New Library Research Databases


December 30, 2019
Celeste Bruno
Communications Director
1-800-952-7403 x208

Residents across the Commonwealth now have access to five new research databases with topics ranging from genealogy and career transitions to science. These new databases are an addition to over 20 extensive statewide research databases that include the Boston Globe back to 1980, The New York Times, Gale Health and Wellness, and Gale Business Entrepreneurship.

Library databases contain vetted reliable information, making them an indispensable research tool for students of all ages who frequently turn to the internet for help with school projects. New databases for students include a science database and a research companion. The popular database Opposing Viewpoints, which was eliminated in 2017 due to state budget cuts, is also once again available.

“What’s great about the databases is that anyone who lives, works or studies in Massachusetts can use them from anywhere there’s internet access, giving people a reliable option to a typical internet search, where the millions of results can be full of irrelevant, misleading or actively false information,” said Kate Butler Electronic Services Specialist at the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). The databases also contain content that is not available through a regular internet search.

No library card is needed to access the statewide research databases. Residents can go to to gain access or visit their local library’s website where they may find even more databases funded by their local library.

With an an increase in state funding to libraries, the MBLC was able to add the new research databases to the current databases offered statewide. The MBLC partners with the Massachusetts Library System to provide databases and technical support. Last year there were more than 7.3 million full text downloads from statewide databases.

Brief descriptions of the new databases are below.

Opposing Viewpoints covers timely issues, from capital punishment to immigration to marijuana. This cross-curricular resource supports science, social studies, current events, and language arts classes. Informed, differing views help learners develop critical-thinking skills and draw their own conclusions.

Career Transitions provides guidance and essential activities to both current job seekers and those investigating new career options. Key features include resume and cover letter creation support, interactive interview practice, and tools to match previous work or military experience to potential career paths.

HeritageQuest Online  Powered by Ancestry®  provides access to more than 4.4 billion records. It delivers an essential collection of genealogical and historical sources—with coverage dating back to the 1700s—that can help people find their ancestors and discover a place’s past.

ProQuest Science Database is a growing resource of 7.3 million full text articles from over 1,600 sources. In full-text format, researchers have access to all the charts, diagrams, graphs, tables, photos, and other graphical elements so vital to scientific and engineering literature. It
supports the needs of students studying applied and general sciences. 

ProQuest Research Companion  helps students do more effective scholarly research and supports educators as they teach the core information literacy principles of finding, evaluating, and using information.

For a full list of statewide research databases and to start using them, please visit

About MBLC

The Board of Library Commissioners ( is the agency of state government with the statutory authority and responsibility to organize, develop, coordinate and improve library services throughout the Commonwealth. The Board advises municipalities and library trustees on the operation and maintenance of public libraries, including construction and renovation. It administers state and federal grant programs for libraries and promotes cooperation among all types of libraries through regional library systems and automated resource sharing. It also works to ensure that all residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of their geographic location, social or economic status, age, level of physical or intellectual ability or cultural background, have access to essential new electronic information technologies and significant electronic databases.