Online databases

Information on how to access the libraries online databases. Most are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Our libraries have extended opening hours, but sometimes you might need information and help out of hours, or wish to find information at a time more convenient to you. 


Times Digital Archive

The Times Digital Archive is an online, full-text facsimile of more than 200 years of The Times, one of the most highly regarded resources for the 19th – 20th Century history detailing every complete page of every issue from 1785.

This historical newspaper archive allows researchers an unparalleled opportunity to search and view the best-known and most cited newspaper in the world online in its original published context. Visit the Times Digital Archive.

UK Newsstand

UK Newsstand website - access from home and from the library. ProQuest Newsstand is a fully searchable database of UK newspapers, both local and national. Choose to receive a selection of major national papers, or create customised packages.

Punch Historical Archive 1841 to 1992

From 1841 to 1992 Punch was the world’s most celebrated magazine of humour and satire. From its early years as a campaigner for social justice to its transformation into national icon, Punch played a central role in the formation of British identity – and how the rest of the world saw the British. Punch Historical  Archive 1841 to 1992.


Naxos Music Library

With an unparalleled depth of classical music content, extensive background information, and improved search facilities that remain simple and effective, Naxos Music Library (NML) is a pleasure to use regardless of your prior music and/or technical knowledge. Visit Naxos Music Library.

Grove Music Online

The authoritative resource for music research with over 57,000 articles written by over 6,000 scholars charting the diverse history, theory and cultures of music around the globe. To begin using visit Oxford Music Online.

Family history


Tracing your family history just got a lot easier. You can now access "Ancestry Library Edition" in our libraries using our online access. Find United Kingdom and Ireland Census collections from 1841 to 1911, and Census collections from the US, Australia, Canada, and across Europe; England and Wales Civil Registration Index for Births, Marriages and Deaths, and parish and probate records from the 1500s to the 1800s; military records, travel and immigration records, including border crossings, passenger arrival records and naturalization records; a large variety of American resources. Visit the Ancestry Library Edition website.

Bookmark your Library

A website with useful links on how to trace your family history. Visit the Family History website


Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Possibly the most important book this century...the Oxford DNB lists remarkable people in any walk of life who were connected with the British Isles, excluding living people. It includes not just the great and good, but people who have left a mark for any reason, good, bad, or bizarre. Visit Oxford Dictionary of National Biography website

American National Biography

With over 19,000 biographies of significant, influential or notorious figures from American history written by prominent scholars. Visit American National Biography Online.

Who's Who and Who Was Who

The essential directory of the noteworthy and influential in every area of public life, published worldwide, and written by the entrants themselves. Over 100,000 people, now deceased, who were included in previous editions of Who's Who creating the definitive roll-call of British history. Visit Who's Who and Who Was Who website

Business Information


Mint UK provides access to a wealth of company information including company data, directors, news, market research. MintUK is only available at Central Reference Library. Please ask a member of staff for assistance. Visit Mint UK website.


Cobra is a continually updated information resource for anyone who is running a small business or thinking of setting up a business. You will find practical information and advice such as:

  • Start up business ideas and profiles
  • Guides to business support in different areas of the UK
  • Business legal library covers laws and regulations applicable to small businesses
  • Help to write a business or marketing plan and information on conducting research into new markets
  • Market synopses provide guides to trends and opportunities in a number of market sectors.

Access Cobra

Fashion and Art

Bloomsbury Fashion Central

Bloomsbury Fashion Central provides all you need for researching or studying fashion. It contains three separate resources which can be searched together or separately. Visit the Bloomsbury Fashion Central databases; you just need your library membership number to log in.

Berg Fashion Library

The Berg Fashion Library is the only resource to provide integrated text and image content on world dress and fashion throughout history. Invaluable for scholars, students, professionals, and anyone interested in dress, it includes the Berg Encyclopaedia of World Dress and Fashion, an extensive E-Book collection, a vast image bank, extra reference resources and more.

Fairchild Books Library

Fairchild Books Library has everything you need to study for a career in fashion - a collection of fashion textbooks covering subjects such as design and promotion, pattern cutting, retail, colour theory, drawing and illustration, and setting up a business. The STUDIO section supports revision with practice assessments and quizzes.

Fashion Photography Archive

Fashion Photography Archive showcases forty years of contemporary fashion history from runway and backstage to street-style fashion, and key designers’ shows.  Focusing on recent fashion history the archive also contains biographies of key designers and brands including Chanel, Dior, Missoni and Prada as well as articles on recent fashion and short videos.

Grove Art Online

The foremost scholarly art encyclopedia, updated regularly and covering global art and architecture from prehistory to present day. Visit Grove Art Online.

General Reference databases

Encyclopaedia Britannica

Encyclopaedia Britannica online | Britannica Student | Britannica Junior | Britannica Adult

The world famous, award winning Encyclopaedia Britannica is now available online in our libraries. Britannica has been a comprehensive and authoritative reference resource for 230 years

The Encyclopaedia Britannica online contains five databases, it can be searched as one unit or as individual titles. It includes:

  • Internet guide
  • Dictionary and thesaurus
  • Book of the year
  • A world atlas

Oxford English Dictionary

600,000 words … 3 million quotations … over 1000 years of English
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words - past and present - from across the English-speaking world. Visit the Oxford English Dictionary website

Oxford Reference

The premier online reference product, spanning 25 different subject areas, bringing together 2 million digitized entries across Oxford University Press’s Dictionaries, Companions and Encyclopedias. Visit Oxford Reference.

Oxford Dictionaries Premium

Home of Oxford Dictionaries' premium language resources for English, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Visit Oxford Dictionaries Premium

Very Short Introductions - starter pack

Full access to 10 titles in the Very Short Introductions series of digital eBooks. The perfect way to get ahead on theses topic quickly, help with revision, or consider study options. Find out more by visiting the Very Short Introductions website

Oxford Bibliographies

Developed cooperatively with scholars and librarians worldwide, Oxford Bibliographies offers exclusive, authoritative research guides. Combining the best features of an annotated bibliography and a high-level encyclopedia, this cutting-edge resource guides researchers to the best available scholarship across a wide variety of subjects. Visit the Oxford bibliographies website.

The British Way of Life

The British Way of Life is an easy to use, comprehensive program to help new arrivals understand the British way of life. Some of the many topics covered by The British Way of Life are the different types of visa, finding a job, pre-school for children, further adult education, the communication network and so on. Visit The British Way of Life website.


Access to research

Access to Research is a new initiative to give library users free access to a wide range of published academic research in public libraries across the UK, a result of a unique collaboration between librarians and some of the best known UK publishers, who have made their journal content available for free to UK libraries. The content is ideal for small businesses, researchers and students, among others.

Subjects span art, architecture, business, engineering, history, languages, medicine, politics, philosophy, film, religion, mathematics and the sciences. Our customers are now able to access the content of 8,400 journals (over 1.5 million articles) through a library terminal. The service is not available remotely, i.e. from outside the library. Visit Access to Research.


Transparent Language Online

Researched-based and experience-driven, Transparent Language Online is a language-learning program for Library members which provides an effective, fun, and engaging experience for language learners of all levels. It offers unlimited access to courses in over 100+ languages. Visit Transparent Language Online