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Home » A Primer on Databases and Catalogs » What is a database?

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What is a database?

The basic electronic information storage unit

A database is a collection of information organized to provide efficient retrieval. The collected information could be in any number of formats (electronic, printed, graphic, audio, statistical, combinations). There are physical (paper/print) and electronic databases.

A database could be as simple as an alphabetical arrangement of names in an address book or as complex as a database that provides information in a combination of formats.


  Images of a Rollodex, sample census data, page from personal address book and page from a residential phone book

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