They were Chemical Abstracts, Medline, The New York Times, etc. I once retrieved the New York Times databank with key words of "Japan" and "Christianity." The headlines of a few hundred articles appeared. I then added "resurrection." Lo be hold, a single article appeared saying that Jesus Christ walked through middle east and China and came to Japan to die in a small town in northern Japan, and there was a shrine for him. I learned the power of databank retrieval.
One of my major motivations to extend Telenet to overseas countries, particularly to Japan, was to provide Japanese with their access to those information, rather than they were to be confined with the limited services available only from GEISCO host computer in Cleveland, Ohio -- i.e., more freedom of choice to users.
This meant severe business competition to GEISCO, as evidenced with
their petitions submitted to the U.S. FCC which opposed the extension of
Telenet to Hong Kong by Cable & Wireless, and later to Japan by the
U.S. telex service providers.