What is a database?

database is a collection of resources which have been collected together because they relate to a certain area of knowledge. 

Some databases will be full-text databases, and will provide access to the actual resources themselves. Other databases are bibliographic databases and only provide the citation references for resources. There can be several reasons for this, ranging from the intended purpose of the database to copyright restrictions.

A bibliography is a collection of citation references for resources. They are arranged by a single feature, such as by author or title.

An annotated bibliography is a collection of citation references which have annotations. An annotation is a brief review of a resource's subject matter and usefulness.

An abstract is a concise summary of the content of a resource.

A reference or citation is a description of a resource which enables it to be located. It most often includes the following information: creator, title, date, version, publisher, and format. Citations are standardized using different style manuals, like Harvard, Chicago, MLA, MHRA, and APA, to ensure that the necessary information is captured and to make it easier to organize and retrieve information.

An index is, in its most basic form, a list which provides access to the content within a resource. In a back-of-book index, it is a list of keywords or concepts found within the resource and location information as to where in the resource those words or concepts can be found. For a database, an index is a set of preferred vocabulary keywords under which resources can be found. Looking at the index or thesaurus for a database can be helpful in knowing which search terms to use to find information on a given topic. Information about the index can sometimes be found on the main search page of a database, somewhere near the search engine box.

bibliographic index is a bibliography which is organized according to a list of keywords or concepts.

Resources at Harvard


DASH is a central, open-access repository of research by members of the Harvard community.

Databases, Bibliographies, & Indices of Celtic Materials

There are a number of databases which contain materials relevant to research in Celtic Studies. Some of these databases are general collections of scholarship. Some are collections of materials from a single repository or related materials from multiple repositories. Some of these databases are collections of data gathered from research projects. Some are digitized collections of texts. All are intended to bring together related materials and to make them accessible. 


WorldCat is a database of catalog entries from more than 9,000 member institutions. With millions of online records built from the bibliographic and ownership information of contributing libraries, it is the largest and most comprehensive database of its kind. The database contains records of any type of material (books, periodicals, scores, films, recordings, etc.) cataloged by over 41,000 OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) member libraries, primarily but not exclusively, from libraries in the United States, but extending to 82 other nations. There are more than 47 million records in the database. This database can be used to verify citations of resources, to find a local holding library, or to provide accurate citations for interlibrary loan requests. Records also contain bibliographic information such as tables of contents, cover art, book summaries, and notes about authors.


JSTOR maintains a trusted archive of important scholarly journals with content spanning many humanities and social sciences disciplines, including several related to Celtic Studies. Includes academic journal articles, books, and primary sources. Be aware that the majority of including journals have a Moving Wall embargo of 3 to 5 years, so it is not the best option for your most up-to-the-minute publications.

Project Muse

Full-text versions of peer-reviewed journals from many of the world's leading university presses and scholarly societies, as well as thousands of ebooks, with emphasis on humanities and social sciences. Subscription access to journals are made available to libraries in six collections: Premium Collection - Standard Collection - Basic Research Collection - Basic College Collection - Humanities Collection - Social Sciences Collection.

Hathi Trust Digital Library

The HathiTrust Digital Library is a shared repository of works digitized by more than 50 research library members. The catalog provides information about more than 5 million books and journals and is growing daily. More than 2.5 million titles are in the public domain so may be viewed in full text. The database was originally a collaboration of the thirteen universities of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, the University of California system, and the University of Virginia to establish a repository for those universities to archive and share their digitized collections, and quickly expanded to include additional partners with fast growing treasure of digitized collections.

MLA International Bibliography

The MLA International Bibliography, produced by the Modern Language Association, consists of bibliographic records pertaining to literature, language, linguistics, and folklore, and includes coverage from 1963 to the present. The MLA International Bibliography provides access to scholarly research in over 3,000 journals and series. It also covers relevant monographs, working papers, proceedings, bibliographies, and other formats.

