What is a database?
A database is a collection of logically related information or data. The individual pieces of information or data we call fields. A set of fields is a record. And, all the records make up the database.
Your personal address book is an example of a database which includes the name, street, city, state, zip code and telephone number for each person you might wish to contact. When you add another person's information to your address book, you will usually write the person's name on the line labeled "Name" and each additional piece of information will be added on a separate line. In computer terms, each piece of information (name, phone number) is a field. All the fields which contain information for one person make up that person's record in your address book. And all the records together make up your address book (the database)!
If your address book database were stored as a computer file, (and of course there are programs which do this for you) it might include a software program which allows you to search for a specific piece of information on a specific line (field). So, for example, you could search through all the names in your address book looking for the name Mary.
Another very familiar database is the library catalog. For each book, video, CD, etc. which is added to the library's collection, an electronic record is created. Each record contains fields such as the item's title, author or artist, publisher, and other information about that item.
You may search the library catalog for the Webster-Eden Library System to see what books that Webster University Library and Eden Theological Seminary Library have which were written by a particular author or contain certain words in the title. If you need help using the catalog, there is a tutorial available.