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Supporting Online Teaching & Learning

Library Collections Supporting You

Academics Corner: Course Alignment

Academics take note! There is a free service available via some database publishers (who provide MU access to primary source material) whereby they will analyse your lesson plans in detail and then provide you with a report, providing you with class-specific and thematic links to relevent digital material, that will support the delivery of your classes.

This service is called "Course Alignment". This is suited to many FACSP and FSS modules. 

Using Course Alignment is an easy way to develop your reading lists and lesson plans with stable links to relevant, digital material for your students, and can be used in conjunction with your own required reading for your students. You can adopt as much or as little of their suggested digital material and approaches as you wish. Find out more information about this service here




Library Databases host a range of online collections which support our University patrons in their teaching and learning activities. These databases offer excellent information when researching for an assignment / thesis or for organising a class. Find out more about these collections and how they can help you on this page. Peruse our full range of Library databases here.

Special Collections & Archives

Did you know that Maynooth University has two Libraries, the John Paul II Library & the Russell Library? Explore the historical collections of St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, housed in the Russell Library and the Special Collections & Archives of Maynooth University through the Collections Discovery Portal. This portal can now be accessed directly from LibrarySearch.

Types of Databases

Databases may hold Primary Source Content such as Diaries, Letters, Music and Pamphlets, among others. Others hold Secondary Source Content such as journal articles, eBooks and Theses, among others. Some host specific material e.g. Newspapers, eBooks, Journals and Theses while others offer a variety of materials. Library databases are an extremely useful sources in researching topics for assignments and/or theses. Check out the various types of databases and how they can help you on this page.

Primary Source Databases

Primary Source Databases hold original data sources, that is, original data collected firsthand for research purposes. Content may include, but is not limited to the following: maps, archives and manuscript material, photographs, audio recordings, video recordings, films, journals, letters and diaries, speeches, scrapbooks, government publications, oral histories, published books, newspapers and magazine clippings published at the time. Depending on your discipline, use of Primary Source Content may be a crucial component of your studies e.g. students of History, Geography and Music, among others. Some Primary Source Databases that the Library has access to are listed below.

For more sources, peruse the A-Z database listing here

Secondary Source Databases

Secondary Source Databases hold materials that interpret and analyse primary sources. Content may include: Textbooks; journal articles; histories; criticisms; commentaries; encyclopedias. Secondary sources may contain pictures, quotes or graphics of primary sources. These sources provide authoritative, scholarly information, which is essential when researching for an assignment / thesis at 3rd Level. Some of the Secondary Source Databases that the Library has access to are listed below. 

For more sources, peruse the A-Z database listing here

Hidden Gem

Did you know that the Library has access to AM Explorer (Adam Matthew Explorer)? This database offers access to millions of pages of primary source collections across the entire portfolio of Adam Matthew Digital, spanning content from the 15th-21st centuries. Award-winning social sciences and humanities collections and research on important themes such as: Borders and Migrations, Gender and Sexuality, Global History, and War and Conflict. Access it from the A-Z database listing here.

LGBTQI+ content Webinar

Linking in with Pride Month at Maynooth University, checkout this webinar on LGBTQI+ content from Adam Matthews.


eBook Databases

eBooks (electronic books) offer an excellent source of information for researching assignments/theses. The benefits to you, in using eBooks include:

  • Full text access to content for you to read on your browser or device
  • Available 24/7 via the Library website, on and off-campus 
  • Improved functionality such as ability to make notes, highlight text, copy & paste text and print

Link to our list of electronic/eBook collections here

Newspaper Databases

The Library has access to a variety of Newspaper collections/databases. Newspapers offer a contemporaneous reflection of society. Depending on your discipline, they can be an excellent source of information for your assignments/theses, when used in conjunction with academic sources.

Benefits to you in using Newspaper databases include:

  • Full text access to Newspaper articles
  • Available 24/7 via the Library website, on and off-campus
  • Ability to manage results e.g. print, save, cite 

Link to our list of Newspapers here

Indexing & Abstracting Databases

Abstracting and indexing are two different ways of distilling content into an abbreviated form. An abstract is a summary of a document, whereas an index acts as a guide to it. Indexing and Abstracting databases (I&A) are excellent discovery tools in identifying appropriate information in bite size format. Some sources will link you with the full text item, while others will require you to take additional steps to accessing the full text e.g. via Inter Library Loan Service. I&A databases are especially useful to postgraduate students in researching for information for theses. Link to our list of Abstracting & Indexing Databases here.