LitFinder by Gale


For students doing literary research, recommend LitFinder.  This is a powerful, but very user-friendly, cross-search database that supports all types of literature research.  Students can access works from over 80,000 authors from 660 nationalities.  This resource includes information such as biographies, glossaries, images and more than 150,000 full-text poems as well as short stories, speeches and plays.

Students can easily find information using various refined search and limiter options or just browse through the database.

  • With the Person Search, students can quickly retrieve information on a particular writer or identify authors linked by qualities such as gender, nationality, century and genre.
  • A Works Search provides similar limiters and lets students browse works by thousands of subjects, themes and movements.

Two other unique tools are the Topic Finder and Term Frequency.  From the Home Page, scroll down to the bottom of the page.  (These tools are also available as tools on the Search Results sidebar.)

  • Topic Finder:  This is a graphical way of displaying the context of terms which can lead to connections students might not have otherwise considered.  This search tool generates a visual representation of the results by topic and subtopic and gives two different visualizations – tiles or wheel.
  • Term Frequency:  This shows the trend of one or more terms over time.  This tool generates an interactive graph based on the presence of search terms found in the collections the student is searching.  Students can specify a range of publication years and select which Content Types to search.  They can then use the graph to retrieve search results by clicking on the graph point.

term frequency

More tools offered by LitFinder:

Once a topic is selected, the following tools become available in the Tool Box:

  • Citation Tools – MLA, APA and Chicago style citations are supported. Formatted citations can easily be imported to services like EasyBib or NoodleTools.
  • Highlights and Notes
  • Send to Google Drive or OneDrive
  • Print or email
  • Save, share, or download
  • Translate

This is a very comprehensive database for students doing literary research with easy-to-use search paths.

Lisa DeLucia, Upper St. Clair Library



Continue ReadingLitFinder by Gale

Full Text Articles in Gale’s OneFile and Ebsco’s MasterFile

I am a fan of databases that provide full text coverage of journal articles.  When helping patrons locate articles on a given topic, it is always a relief to access a full text article rather than an abstract citation.

Two good databases that offer access to full text journal articles are, Gale’s General OneFile and Ebsco’s MasterFile Premier.  The state provides funding for Allegheny County’s access to General OneFile.  Access to MasterFile Premier expired on December 31, 2018.  Both databases provide access to full text articles from general interest periodicals.  Although, a few minor differences exist between them.  In some cases, MasterFile offers more comprehensive full text coverage than OneFile- if only by a few years.

Full Text Coverage                  Gale’s OneFile                    Ebsco’s MasterFile Premier

American History                   1998 to present                 1994 to present

Autoweek                                  2002 to present                 1996 to present

Wilson Quarterly                    1993 to present                 1990 to present


And in other cases, MasterFile offers full text coverage of titles that OneFile does not.

Gale’s OneFile                     Ebsco’s MasterFile Premier

Rolling Stone                             no full text coverage           1990 to present

Sports Illustrated                     no full text coverage          1992 to present

Time                                             no full text coverage           1990 to present

Conversely, OneFile provides access to information in different formats that MasterFile does not.  These formats include transcripts and video of news programs from the BBC, NPR, and CNN.

Over time, it will be interesting to watch these databases and see how their holdings evolve, and the types of options each database offers.

Kate Straccia, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Main
Continue ReadingFull Text Articles in Gale’s OneFile and Ebsco’s MasterFile

Consumer Reports has arrived!

Library access to is now live! Consumer Reports has long been a reference destination for patrons and staff in both print and online. Previously, library cardholders could get CR articles through an EBSCO database interface. Now, they can search and view CR resources through their website interface, a much more consumer(!) friendly model.

Below is a screenshot from the CR homepage–graphical and easy to navigate.


Consumer Reports is available remotely or in-house and simply requires users to enter an active library barcode number.

Here is the direct link.

There is also a link from the EREC site under Consumer Resources.

-Jeff (South Park)

Continue ReadingConsumer Reports has arrived!