New library databases speak to financial interests

With all the financial turmoil in the news these days, there is heightened interest in the stock market; even those of us less financially-inclined can't help but pay attention to the dire speculations on the news every day.

To that end, two databases the University of Lethbridge Library has recently acquired might be of interest to the wider University community.

The Canadian Financial Markets Research Centre (CFMRC) Summary Information database includes historical Toronto Stock Exchange trading information such as daily and monthly prices and indices, and information on price adjustments such as dividends, stock splits, recapitalizations, etc. up to December 2007.

The database is easy to search by company name or ticker symbol and you can compare more than one company at a time. You might be pleasantly surprised at just how user-friendly it is. It is interesting to see how stocks have performed
historically – perhaps even to console yourself that markets have indeed rebounded in the past, and give some hope for the future.

The Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP) database works in much the same way, but provides access to the big American exchanges such as NYSE, AMEX and Nasdaq. Here you can find daily and monthly security prices and other historical data related to over 25,000 companies traded on these markets – again, up to December 2007.

To access these databases, go to the library home page ( and click on Databases by Title in the centre of the screen – you'll see an alphabetical listing of all of the University's databases, with both of these listed in the 'C's. You will have to log in with your student/staff ID before being allowed in to these databases.

Note that these databases have licenses which stipulate they be used for academic purposes only – but it is an interesting exercise to see the historical data on these companies.

The databases were purchased by the Faculty of Management (everybody now: THANK YOU!) and the library has provided access through the user-friendly CHASS interface from the University of Toronto.

So while you won't be able to check how your stocks are doing today, you might be interested in how the market has performed in the past.

Nicole Eva is the management liaison librarian for the University of Lethbridge Library