Prepared by Elisabeth Lindsay.
A database is a way of organizing large bodies of information into specific fields, allowing multiple ways of looking at and accessing data. Databases are computer programs, typically searchable by keyword.
Today, more and more genealogy information is being placed in databases which can then be easily distributed or accessed over long distances, allowing users not only greater access, but also new ways of searching data for information previously unknown: a wildcard search is one example. A great many genealogy databases are available online and in various repositories: some are free and some are subscription-based. Computer databases, along with the Internet, have revolutionized family history research.