International Medieval Bibliography

The International Medieval Bibliography is a comprehensive, current bibliography of journal articles, essay collections and conference proceedings in this interdisciplinary field. Disciplines covered include Classics, English Language and Literature, History and Archaeology, Theology and Philosophy, Medieval European Languages and Literatures, Arabic and Islamic Studies, History of Education, Art History, Music, Theatre and Performance Arts, Rhetoric and Communication Studies. Dates covered range from 400 to 1500 A.D., and geographic coverage includes Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. The database allows users also to search the Bibliographie de Civilisation Médiévale, an index of over 40,000 books and 64,000 book reviews on medieval topics since 1957.

Oxford Bibliographies: Medieval Studies

This resource is a hybrid bibliography and encyclopedia. It contains research guides, which contain both annotated bibliographies and encyclopedic discussions of scholarship in Medieval Studies. 

Oxford Bibliographies: Linguistics

This resource is a hybrid bibliography and encyclopedia. It contains research guides, which contain both annotated bibliographies and encyclopedic discussions of scholarship in Linguistics. 

Linguistics and Language Behaviors Abstracts (LLBA)

Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts indexes and provides abstracts for journal articles from over 1200 journals annually in all areas of language and linguistics. LLBA also includes books, book chapters, bibliographies, monographs, conference proceedings, etc. International in scope, this index covers phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics as well as descriptive, historical, comparative, theoretical, and geographical linguistics.

Linguistic Bibliography Online

The Bibliographie Linguistique/Linguistic Bibliography online database provides bibliographical references to scholarly publications on all branches of linguistics and all the languages of the world, irrespective of language or place of publication. The database contains all entries of the printed volumes of Bibliographie Linguistique/Linguistic Bibliography from 1993 to the present. The database indexes over 2,000 periodicals, including publications in related disciplines such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy and computer science.


Nineteenth-Century Collections Online

A multi-year global digitization and publishing program focusing on primary source collections of the nineteenth century. The content is sourced from the world's preeminent libraries and archives. It consists of monographs, newspapers, pamphlets, manuscripts, ephemera, maps, photographs, statistics, and other kinds of documents in both Western and non-Western languages.

Eighteen-Century Collections Online

Eighteenth Century Collections Online provides access to digital images of 150,000 books published during the 18th Century. With full-text searching of approximately 33 million pages, the product allows researchers new methods of access to critical information in the fields of history, literature, religion, law, fine arts, science and more. The database is a comprehensive digital edition of The Eighteenth Century microfilm set, which has aimed to include every significant English-language and foreign-language title printed in the United Kingdom, along with thousands of important works from the Americas, between 1701 and 1800. Consists of books, pamphlets, broadsides, ephemera. Subject categories include history and geography; fine arts and social sciences; medicine, science, and technology; literature and language; religion and philosophy; law; general reference. Also included are significant collections of women writers of the eighteenth century, collections on the French Revolution, and numerous eighteenth-century editions of the works of Shakespeare. Where they add scholarly value or contain important differences, multiple editions of each individual work are offered.

Bibliography of British and Irish History

The Bibliography of British and Irish History Online (BBIH) is the successor to the Royal Historical Society Bibliography. The BBIH provides bibliographic data on historical writing dealing with the British Isles, and with the British empire and commonwealth, during all periods for which written documentation is available - from 55BC to the present. The BBIH includes all references cited from 1901 – 2002 in the Annual Bibliographies of British and Irish History and its predecessor, Writings on British History, as well as pre-1901 citations from Oxford’s Bibliography of British History series. Post- 2002 citations are added on a continuing and timely basis. The BBIH is considered one of the main bibliographical sources on the History of the British Isles and Ireland.

Oxford Bibliographies: English and Irish Literature

This resource is a hybrid bibliography and encyclopedia. It contains research guides, which contain both annotated bibliographies and encyclopedic discussions of scholarship on English and Irish literature. 

British Periodicals

British Periodicals Collection I and II provide facsimile page images and searchable full text for nearly 500 British periodicals published from the 17th through the early 20th centuries. Topics covered in the various titles include literature, philosophy, history, science, fine arts, social sciences, music, art, drama, archaeology, and architecture.

