Skip Navigation Links  The Library of Congress >> Researchers >> Virtual Programs & Services
Web Guides (Virtual Services, Digital Reference Section)
  Home >> Baseball Resources at the Library of Congress >> Subscription Databases

Baseball Resources at the Library of Congress

Subscription Databases

Spalding's official base ball guide, 1889
Spalding's official base ball guide, 1889
A.G. Spalding & Bros., 1889.
Spalding Base Ball Guides, 1889-1939.
American Memory.

The Library of Congress provides access to hundreds of subscription databases to on-campus visitors. These databases index and often provide the full-text of publications covering a wide range of subjects. This section describes several types of databases that may be of interest to baseball researchers. (Please note that the database descriptions highlight content available through the Library of Congress's subscriptions; the amount of indexed and full-text content may differ through other libraries.) If you are unable to visit the Library of Congress to access these databases, you should contact or visit your local library to determine which of these databases, or other comparable databases, it makes available.

If you plan to visit the Library but would like to conduct a general assessment of the baseball-related content you'll find through these databases, consider searching the Primo Central subscription database from home. This "discovery" database can be used to conduct a remote search across many (not all) subscription databases available at the Library. Only records for results, not their full text, will be returned. Primo Central can be used to identify relevant publications in advance of an on-campus visit, whose full text you can then potentially access through the Library's subscription databases or physical collections. Please note that Primo Central does not index the content of every database to which the Library's subscribes, nor does it offer some of the advanced search features available through other databases; to conduct a thorough search of our subscription-based content, it is necessary to visit the Library in person and search within individual databases.

Database Types

Biographical Databases

Use biographical databases to locate biographical essays and entries about important figures in the world of baseball. Many biographies in these databases include bibliographies you can use to locate additional literature on the individual. Some databases, such as American National Biography Online, also indicate libraries or archives that hold major collections related to the person.

Examples of biographical databases include:

American National Biography Online

American National Biography contains biographical portraits of more than 17,400 men and women -- from all eras and walks of life -- whose lives have shaped the United States. The database also features thousands of illustrations, more than 80,000 hyperlinked cross-references, links to select web sites, and powerful search capabilities. Also has following Special Collections: American Indian Heritage, Asian Pacific American Heritage, Black History, Hispanic Heritage, Women's History.

Biography and Genealogy Master Index

An index to nearly 12 million biographical sketches in more than 2,700 volumes and editions of current and retrospective reference books, covering both contemporary and historical figures throughout the world. Searching Biography and Genealogy Master Index enables you to quickly determine which publication to consult for biographical information. For each individual, BGMI provides name, date of birth (and death), and the names and dates of biographical source publications that contain information about the individual.

Biography in Context

Biography in Context delivers research support with nearly a million biographical entries spanning history and geography. It's a curriculum-aligned resource that offers media-rich content in context that's updated daily to meet the needs of today's user. In it you'll find:

  • 600,000+ biographies covering more than 525,000 individuals
  • 170 award-winning Gale reference titles
  • 50,000 new or updated bios added annually in addition to daily updates to account for awards and events
  • Integrated reference material, periodical information and multimedia content
  • Hundreds of hand-crafted topic pages covering the highest-interest features

Fiction and Poetry Databases

There are several databases that index poems and short stories appearing in literary anthologies, collections, and periodicals. The following Library databases can be used to locate short fiction and poetry about baseball:

The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry

Columbia Granger's World of Poetry is the definitive source in English for locating a poem in anthologies. Currently includes 13,000 poems in full text, and 250,000 poetry citations indexed by title, first line, last line, author, subject, and searchable by keyword and by author category (Asian-American, Irish, Polish, etc.). Contains commentaries, biographies, bibliographies, notes on form, and a glossary of prosodic terms. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry is included from the 8th edition (1986) forward. Earlier poetry may be searched in preceding print indexes beginning in 1904. Hundreds of baseball poems can be located through this database.


