Online Reference and Information Resources

A wide library of free online reference and resources are available in your local library and through our website, at home, work or school.
Ideal for anyone with business queries, historical research, homework or general knowledge questions.

We can provide you with access to nearly 1000 electronic titles. These are grouped together in the services listed on this page.  Have your library membership number (e.g. D12345678) and your PIN number ready.

Access to Research

Free access to a wide range of academic articles and research. You can view article abstracts from home but the full article is only available from library premises.
Subjects include art, architecture, business, engineering, history, languages, politics, philosophy, mathematics and the sciences


American National Biography

Over 19,000 biographies of significant, influential or notorious figures from American history written by prominent scholars.


British Newspaper Archive

The British Newspaper Archive contains around 3 million pages of newspaper content, providing an unrivalled picture of provincial life spanning the whole of the 19th century. Library members can use this subscription to access the site at their local library, please ask a member of staff. Please note while there is no charge for using this subscription, normal computer charges apply.


Cobra stands for Complete Business Resource Advisor.  This  is an online resource packed with information about setting up in business, including area profiles, factsheets and signposting to the key sources of help and support in your field.  It’s also great for researching which qualifications are required for a particular career.

Click here to access Cobra.

Find my Past

Nottingham City Libraries subscribes to the Find My Past website which has the censuses for England and Wales 1841 to 1911, the General Registrar's Indexes of Births, Marriages and Deaths from 1837 to c.2006, military records from 1760 to c.1915 as well as many other useful sources of information. 
Library members can use this subscription to access the site at their local library, please ask our staff. Please note while there is no charge for using this subscription, normal computer charges apply).

Life in Great Britain

The Life in Great Britain course is from 220 Soft, with its unique features and reportage. It helps prepare all applicants to take the British Citizenship Test.
Click here to access Life in Great Britain

Oxford Bibliographies Online

Offers access to British, Irish and Victorian Literature.

Click here to access Oxford Bibliographies.com

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

The full text of the 20 volumes of the new edition of the Dictionary plus over 10,000 illustrations. Supplements are issued every year in the online edition.

Click here to access the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Oxford English Dictionary Online

The full text of the 20 volume 2nd edition plus all the supplements.
Click here to access the Oxford English Dictionary Online

Oxford Music Online

The full text of the 29 volume New Grove Dictionary of Music, the 4 volume New Grove Dictionary of Opera and the 4 volumes of the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz.
Click here to access Grove Music Online

Times Digital Archive

See an actual copy of every page of the Times Newspaper, from 1755 to 2006. Fully searchable and printable. Please note that we only have a 2-user licence to this resource; if it is busy when you try to use it, please try again later.

Click here to access the Times Digital Archive.

Universal Skills

Comprehensive step-by-step guides covering all key areas of Job Skills, Universal Jobmatch and Universal Credit. Includes an introduction to basic computer skills.

You will need your library card number and password to access the site.

Click here to access Universal Skills 


Very Short Introductions

Twentieth Century Britain, British Politics, Drugs, Contemporary Art, History, Management, Mathematics, Nutrition, The Earth, Planets and many more.

Discover a new topic or subject with these intelligent and serious introductions written by authors who are experts in the field.


Who's who and Who was Who

Published annually since 1849, Who's who contains over 33,000 short biographies, continually updated, of living noteworthy and influential individuals, from all walks of life, worldwide. When a person with an entry dies, their information is automatically transferred to Who was who. The combined publications include biographical information on over 130,000 people.
Click here to access the Who's who and Who was who

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