Online reference library

Cambridgeshire County Council's customer service centre opening hours are changing.

From Thursday 1 December you can call us from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. We will no longer take phone calls on Saturdays.

Cambridgeshire Libraries service and opening hours will not be affected by this change.

Cambridgeshire Libraries online reference library provides access to a range of information resources. Including online dictionaries, family history, biographies, and newspapers. Online resources are free to access with your library membership and are available in libraries across Cambridgeshire. Some online resources are also available outside of library buildings, you will need to use your library card and PIN to login. Information on how to access individual resources can be found in the information below.

BDSlive Catalogue - search books, DVDs, games and CDs currently available in the UK and those that are out-of-print. 

Encyclopaedia Britannica - this is a powerful resource to search or browse for information in encyclopaedias, magazines, videos, and Web sites.

Encyclopaedia Britannica Junior (Age Group 5 to 11) - From animals to plants, arts to sports, places to people, and history to technology. Browse a wide variety of related content or dig deep into a specific topic. Aimed at younger learners for searching and browsing safe, reliable, and relevant information.

Encyclopaedia Britannica Student (Age Group 12 to 18) - carefully curated browses, data tables, and maps on a variety of topics. Aimed at older children for searching and browsing safe, reliable, and relevant information.

Oxford English Dictionary - guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words— past and present—from across the English-speaking world.

Oxford Dictionaries - includes a dictionary and thesaurus of current English, as well as bilingual dictionaries for the following languages: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, and Portuguese. It also includes language learning support and English grammar resources.

You can access all of these resources from home using your library card number. – for family history and genealogy resources. Only available in libraries.

Find My Past - the entire index to births, marriages and deaths in England and Wales from 1837 to 2001. Access is limited to 5 consecutive users. Only available in libraries.

Cambridgeshire Archives Catalogue - Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire Archives' online searchable database covering 800 years of documents, from medieval charters to modern maps and from parish registers to Victorian photographs. The database includes over 3000 images.

Crockford's Clerical Directory - biographies of over 25,000 Anglican clergy in the UK. Details of English, Welsh and Irish benefices and churches. To access from home you will need to log in to your library account, then select Home, and Crockford’s Clerical Directory appears in the Library Links box.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - contains 60,000 biographies of people who shaped the history of the British Isles and beyond, from the earliest times to the year 2016. Access from home using your Cambridgeshire Libraries card number.

Who's Who / Who Was Who - Who's Who is the essential directory of the noteworthy and influential in all walks of life, in the UK and worldwide. Who Was Who contains over 94,000 entries from the archives of Who's Who dating back to 1897. Access from home using your Cambridgeshire Libraries card number.

John Johnson Collection: An archive of printed ephemera - this collection offers unique insights into the changing nature of everyday life in Britain in the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Encyclopaedia of Popular Music (4th ed.) - this encyclopaedia's 30,000 entries cover all genres and periods of popular music from 1900 to the present day, including jazz, country, folk, rap, reggae, techno, musicals, and world music.

You can access these from home using your Cambridgeshire Libraries card number.

Living Knowledge Network (LKN) Live screening Platform A collaborative partnership between the British Library and public libraries, LKN has livestreamed unique cultural events to audiences across the UK. In light of library closures due to coronavirus, LKN has curated an archive programme of past events. A new event will be released online each week.

Visit our Library Online page for more information about art and cultural events in Libraries, including The Library Presents a programme of arts activities and events.

Business & IP Centre Cambridgeshire - A range of online business and intellectual property databases to assist with understanding your market, competitors, and customers trends.

Which? - Which? works for you reviewing products and services, so that you make the best purchase decisions for your needs. Access is only available in libraries. Please ask a member of staff for assistance.

Money Advice Service - Website with free and impartial money advice set up by the government and provided by Money and Pensions Service. Advice and guides to help improve your finances, online and telephone support and tools to help keep track and plan ahead.

Theory Test Pro - a highly realistic online simulation of the UK's driving theory tests for all vehicle categories. It contains all the official test questions licensed from the DSA, the people who set the tests.

Go Citizen - an online study resource for candidates preparing for the Life in the UK test or British citizenship test. It contains hundreds of practice test questions.

Access these from home using your Cambridgeshire Libraries card number.

Access to Research - Students, independent researchers and small businesses can now access over 1.5 million of the world’s best academic papers through their local libraries in Cambridgeshire, a result of a unique collaboration between librarians and publishers, who have made their journal content available. Available in libraries only. Book a library computer.

British Newspaper Archives - search millions of UK newspaper articles from as early as 1800. Titles include Cambridge Chronicle and Journal, Huntingdon, Bedford & Peterborough Gazette, Cambridge Independent Press and many more. Users must register before they can use the site. Available in libraries only. Book a library computer 

Times Digital Archive - online archive of every headline, article, editorial, announcement, image and advertisement published in 'The Times' newspaper from 1785-2012. Access from home using your Cambridgeshire Libraries card number.

Pressreader - View and download current national and international newspapers and magazines. More information about Pressreader can be found with our eNewspapers. Access from home using your Cambridgeshire Libraries card number.

How to access the information/databases

Access from outside of libraries

Some of these resources can be accessed from home by logging in with your Cambridgeshire Libraries card number. You will need to join Cambridgeshire Libraries - you can do this online. The number is on the back of your card - for example DD123456789000.

Access in libraries

Some resources are only available from within a library building. You will need to book a library computer using your Cambridgeshire Libraries card number.

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