Indexes poems, short stories, plays, essays and speeches - some full text. Also includes some biographies and literary criticism. For baseball researchers, the database is best used for locating baseball poems.

Short Story Index & Retrospective

Indexes more than 84,000 stories from more than 4,200 collections and anthologies, as well as an additional 12,000 stories from periodicals. Contains the full text of more than 4,000 short stories. Search by author, title, subject, keyword, date, literary technique, source, or any combination. Subject access includes theme, locale, narrative technique or device (such as surprise endings, dialect stories, parodies, story-within-a-story) and genre. Entries feature links to other works by the author and other stories in the source collection.

Book-length collections and anthologies of baseball literature can also be found through the Library's online catalog under the following subject headings, among others:

Baseball players--Fiction
Baseball stories
Baseball stories, American
Baseball teams--Fiction

Guides to Collections and Repositories

Several databases allow users to determine which libraries or archives hold special collections such as a player's papers, a baseball company's business records, or a historical collection of baseball photographs. Two major databases providing this information are:

Archive Finder

Directory describing over 200,000 collections of primary source material housed in thousands of repositories across the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland. Archive Finder integrates finding aids containing detailed indexes and descriptions for special and historical collections into comprehensive collection records.

ArchiveGrid (free resource)

ArchiveGrid includes over four million records describing archival materials, bringing together information about historical documents, personal papers, family histories, and more. With over 1,000 different archival institutions represented, ArchiveGrid helps researchers looking for primary source materials held in archives, libraries, museums and historical societies.

Newspaper Databases

Newspaper databases provide indexing and, in many cases, full-text access to both current and historical newspapers. These databases can be used, for example, to read news articles about baseball, find recaps of baseball games, and examine baseball box scores, and locate player obituaries. Many historical U.S. newspapers can be freely searced online through the Library's Chronicling America database.

Examples of major newspapers databases to which the Library subscribes for on-campus researcher use include:

19th Century U.S. Newspapers

Contains primary source newspaper content from nearly 250 American newspapers published during the 19th century. The database features full-text content and images from a range of urban and rural regions throughout the United States. The collection encompasses the entire 19th century, with an emphasis on such topics as the American Civil War, African-American culture and history, Western migration and Antebellum-era life among other subjects.


NewspaperARCHIVE is the world's largest online newspaper archive, featuring billions of articles from historical newspapers around the U.S. and the world. NewspaperARCHIVE makes exploring history and genealogy easy and fun. Discover fascinating news in archived newspapers hundreds of years old - including obituaries, birth announcements, sports articles, comics, and more – to fill in the life stories you are interested in. All of our historical newspapers are full-page and fully searchable.

ProQuest Historical Newspapers & Periodicals

Contains digital reproductions of every page from every issue--cover to cover--from over a dozen historical United States and British newspapers along with hundreds of American periodicals.

ProQuest Newspapers

Full text of 300+ United States and international news sources. Includes coverage of 150+ major U.S. and international newspaper collections. Plus hundreds of other news sources and news wires.

Popular Literature Databases

General interest magazines and periodicals often include stories on players, scandals, records, significant events, and other baseball items of interest to a wide audience. Periodicals from the 19th century can also be used to track the growth and development of baseball throughout the United States. The following are examples of Library subscription databases that index popular literature:

American Periodical Series Online, 1740-1900

American Periodicals Series Online (APS Online) includes digitized images of the pages of American magazines and journals published from colonial days to the dawn of the 20th century. Titles range from Benjamin Franklin's General Magazine and America's first scientific journal, Medical Repository; popular magazines such as Vanity Fair and Ladies' Home Journal; regional and niche publications; and groundbreaking journals like The Dial, Puck, and McClure's.

