Gale Discovering Collection Database. Cengage Learning.

Comprehensive coverage of core school curriculum in Literature, History, Biography, Science and Social Studies, geared to teenage students. Includes Discovering Authors.

Critical Evaluation

Relevance is extremely high when searching the database, as if it were built just for teens doing research for projects. In this case, the challenge may very well be to get teenagers to use it instead of spending their time Googling for biographies, historical facts, or scholarly definitions.

Students and teacher can also browse by State Standards in order to find results relevant to their particular topic of study. In addition, the database can be browsed by Publication, Subject Guides, or by popular topic.

Users can limit their search by multimedia, primary sources used, color-coded content level (basic, intermediate, or advanced,) creative works, and reference. After searching, preferred subject term links are displayed for easy access.

The database includes a dictionary tool, printing and download capabilities, and a marking function which allows you to find previously marked documents after you have navigated away from the page.

Search any current school topic here to find access to over 200,000 full-text articles. Once you’ve mastered the format, you’ll be finding biographical, scientific, historical, or political information much more quickly than your friends using Google will!
About the Provider

Gale is a leading global provider of digital and print product solutions that support education and research in public, academic and K-12 libraries.

Gale, Primary Source Media and Information Access Company — were combined in 1998 to produce the wide-reaching and robust company that today is known as Gale, part of Cengage Learning.


– Database

Curriculum Ties

– All Curricula included in the California State Standards is represented here.

Library Marketing Ideas

-Demonstrate the use of the database during library hours or lesson times, as well as demonstrating remote access.

-Post instructions and success stories where students will easily see them

Reading Level/Interest Age
Ages 12-18

Challenge Issues
On the homepage of Gale’s Discovering Collection, there are topics ranging from abortion to teen pregnancy, the Holocaust, to stem cells, steroids, and Huckleberry Finn. It is possible that many of these controversial topics are interesting to teens, or that they are required to write opinion papers on contemporary controversial topics. Either way, the database could be challenged by parents because they may not want their children to have all of this information at hand. When you click on a topic such as “abortion,” however, the results are generally historical facts, not self-help type topics. Therefore, results from this database can be relied upon to be much more scholarly than those found through Google’s search engine.

Still, this database contains no frills, and is most appropriate for teenagers, not younger children. The Help feature is slightly confusing as it uses standard information retrieval jargon.

Why Did You Include This Database?

This database is currently available through the Los Angeles Public Library system.

“…appropriate for elementary, middle school, high school, and even undergraduate libraries without question, although we would emphasize the primary through high school audience. Public libraries can benefit as well, as Discovery Collection includes the five core subject areas, making this an appropriate resource for anyone beginning a research project.”
Library Journal (Fall 2001)

“Gale’s Discovering Collection is a comprehensive database that includes the content of their Discovering, Exploring, Worldmark, and UXL series—four of their most popular CD-ROM collections. The two thousand biographies of noteworthy individuals, many with color or black-and-white photographs, comprise just a small section of this large product. Like Biography Reference Bank, a more detailed search screen allows users to identify biographies by ethnicity. Since all of this database’s content is original, all of it is full text. The biographies are clearly written and easily understandable.”
VOYA (August 2001)

“Biographical profiles, reference sources, and search flexibility make DISCovering Multicultural America a wonderful springboard for ethnic studies research. Highly recommended for academic, public, and school libraries, supporting ethnic/multicultural studies.”
Library Journal (December 2000)

Reviews retrieved December 12th, 2010 from


About thesuperlibrarian

High School Librarian and obsessive reader! On a mission to read as many SUPER YA books as possible!
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