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Database Profiles:Gale

Research Assistance

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Gale Virtual Reference Library is a database of encyclopedias, almanacs, and other specialized reference sources that covers a range of disciplines and subject areas.

Gale Primary Sources also provides access to a host of primary source databases such as newspaper archives, the Smithsonian collections, and archives containing materials related to indigenous peoples, slavery, sexuality/gender, and state papers from the US and UK.

Use Gale to find:

  • Reference articles for background information and help solidifying your topic

  • Primary sources, through the many other databases Gale provides access to

  • Historical newspapers, through Gale NewsVault (see Search Tips below for more information)

Full List!

The complete list of all Gale resources available to you!

Search Tips & Tricks

If you are searching newspaper archives, try Gale NewsVault - a search interface that allows you to search within 17 unique newspaper archives. 

If you are struggling to determine or narrow down your topic, Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) has a cool exploratory feature called "Topic Finder." You can get to the Topic Finder in two ways:


1. Enter your topic as a search term in the box along the top of the screen and navigate to right of your results list. Select "start the topic finder" to  begin exploring. 


2. You can select "Advanced search" below the search box. From the Advanced Search screen, select "Topic Finder".

The Topic Finder will default to "Tile" view, but you can change this to "Wheel" view. Click on a tile or section of the wheel to explore reference articles related to your initial search term and the term on the tile you have selected. Those results will appear on the right half of the screen. Choose "Reset" at the top of the Topic Finder to go back to the full view. Below is an example for the search term "Pollution."

The words that appear in each tile are words that appear frequently with the search term you entered. Gale's Topic Finder can be a useful way to visualize and connect to other topics.