CODECS: Collaborative Online Database and e-Resources for Celtic Studies

CODECS, an acronym for Collaborative Online Database and e-Resources for Celtic Studies, is an online platform published by the A. G. van Hamel Foundation for Celtic Studies, which is based in the Netherlands. It presents an ongoing attempt at building a comprehensive descriptive catalogue of sources of interest to Celtic studies, including every text and manuscript ever written, together with a bibliography which currently holds over 20,000 publications. In addition, to enrich ways in which users can discover and explore these resources of the past, it provides structured information about the contents as well as contexts or provenances of the sources described. This includes making semantic links to persons, places, topics and other entities, which allows for different points of entry to users navigating the site. The focus is on pre-modern sources and current coverage is ‘biased’ towards Irish and Hiberno-Latin material.

CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Includes editions and translations of a large number of medieval and early modern texts in Celtic and other languages.

Celtic Literature Collective (Mary Jones)

Includes links to a large number of texts written by or about speakers of Celtic languages. Some are available in translation only, others in both the original language and in translation.

Archive of Celtic-Latin literature (ACLL)

The Archive of Celtic-Latin Literature is a full-text database containing the corpus of Latin literature produced in Celtic-speaking Europe, together with the Latin works of the Irish “peregrini” on the continent, from the period 400-1200 A.D. The database contains more than 400 Latin works spanning the fields of theology, liturgy, computistics, grammar, hagiography, poetry, and historiography, as well as legal texts, charters, inscriptions, and other from Ireland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall, and Scotland. The corpus was compiled as part of the Royal Irish Academy’s Dictionary of Medieval Latin from Celtic Sources project.

Bibliography of Irish Language and Literature

This database is an extensive bibliography of medieval texts and modern scholarship pertaining to the Irish language and Irish-language literature, maintained by the School of Celtic Studies at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

Irish Studies

Irish Studies is a collection of over 40 serials and 70 books that treat the topic of Ireland.

Ireland Collection

The Ireland Collection is an interdisciplinary resource of materials from and about Ireland. It includes monographs, currently published journals, ceased journals, and manuscripts. The Ireland Collection adds resources across the arts, humanities, and sciences in disciplines such as music, art, history, literature, archaeology, mathematics, and biology. Materials span from the 1780s to the present. The collection was created in collaboration with Queen's University Belfast.

Bardic Poetry Database

A searchable database of Irish bardic poetry, including numerous editions of poems, but not translations. These poems, written composed between the twelfth and the seventeenth century, are written in Classical or Early Modern Irish.


Includes texts and translations of the writings of St Patrick, images of manuscripts and copies of early texts about Patrick.

Irish Sagas Online

Hosted by University College, Cork, this website hosts digital editions of medieval Irish sagas, as well as translations into modern Irish and English.

Thesaurus Linguae Hibernicae

Includes editions and translations of texts written by Irish scholars in both Latin and the vernacular.

National Library of Wales Welsh Journals

Welsh Journals provides access to journals relating to Wales published between 1735-2007. Titles range from academic and scientific publications to literary and popular magazines.

Cyfraith Hywel

A one-stop shop for resources for the study of medieval Welsh law, this website includes transcriptions of the medieval texts, a modern guide and an extensive bibliography.


An index of Welsh poetry in manuscript at the National Library of Wales.

The Poems of Dafydd ap Gwilym

Includes texts translations and audio recordings of over 170 poems by the famous fourteenth-century Welsh poet.

The Poems of Guto’r Glyn

Editions and translations of more than 125 poems by the famous fifteenth-century Welsh poet, as well as biographical and other information.

Welsh Chronicles Research Group

Provides access to texts of Latin chronicles written in medieval Wales.

Sorley MacLean Online

Information about a great, twentieth-century Gaelic poet, including texts and translations of some of his poems.

Film Index International

Film Index International is based on SIFT (Summary of Information on Film and Television), a database collated by the British Film Institute. It covers films from 170 countries with information on about 100,000 films and biographical details of 40,000 personalities, with references to periodical articles, providing in-depth indexing of films from the first silent movies to the latest blockbusters and biographical information for film personalities. It also includes coverage of international film awards and prizes as well as searchable plot summaries and full cast and crew lists.

W.B. Yeats Collection

Contains the author's major works in all genres, including poetry, plays, criticism, and fiction, collected in 22 volumes. A single edition of each work, usually the last known to have been approved by Yeats, has been included, as are accompanying texts written by the author and any images appearing in the texts.