An online database is often implemented with the intent to teach or inform in one way or another, but in many cases, the educational benefits of these shared resources can go overlooked. There have been a couple of recent notable developments and reports of custom online database implementation, including a new database for early novels.
In a recent article for The Daily Pennsylvanian, contributor Jelani Hayes reported the launch of the University of Pennsylvania’s Early Novels Database, which is bibliographic and consists of British and American fiction novels written between 1660 and 1830. Already the source noted that Penn’s new database is “revolutionizing humanities research.”
“The novels are cataloged in such a way that researchers can search for information that is not provided by the main text, such as titles that include the word ‘adventure,’ or female authors,” Hayes wrote. “This type of search allows scholars to draw connections that they may not have originally considered between the books.”
Because these older texts and rare books are off limits to the general public at local libraries, the new online database provides a way for everyone to gain access to information and further their education. In a recent ZDNet article, contributor Andrew Nusca detailed how the U.S. State Department’s TechCamp Philadelphia took place in February, drawing tech enthusiasts, industry leaders and public sector reps to the city to collaborate on ways to use digital innovations to improve Philadelphia’s education. This demonstrates the power that technological solutions such as an online database have today, able to be effectively used as a means of spreading information and improving public education.