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Online reference library

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 bibliographical records for books, DVDs, games and CDs currently available in the UK, as well as those that are out-of-print.  Access from home using your Cambridgeshire Libraries card number.

Encyclopaedia Britannica – search or browse accessible and reliable information on anything from animals to plants, arts to sports, places to people, and history to technology. Explore a wide range of content or dig deep into a specific topic. Access from home using your Cambridgeshire Libraries card number. 

Encyclopaedia Britannica Junior (Age Group 5 to 11) – this version of Britannica is aimed at younger learners and enables them to search and browse safe, reliable, and relevant information on anything from animals to plants, arts to sports, places to people, and history to technology. Access from home using your Cambridgeshire Libraries card number. 

Encyclopaedia Britannica Student (Age Group 12 to 18) – this version of Britannica is aimed at older children and young people and enables them to search and browse safe, reliable, and relevant information on anything from animals to plants, arts to sports, places to people, and history to technology. Access from home using your Cambridgeshire Libraries card number. 

Oxford English Dictionary – access definitions, history, and pronunciation guides for 600,000 words from across the English-speaking world, past and present. Access from home using your Cambridgeshire Libraries card number. 

Oxford Dictionaries – bilingual dictionaries for the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Also includes a dictionary and thesaurus of current English, language learning support, and English grammar resources. Access from home using your Cambridgeshire Libraries card number. 

Oxford Reference – explore Dictionaries, Companions, and Encyclopaedias covering all fields of knowledge. Search results that range from short-entry, general reference to more in-depth articles on specialised subjects. Access from home using your Cambridgeshire Libraries card number. 

Who Else Writes Like - An online reference resource designed to help anyone who enjoys reading fiction to expand the number of authors they read. Search for an author whose books you have enjoyed, to see a list of recommendations for you to try next. You can also search based on characters, authors’ birth country, genres, or themes, as well as award winning authors amongst other categories. Access from home or in the library. To access from home, you will need to log in with ‘CALO-‘ followed by your Cambridgeshire Libraries card number. For example: CALO-DD123456789101. Book a library computer 

Who Next - An online reference resource designed to help parents, teachers, and librarians guide children to find more authors they will enjoy reading. Authors are searchable by name, book title and country of birth as well as by more general categories such as genres or themes and award-winning authors. Who Next? also includes information on graphic novels and titles for dyslexic or reluctant readers, as well as short story and early readers sections. Access from home or in the library. To access from home, you will need to log in with ‘CALO-‘ followed by your Cambridgeshire Libraries card number. For example: CALO-DD123456789101. Book a library computer 

Ancestry.com – search millions of historical documents and genealogy resources such as census, military and immigration records, family trees, birth, marriage, and death certificates and much more. Only available in libraries. Book a library computer.

Find My Past – search the entire index of births, marriages and deaths in England and Wales from 1837 to 2001, plus other historical documents and genealogy resources covering the UK, Ireland, Australia and North America. These include historical newspapers, birth, marriage, and death records, land and estate records, directories, almanacs and much more. Only available in libraries. Access is limited to 5 users at one time. Book a library computer.

1921 Census – Was your grandmother one of the first female racing car drivers? Or your grandfather one of the last mole catchers? The 1921 Census reveals where they were, who they were with and what they were doing one summer night a century ago.

The most extensive British census open to the public, this detailed snapshot of 38 million lives is only available online at Findmypast. Only available in libraries. Access is limited to 5 users at one time. Book a library computer.

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. Includes 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. Crockford’s Clerical Directory then appears in the Library Links box.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography – over 60,000 biographies of significant, influential or notorious figures who shaped British history, from the Romans to the year 2016. Access from home using your Cambridgeshire Libraries card number.

Who's Who / Who Was Who – 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 – access to rare or unique archival materials documenting various aspects of everyday life in Britain in the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These include prospectuses of books and journals, murders and executions broadsides, pamphlets, advertisements, and much more. Access from home by visiting the website and clicking “The John Johnson Collection” under “Online Access”. There is no need to log in.

Encyclopaedia of Popular Music (4th ed.) – 30,000 entries covering all genres and periods of popular music from 1900 to the present day, including jazz, country, folk, rap, reggae, techno, musicals, and world music. Access 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 livestreams unique cultural events to audiences across the UK and has curated an archive programme of past events, with new content added regularly. Access from home by visiting the website. There is no need to log in.

Visit Library Live for more information about in-person art and cultural events in libraries.

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? magazine offers product and service reviews to help you make the best purchase decisions for your needs. Only available in libraries. Please ask a member of staff for assistance logging in. Book a library computer.

Money Advice Service – free and impartial website with advice and guidance on everyday budgeting, cost of living, benefits, pensions and retirement, savings, and more. Provided by the government and Money and Pensions Service. Access from home by visiting the website. There is no need to log in.

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. Access from home by creating a free account using your Cambridgeshire Libraries card number.

Go Citizen – an online study resource for candidates preparing for the Life in the UK or British citizenship test. Includes an online version of the latest official study materials licensed from the Home Office, the people who write the handbook, and hundreds of practice test questions in the same format as the official test. Access from home by creating a free account using your Cambridgeshire Libraries card number.

Access to Research – free access to over 30 million of the world’s best academic articles from participating publishers. Subjects covered include the sciences, art, architecture, business, engineering, history, languages, politics, philosophy, mathematics and much more. Only available in libraries.Book a library computer.

British Newspaper Archive – free access to millions of UK newspapers dating from the 1700s. Local titles include the Cambridge Chronicle and Journal, Huntingdon, Bedford & Peterborough Gazette, Cambridge Independent Press, plus many more from across the UK. Users must register for a free account. Only available in libraries.Book a library computer

Times Digital Archive – online, full-text archive of more than 200 years of The Times Newspaper, from 1785-2012.  Access from home using your Cambridgeshire Libraries card number.

Pressreader – free access to current national and international newspapers and magazines, including titles available in over 60 languages. Translate today’s newspapers from English into other languages or select the Listen speakerphone icon to have a newspaper or magazine read to you. Access from home using your Cambridgeshire Libraries card number and PIN.

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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