Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Yocum's Online Database of the Week: Gale Global Issues in Context

Are you looking for research about global issues from a larger, non-U.S. perspective? Gale's Global Issues in Context is the database that can give you the information you seek. The material below is a description of the database from the publisher's web site. 

For more information, click on the links under Scope and Depth to be taken right to the database. (If you are off campus, you will need the password which is located in MyRACC portal at the bottom of the page after you log in). 

Scope and Depth

Global Issues In Context spans continents and cultures to bring essential, balanced information to researchers across many academic disciplines. Integrating news, global viewpoints, reference, country information, primary source documents, videos, statistics and more in a single search, Global Issues In Context not only focuses on broad issues such as poverty and nuclear proliferation, it also prompts a close appraisal of targeted issues, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Syrian Civil War, Genetically Modified Foods, Internet Control and Security, and Privacy Rights.

Authoritative Content

  • Updated daily with more than 660 geographically diverse full-text newspapers, magazines, and journals for a truly global view
  • 100 Gale proprietary reference titles, including Human Geography: People & the Environment, Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of World Cultures, Middle East Conflict Reference Library, and Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations.
  • 250 Country topic pages and more than 400 Issue pages covering:
    • Business and Economics
    • Conflict and Diplomacy
    • Environment and Climate Change
    • Government, Politics, and Law
    • Health and Medicine
    • Science and Technology
    • Society and Culture
    • Women, Children, and the Family
  • Images, videos, and podcasts
  • Interactive maps
  • Thousands of charts and graphs and other statistical information

Monday, July 18, 2016

Family History Tips - Part 4

Part 4 - Index Searching within Various Database Collections: Broad Searches VS Narrow Searches
by Brenna Corbit, Technical Services Librarian
I have often seen would-be family historians search for an ancestor using the first search field option that appears on the homepage of a genealogy website. These are usually a three or four field search: first name, last name, age, and place. Ancestry’s looks like this:
 Screenshot from 

A newbie will usually do a search such as Michael Thompson in Delaware and get more than 32 million hits. As a seasoned genealogist and librarian teaching various database searches, I always stress to others to avoid limited/easy looking search functions. If sifting through millions of hits is your choice, then be my guest. But if you want to find your ancestors, then listen up.

Genealogy websites like Ancestry are a vast collection of databases that are able to be searched as groups, such as the Civil War collection, or individually searched such as the 1910 U. S. Census.  I have found time and time again that broad searches, also known as federated searching, too often fail to find what can be found when searching a single collection. The “Pennsylvania Death Certificates, 1906-1963” collection is a perfect example of this.  Even Ancestry’s shaky leaf usually fails to search this collection. More on that popular leaf later.

Screenshot from
To search particular collections, look at the options on the homepage such as “Search Census,” “Search Immigration,” “Quick Links,” etc. Even better, click on “Search” in the top task bar and search in the “Card Catalog.” You can start broad such as “Pennsylvania” and then use the side bar to narrow down the collections, such as “Census & Voter Lists,” or “Birth, Marriage & Death.”

The next installment of this series will address the various search fields within database collections.