By Michelle H.

Even before the pandemic, libraries have had a significant online presence, in the form of their catalogs and downloadable materials, obviously, but also in the form of databases.

What’s a database?

A library database is a searchable electronic index of published, reliable resources. Databases provide access to a wealth of useful research materials from academic journals, newspapers, and magazines. Some databases also include e-books, relevant Web resources, and various multimedia.

The information found in databases is either originally created or comes from different, reliable sources.

Source: Berkley College

EVPL offers a wide variety of databases, from Academic Search and auto repair to hobbies and crafts and Value Line Research Center. You can find them in our Research collection.


One unique offering is Inspire, a collection of online academic databases and other information resources accessible by Indiana residents. Inspire began in January 1998 as a project of the Indiana State Library, funded by a one-time development grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc

While Inspire contains many databases in common with EVPL, it also includes a number of resources distinct to the state of Indiana. 

Hoosier State Chronicles

One collection is the Hoosier State Chronicles, which provides free, online access to non-indexed digital images of Indiana’s historic newspapers from 54 of the state’s 92 counties. The oldest newspaper, Vincennes’ Indiana Gazette, dates from 1804.

For example, the Hoosier State Chronicles contains selections from a variety of newspapers (other than the Courier Press) from the Evansville area, and this historic gem from Jasper, Ind., in May 1864:

The scan shows an ad for Dr. Roback’s Blood Purifier and Blood pills. It also has a review of moves from Grant’s army from the Civil War.

And another from the April 12, 1865 edition of The Evansville Daily Journal:

This scan shows a writeup of new skirts called hoop skirts! It also includes an article about the terms of General Lee’s surrender.

If you’re looking for older issues of the Evansville Courier Press, check out this blog post: https://www.evpl.org/posts/historic-newspapers/.

And stop by again for more Inspiration!

Michelle H.

Michelle H.

With 8 locations throughout Vanderburgh County, EVPL is ready to discover, explore, and connect WITH you! We encourage you to uncover new things, revisit old favorites, and to engage with us along the way.

DIY Recycled Notebook
Digital Yearbooks