Internet Resources: August 2021 Edition

Selected reviews of digital reference resources from the August issue of Choice.

Drama Online. Bloomsbury, 2021.

African American Communities. Adam Matthew, 2021. Contact publisher for pricing.

African American Communities offers a rich panorama of the Civil Rights Movement through the lens of a handful of Black communities—Atlanta, Brooklyn, Chicago, and the North Carolina public education system,” wrote Jim Milhorn for ccAdvisor. It focuses on African Americans’ local efforts to overcome discrimination and second-class citizenship, encompassing a diverse array of local primary sources, including letters and correspondence, pamphlets, association records, newspaper and periodical clippings, judicial records, oral histories, visual materials, and ephemera. This micro-level documentation is unique, though it can also be overwhelming when conducting general searches, as results can seem scattered or unfocused, which can pose challenges for novice users. Thankfully, though, the database has been excellently curated, and offers scholarly essays on Atlanta, Chicago, and North Carolina that lay out the chronology and scope of the materials with embedded links to help users better navigate the site. 

Users can search the database through the Documents page (the primary search page) with a single-search box, enhanced by a series of filters to sort by Document Type, Library/Archive, or Themes; the Advanced Search function, which offers a battery of search boxes with a pull-down menu to sort by Keywords, Title, Places, and Organizations/Associations; or the Explore tab, which encompasses the previously mentioned essays, along with Popular Searches and Thematic Guides.

African American Communities is a rich trove of primary source material that “comes much closer to the look and feel of an actual archive than many other primary source databases do,” Milhorn concluded. Adam Matthew’s Race Relations in America: Surveys and Papers from the Amistad Research Center, 1943–1970 and ProQuest’s Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century are similar, covering civil rights, discrimination, and segregation, though neither maintains the diversity of material or neighborhood-level scope of African American Communities. Summing Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty.

This review is a summary of a longer review by Jim Milhorn, Northern Illinois University Libraries, originally published in ccAdvisor.orgCopyright © 2021 by The Charleston Company.—Abstracted from, ccAdvisor

Drama Online. Bloomsbury, 2021. Contact publisher for pricing.

Drama Online “is a digital library containing the full texts of over 2,750 plays and over 400 secondary books providing criticism, context, and information on theatre craft,” as well as “400 audio plays and over 130 filmed performances,” wrote Leanna Goodwater, Hugh Burkhart, and John Redford for ccAdvisor. As they noted, “the database provides access, in the original English or in English translation, to many of the most well-known works of theatre from the early Greek period to the present day.” Its “Core Collection includes over 1,775 classic texts, foreign works in translation, and new plays by contemporary playwrights.” Helpfully, plays are even accompanied by descriptive introductions to provide context for users and, “when available, photographs from productions … are displayed in an Image Gallery” to provide background.

The interface is clean and easy to navigate, with features that can be easily understood by first-time users. On the home page, plays can be found through a quick search box or through Advanced Search, which “allows users to search the entire database in one search by title, author/editor/creator, words in the summary or abstract, category, or identifier, [and then] limit the results by date or by content types,” wrote the reviewers. 

While Drama Online includes a considerable selection of plays from prominent playwrights, there are undoubtedly still some works that should be represented here for which Bloomsbury is unable to secure the rights. Nevertheless, Drama Online “is a well-designed and easy-to-use database that succeeds admirably in making the texts of plays available online,” enhanced by the inclusion of video and audio recordings, making it a unique offering among the theatrical databases currently available. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through two-year program students.

This review is a summary of a longer review by Leanna Goodwater, University Library, Santa Clara University; Hugh Burkhart, Copley Library, University of San Diego; and John Redford, Biola University, originally published in ccAdvisor.orgCopyright © 2021 by The Charleston Company.—Abstracted from, ccAdvisor

Himetop: The History of Medicine Topographical Database. Campus Bio-Medico University, University of Rome, 2021. Contact publisher for pricing.

Himetop: The History of Medicine Topographical Database is a free access, collaboratively growing online database” compiling “information about the material culture of medical and health history,” wrote Sofia Fagiolo for ccAdvisor. It is “devoted to the collection of photographic and bibliographic documentation about places and material memories from around the world, including old hospitals, monuments, birthplaces, tombs, commemorative plaques, specialized museums and libraries, [and] botanical gardens,” she added. Though the database “covers many countries from around the world … [t]he majority of records are from Italy, with over 1,500 items,” Fagiolo added. Other European countries are generally well represented, while countries in Latin America, Africa, and parts of Asia are less represented. Notably, “Himetop uses free wiki software to allow scholars and researchers to add new items or improve an existing record,” and in fact users are encouraged to contribute, though as Fagiolo pointed out, collaborators “must be admitted by the administrators of the website and … activity is supervised to prevent or correct mistakes.” 

There are a number of options to search content through the home page, including the single search bar and several browse options that can be accessed through drop-down lists, such as the very helpful list of countries, all located at the top of the page. The interface is clean and intuitive, and items can easily be found. Fagiolo also highlighted “[t]he size of the collection [and] the quality of the content” as particular strengths of this resource, further noting the lack of comparable databases. As she concluded, with its specialized focus, Himetop is useful for researchers interested in medical history, or for anyone interested in the history of medicine. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers, graduate students, and faculty.

This review is a summary of a longer review by Sofia Fagiolo, AIB – Italian Library Association, Rome (Italy), originally published in ccAdvisor.orgCopyright © 2021 by The Charleston Company.—Abstracted from, ccAdvisor

MEDLINE Complete. EBSCO, 2021. Contact publisher for pricing.

MEDLINE Complete is an EBSCO database with “full-text coverage for over 1,200 MEDLINE-indexed scholarly journals, publications, and reports from government entities, and newsletters from healthcare related organizations,” covering biomedical, health policy, and bioengineering research, Chana Kraus-Friedberg wrote for ccAdvisor. It “is billed as a more robust version of EBSCO’s MEDLINE with Full-Text, in that it includes full-text for more journals,” she noted, making it a potentially useful upgrade for libraries that currently subscribe to MEDLINE with Full-Text. As Kraus-Friedberg elaborated further, “MEDLINE Complete includes MeSH (Medical Subject Heading) indexing and filters similar to those provided in PubMed,” although “the filters are not as well integrated” here. She added that “[t]he main value-added feature of MEDLINE Complete, however, is full-text access, and this is likely to be the deciding factor for purchase,” as “no other database provides this amount of full-text coverage for MEDLINE indexed journals.”

“The search interface for MEDLINE Complete is largely the standard EBSCO interface,” with the exception of the “MeSH terms and filters as options at the bottom of the Advanced Search page.” Advanced Search also includes limiters for Evidence Based Medicine reviews, review articles, and studies of human or animal subjects, “in addition to the usual limiters for … sex, age, publication type, clinical queries, subject subset, journal, and citation subset, [as well as] for particular animal species.” Searching is fairly easy, although Kraus-Friedberg did identify some quirks with “using MeSH filters” that will make “them somewhat less accessible here than they are in PubMed.” In fact, as Kraus-Friedberg concluded, PubMed is MEDLINE Complete’smain competitor, and choosing between the two “will likely come down to choosing between more efficient advanced searching (PubMed) and a large, centralized collection of full-text articles from biomedical journals (MEDLINE Complete).” Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty.

This review is a summary of a longer review by Chana Kraus-Friedberg, Michigan State University, originally published in ccAdvisor.orgCopyright © 2021 by The Charleston Company.—Abstracted from, ccAdvisor