Medici-tv for a front-row seat at a classical music concert, opera, or ballet, or sit in on a master class with a world-renowned performing artist. You can even attend live events streamed from prestigious concert halls, opera houses, festivals, and competitions. Add them to your calendar for reminders to tune in, or enjoy them later on demand.

Prefer to catch a play? Head over to Digital Theatre+ for full length theatrical productions, interviews, lectures, and dramatic texts.

HIDDEN TREASURE: In Digital Theatre+, search for "graphic novel" to find a collection of literary classics in graphic novel form. Titles include Manga Hamlet, Pride & Prejudice, The Complete Don Quixote, and more.


For additional graphic novels, visit OverDrive Digital Media Library and enter "graphic novels" in the search bar.

Ragna Crimson 01

OverDrive offers ebooks and audiobooks in a variety of fiction and non-fiction genres. Download OverDrive's Libby app to sync your selections to all your devices.


Editorial cartoon satirizing the Patriot Act
Image source: Travelin' Librarian

Laugh and learn with the editorial cartoons in Issues & Controversies, a database that makes it easy to explore the pros and cons of political, social, and other types of issues.

HIDDEN TREASURE: In Issues & Controversies, the Featured Resources include a collection of editorial cartoons and accompanying discussion questions. You'll also find full-length debate videos featuring the country's leading experts on a variety of topics.

For more cartoons, visit the SIRS Researcher database and search for editorial cartoons or political cartoons and then select the Images source type.

Teachers will want to click the Educators' Resources link in the SIRS Researcher database for Curriculum Guides designed to help students analyze editorial cartoons, infographics, statistics, and more.


Build your own collection of vintage sound recordings with Music Online Listening, a streaming platform featuring classical music, world music, jazz, folk, and more. Once inside the database, set up a free account to create customized clips and playlists.

HIDDEN TREASURE: While listening, you'll often see a Related Documents tab containing album liner notes or other accompanying information.

HIDDEN TREASURE: Through Music Online Listening, you can also gain access to digitized collections of historical documents, monographs, and personal narratives. Once inside the database, click MENU, then open the My Collections drop-down menu to find:
  • Black Thought and Culture
  • Civil War Letters and Diaries
  • North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories
  • North American Women's Letters and Diaries

TIP: These documents can be added to playlists along with related musical selections. You can also add external materials (such as YouTube videos) to a Music Online Listening playlist.


AtoZdatabases is your go-to destination for employment listings, company info, career advice, and more. Take a skills assessment test, learn the do's and don'ts of interviewing, and find just the right buzzwords to include in your résumé. The reverse phone lookup is a handy tool for finding people and businesses.

Another stop on your road to success is Peterson's Test Prep (formerly known as Testing & Education Reference Center). Once you've created your free account, you can search for colleges and universities, explore career tools, search for jobs, prepare for U.S. citizenship, and find practice tests for the CLEP, TEOFL, ASVAB, NCLEX, and other academic and vocational exams.

HIDDEN TREASURE: In the Peterson's Test Prep database, click Brush Up on Foundational Skills to find video tutorials on writing, math, and Microsoft Office.

HIDDEN TREASURE: Need more NCLEX prep? The Films on Demand database contains a collection of over 500 NCLEX prep videos for nursing students.


Tell Books & Authors what you like to read, and let it introduce you to your new favorite book. Browse hundreds of lists of award-winning titles, expert picks, and librarian favorites, or mix and match time periods, locations, and characters to generate customized recommendations. Whether you're looking for steampunk adventure, culinary mystery, paranormal romance, or any other genre, the Books & Authors database is sure to hook you up.

TIP: If you can't find the book you want in the library, check for the ebook or audiobook in OverDrive's Libby app. If it's not yet in the OverDrive collection, you might see a "Notify Me" option that will alert you if the ebook or audiobook becomes available. Or, contact a librarian about requesting a hard copy through interlibrary loan.


For the next leg of our database adventure, let's jet set over to the south of France to check out the buzz at the Cannes Film Festival. We can get there through Kanopy, an eclectic collection of full length documentaries, indie films, cinematic classics, and more.

HIDDEN TREASURE: Search Kanopy for "Cannes Film Festival" to watch recent selections and past Palme d'Or winners. You can also search for other prominent festivals such as Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, and Toronto International. You can cast the films to your TV if you have a Roku or similar device.

HIDDEN TREASURE: The Kanopy Cinema Series spotlights a different film each month and offers a free online session with the filmmakers.and experts to discuss the film and answer questions. Visit the Kanopy Cinema Series website for details.

To find more movies you can watch for free, visit Swank, a database of Hollywood blockbusters and other feature films. Some of the selections are old, but gold.


Front page of New York Times with headline, Men Walk on Moon.

New York Times Historical is the digitized version of "all the news that's fit to print" going all the way back to 1851. Travel through time with the original news reporting of the Apollo moon landing, the D-Day Invasion, the Gettysburg Address, and other significant historical events. Or find out what was happening on the day you were born, or on the day your great-grandmother was born!

HIDDEN TREASURE: For more journeys through history, the Films on Demand database contains a collection of Ken Burns documentaries, including favorites such as Jazz, Country Music, Baseball, Hemingway, Lewis & Clark, The National Parks, and more.

HIDDEN TREASURE: Speaking of Films on Demand, teachers may be interested to know that they can easily embed quizzes into any of this database's documentary videos. This tutorial shows you how.


Looking for the current New York Times? We've got that, too! You can also visit America's News to search hundreds of national and regional newspapers, newswires, and news magazines.

HIDDEN TREASURE: In America's News, click Hot Topics for pre-programmed search strings to jump-start your research.


Why not bring the little ones along for the ride? Elementary (Gale in Context) is a kid-friendly database for inquiring young minds.


Hungry yet? The eBook Collection (EBSCO) contains dozens of cookbooks to satisfy your culinary curiosity. Once inside the database, click Cooking in the Browse by Category list.

Vegan Recipes from the Middle East

You'll also find the digitized version of Food Network Magazine and Bon Appetit in Flipster, and additional cookbooks in OverDrive.


If an archive of scholarly journals sounds boring, you haven't visited JSTOR lately. JSTOR now offers creative tools for interacting with its extensive collection of journals, ebooks, and primary sources in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.

HIDDEN TREASURE: The JSTOR Understanding Series is a growing collection of literary classics such as Great Expectations and Leaves of Grass. As you read the full text of these oft-cited works, you can connect to the articles that reference each passage. Also included are Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, the U.S. Constitution, the complete works of Shakespeare, and the King James Bible.

HIDDEN TREASURE: The short video below explains JSTOR's Text Analyzer, a tool that allows you to upload a document and easily locate related articles.
JSTOR Text Analyzer: Introduction

To find the Text Analyzer and Understanding Series, open the Tools menu on JSTOR's main screen.


The databases mentioned on this page are only a few of the many research tools available to MDC students, staff, and faculty. Visit the Research Tools & Services page for shortcuts to our most popular databases, or use the drop-down menus in the A-Z Database Directory to search for databases by subject area or resource type.


Your local Public Library has many more databases for you to discover. Residents of most of Miami-Dade County can apply for an eCard for free access to the Miami-Dade Public Library System's wide variety of online resources.


This page was created and is maintained by
Jenny Saxton.

If you're a college or university professor who uses these or other database treasures with your students, I'd love to hear from you. Please drop me a line.

Email Jenny


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