General OneFile

General OneFile provides access to:

  • More than 7,100 full-text titles and 3,600 refereed journals, and hundreds of newspapers
  • More than 500 travel guides, including hundreds of Fodor's titles
  • The full collection of National Public Radio programs from 1990 to the present, including searchable transcripts
  • Full-text of the New York Times from 1985 to the present, updated daily
  • The ability to translate articles into 11 different languages, helping ESL researchers
  • More than 3,000 full-text titles recommended by Bowker's Magazines for Libraries and access to a range of additional new collections created to fill subject-specific curricular needs.


Issues of Harper's Weekly (from 1857-1912), the leading American illustrated magazine of its day, covering political, military, social, and cultural stories.

Nineteenth Century Masterfile

The first place to search for primary sources on nineteenth century baseball. Contains more than 60 core subject indexes to periodicals, books, newspapers, patents, and US and UK government documents covering the early 1700's to 1906. The database also allows users to include America: History and Life and Historical Abstracts in searches. Users can also now view nearly 1 million images from ARTstor Digital Library and American Memory historical collections.

Readers Guide Full Text Mega

Readers' Guide Full Text is a database containing comprehensive indexing and abstracting of the most popular general-interest periodicals published in the United States and Canada, plus the full text of selected periodicals. The abstracts average 125 words in length. Full-text coverage begins in January 1994 for most titles. It includes these subjects: Aeronautics, African-Americans, Aging, Astronomy, Automobiles, Biography, Business, Canada, Children, Computers, Consumer Education, Current Events, Education, Environment, Fashion, Film, Fine Arts, Food, Foreign Affairs, Health, History, Hobbies, Home, Journalism, Leisure Activities, Medicine, Music, News, Nutrition, Photography, Politics, Religion, Science, Sports, and Television.

Readers' Guide Retrospective

Provides access to nearly 100 years of citations from more than 500 leading popular periodicals and magazines. Search the equivalent of 44 printed Readers' Guide cumulations for articles that chronicle the daily lives and the momentous events of America in the 20th century. Subjects covered: Aeronautics, African-Americans, Aging, Archeology, Astronomy, Automobiles, Biographies, Business, Children, Education, Environment, Fashion, Film, Fine Arts, Food, Foreign Affairs, Gardening, Health, History, Hobbies, Home, Journalism, Leisure Activities, Literature, Medicine, Music, News, Nutrition, Photography, Politics, Popular Culture, Radio, Religion, Science, Sports, Technology, Television, Travel.

Scholarly Literature Databases

Many databases serve as indexes or full-text gateways to peer-reviewed, scholarly publications (e.g., articles, essays, books, and dissertations) in one or more fields of study. Some of these databases include publications whose contents explore the history of baseball. Examples of several Library subscription databases through which scholarly publications about baseball can be found are:

Academic Search Complete

Contains more than 6,100 full-text periodicals, including more than 5,100 peer-reviewed journals. In addition to full text, this database offers indexing and abstracts for more than 10,100 journals and a total of more than 10,600 publications including monographs, reports, conference proceedings, etc.

America: History and Life

Historical coverage of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present. Contains almost 400,000 bibliographic entries from 2,000 journals published worldwide since 1964.


A collection of full-text, keyword-searchable academic journals dating back to the late 17th century. Some of the Life Sciences titles date to the 1600's, while many of the Arts & Science titles begin in the late 1800's. Full text is available up to the last 3-5 years for most titles (moving wall). JSTOR allows browsing by title or by discipline(s) , and full text searching of individual titles or the entire collection.

Periodicals Index Online

Indexes millions of articles published in 4,698 periodicals in the arts, humanities and social sciences, some as far back as 1770. PCI contains the complete table of contents for each issue of each journal.

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global

Index of doctoral dissertations and master's theses, with coverage from 1861 to the present. Those published from 1980 to present include abstracts, and many of those published since the 1990's are available in full text (PDF digital format) along with 24 page previews.


Top of Page Top of Page
  Home >> Baseball Resources at the Library of Congress >> Subscription Databases
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  May 5, 2017
Legal | External Link Disclaimer

Contact Us