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Online resources

About our online resources

Poole Libraries have taken out subscriptions to a number of quality information sites which are all available on this page for you to use for free.

If you are in a library you have direct access (no password required). Elsewhere your Poole library card number is your password, so just enter it when asked. All except Ancestry, Access to Research, Which online, the British Newspaper Archive and the John Johnson Collection are available for you to use in this way. These are only available if you are in a library - either on your own computer or smartphone using the library's Wi-Fi, or on one of the library's free computers.

If you are not a member, it is easy to join - you can even join online.

You have free access to online newspapers (not just today's, but going back years), a major encyclopaedia and other trusted and reliable reference sources.

Please also see our Audiobooks and eBooks pages. 

Important update about our online resources

As of 14th March 2017 we will no longer be subscribing to Times Digital Archive and Nineteenth Century British Library Newspapers. As of 1st April 2017 we will no longer be subscribing to Newsbank and Credo Reference. 

If you are a member of Bournemouth Libraries you will still be able to access Times Digital Archive, Nineteenth Century British Library Newspapers and Newsbank by visiting their website

If you are a member of Dorset Libraries you will still be able to access Times Digital Archive and Newsbank by visiting their website.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by these changes to our service. If you have any queries please contact Nell O'Hora at n.ohora@poole.gov.uk

Resources from Oxford University Press 

Oxford English Dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionary is widely held to be the most authoritative and comprehensive record of the English language in the world,tracing the evolution and use of more than 600,000 words through 3 million quotations. OED Online gives you not only the latest text of the full Oxford English Dictionary, but also the Historical Thesaurus of the OED, and new ways to explore the English language.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography includes the life stories of over 57,000 men and women who shaped British history and culture worldwide, from the Romans to the 21st century.

Oxford Reference

Oxford Reference Online is the new home of Oxford’s quality reference publishing bringing together over 2-million entries, many of which are illustrated, into a single cross-searchable resource. From subject reference, quotation, and language dictionaries in the Oxford Quick Reference collection, to award winning Oxford Companions and Encyclopaedias, in the Oxford Reference Library you can cross-search Oxford’s trusted reference content at the click of a button.  

Who's Who

Who’s Who and Who Was Who - custom-built for biographical research: cross-search over 130,000 influential people from all walks of life worldwide, who have left their mark on British public life. Entries are written by the subjects themselves and can include full name, birth date, education, career, contact details and more. Compare subjects' biographies in Who Was Who with their autobiographical entries in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography with over 10,000 direct links.

Oxford Art

Oxford Art Online - Over 45,000 signed articles covering the fine arts, including painting, sculpture, architecture and the decorative arts, including ceramics, textiles, jewellery, interior design, furniture, glass, and metalwork. Over 21,000 biographies, over 6,000 art images and line drawings as well as direct links from biographies to other online resources, including the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Regularly updated with new and revised articles and images, plus contemporary art updates and images from the ongoing contemporary art programme. 

Oxford Music

Oxford Music Online - Over 55,000 articles written by over 6,000 leading international experts chart the diverse history and culture of music and musicians from around the world, from Bach to the blues. Detailed works lists for a vast range of composers, from Rosalina Abejo to Bernard Zweers. Over 500 Sibelius-enabled audio examples, over 33,000 biographies,learning resources and timelines provide invaluable support for teachers and students. External links at article level to the Classical Music Library, plus article-level links to the RILM database of music bibliography.

Credo Reference logo

Credo Reference is a vast online reference library, giving access to nearly 600 online reference books from over 60 well-known publishers.You will find images, sound files, animations, videos and lots more. There is even a crossword-solver. All this in one searchable site!  

The Newsbank Logo

Newsbank brings you not just national daily newspapers online, including Sunday editions, but also local titles such as, the Daily Echo, the Dorset Echo and the Western Gazette and 28 business titles. Use the search function to find the article you are looking for. 

Britannica logo

You can access each of the three encyclopaedias using the following links - please use the correct one, depending on whether you are in a library or at home:

Britannica Adult - for adults and older students

In the library        At home

Britannica Junior  - for ages 6-10

In the library        At home

Britannica Student - for ages 10-14 

In the library        At home

Theory Test Pro logo

Theory Test Pro is an online simulation of the UK's driving theory test. It contains up to date versions of the entire official test question bank, hazard perception video clips, and an online version of the Highway Code. All this material is licensed from the Driving Standards Agency (DSA), the people who set the tests. 


Go Citizen logo

GoCitizen.co.uk is an online study resource for candidates preparing for the  'Life in the UK' Test or British citizenship test (it has been updated to take account of the most recent changes). It includes an online version of the latest official study materials licensed from the Home Office (the people who write the handbook) plus hundreds of practice test questions in the same format as the                                            official test.

Rock's Backpages

Rock's Backpages is a complete archive of the history of rock music - they have given us access to free material available on the site: just click on one of the articles under Free on RBP and use the Username PooleRBP and password PooleROCKS to access the article.

Who else writes like logo

If you like a particular type of fiction, or maybe stories set in a particular country, you need to try Who Else Writes Like?. You can access it directly on the computers in the library, or at home with your library card number as your login.


Whonext? is similar to Who Else Writes Like but for children and young people. If accessing from home this link takes you straight to the login page where you can input your library card number.

Available only in libraries (not at home)

British Newspaper Archive

British Newspaper Archive

The British Newspaper Archive is a project to digitise up to 40 million pages from the British Library's vast collection of local newspapers over the next 10 years. Search millions of articles by keyword, name, location, date or title and watch your results appear in an instant. To begin, register with the site with your email address and password - once logged in, you can carry out unlimited searches (but our current licence only allows five users at a time).

Ancestry Library Edition logo
Ancestry is a family history website where you can access Census information (1841 to 1901), births, marriages and deaths, military records and much more. You can access Ancestry free if you visit any of our libraries. For more information about researching your family tree, go to our Local and Family History page.
Which? logo

Search online - 700 reports are available, and an archive which goes back to January 2005. Ask library staff to log you in.


Image from the John Johnson collection

Another resource available in libraries is the John Johnson collection. This is essentially a collection of images of nearly 60,000 printed illustrations spanning the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The collection is held in the Bodleian Library at Oxford.


Access to Research

Browse a library of journals by visiting the Access to Research website. To access the full text of the journal article users will need to log in to a library computer with a valid Poole Library card. To find out more about accessing this extensive and growing database of publicly-funded research papers and academic journals, either download the flyer here or ask at your local library. There are some Frequently Asked Questions at www.accesstoresearch.org.uk/about.

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