eResources: Getting started

eResources: Getting started
Making access simple
18 November 2015

So you have your National Library card and are ready to explore our eResources (online databases).

Now you want to know how to find and access the databases and learn about what you can get from home. Here, we have put together some of our most frequently asked eResource questions to get you started.

Max Dupain (1911–1992) Card catalogue at National Library of Australia, 1968, nla.obj-144066439

Where do I find the databases?

They can be found in two places:

  • the eResources portal on the Library's home page.

eResources access image

  • the online catalogue, also on the Library's home page. This includes records for individual databases as well as records for many of the journal, book and newspaper titles the databases contain.

Catalogue access image

How do I get access to them?

Although you don't need your library card to access eResources whilst you are in the Library building, it is essential for accessing them when you are at home.

Accessing databases from offsite requires you to enter your National Library registration number (found on the back of your card) and your family name (or surname).

There is also an online video on our eResources homepage that explains how the site works.

How do I know what I can access from home?

This is explained by the symbol next to each database title.

eResources icons

The symbols of the key and the National Library building also appear in our catalogue to indicate which particular journal, newspaper, book or database can be viewed from home or is restricted to onsite viewing only.

I have put my keywords into the 'Find a resource' box on the eResources page but can't find anything. Why?

This is because you are unable to search across the content of our databases from our eResources homepage. You can only search for the title of a specific database at this point.

If you know the title of a database you want you can enter it into the 'Find a resource' box. You can also use the 'Browse by category' listing to find databases in your particular subject area.

For instance, a search for 'Arthur Boyd art sales' in the 'Find a Resource' box won't retrieve any results, however browsing the 'Art' category under the 'Arts and Humanities' category will find two databases containing useful material: the Australian Art Sales Digest and the Australian Art Auction Records.

Browse by category image

Searching the contents of a particular database is only possible once you have selected and entered that database.

I only want full text information. Why can't I get it?

Not all our databases are full text.  Some are indexes only, others provide a mix of full text and abstract information (description of the articles' content plus important information about the journal where the article appears eg title, volume, year of publication).

Many databases allow you to only search for full text content eg Academic Search Complete. If this is what you want, then select this option when searching, however remember that this may mean that you are filtering out more current content which could be relevant to your research.

If you find the perfect article and it doesn't appear to be available in full text don't despair. We could hold the journal in print or another format eg. microform, especially if it is an Australian or an older title, so do a search in our online catalogue. Also, don't forget to search Trove for other libraries which may hold the title in their collections.

I want to search all the eResources at once for any relevant information.

Unfortunately this ability is not available. Each database has to be searched individually, except in those cases when they are from the same vendor who allows cross searching of their products eg Ebsco, Informit or Gale (via their Artemis Primary Sources service).

After reading this useful information I am still having problems accessing eResources.  Please help.

Don't worry. Ask a Librarian.

Comment: 
All records on archer family history records and heritage IP property ownership and trusts
Comment: 
searching info on grand father John Roberts McGregor married at Surat in 1897. at St Johns Church of England. it was stated there was books I could search but not sure how to...want any info on him or G Mother Ellen Brown. appreciate help
Comment: 
Query: Is it possible to check this title for any archival photographs of St George Church in Alberton SA. Title: St George's Church of England memorial combined fund canvass 1955-1958, Alberton SA published by the Church 1955. Thanks, Katerina