Reference and research

Being a member of the library gives you access to more than 50 online subscriptions free of charge.

You will need your library card number and PIN to log in to the websites. You can only access some of the sites on computers in particular libraries - if this is the case we have not included a link to the website.

Find out about researching your family history including useful websites you can use.

Gale News Vault

Use the link to the News Vault to search the following resources individually or all in one go.

British Library newspapers

A comprehensive range of national, regional and local newspapers published in 19th century Britain, which reflects the social, political and cultural events of the times. Users can search across a large range of titles, perform full-text searches and view specific article types.

Illustrated London News

The world's first fully illustrated weekly newspaper, it allowed readers to not only read about British and world events but to actually see them. From war and disasters to politics and the arts, it provided a vivid view of the people, places and events that, until then, most of its readers could only imagine.

Times Digital Archives

Search through the digital edition of The Times (London) 1785 - 2007 using keyword or date searches to retrieve full facsimile images of either a specific article or a complete page. The entire newspaper is captured, with all notices, obituaries, advertisements and illustrations/photos divided into categories to facilitate searching.

Visit the Gale News Vault website.

UK Press Online

Access digitised copies of:

  • The South Eastern Gazette 1852 - 1912

Visit the UK Press Online website

EBSCO Newspaper Source Plus/ MasterFILE Complete

More than 63 million articles from over 1,000 UK and international newspapers including The Times, Telegraph, Daily Mail, Washington Post, Toronto Star, and The Australian, and a range of full text periodicals in the areas of business, health, education, fitness, sports and leisure, personal finance, general science, multicultural issues, DIY, fashion and much more.
Visit the EBSCO website.

A free mobile app which searches across all the EBSCO databases is also available to download from your app store.

British Newspaper Archive - Community Edition (all libraries, no remote access)

A partnership between the British Library and Brightsolid online publishing to digitise up to 40 million newspaper pages from the British Library's vast collection over the next 10 years.

So far it includes the following archives for Kent newspapers (the runs might not be complete in all cases):

  • Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times And Farmers' Gazette - 8 Oct 1836 to 30 Dec 1911
  • Chatham News – Jan 1863 - Mar 1939
  • Dover Express - 7 Aug 1858 to 30 Dec 1950
  • East Kent Times - 1 Jan 1859 to 31 Dec 1864
  • Faversham Gazette and Whitstable, Sittingbourne, and Milton Journal - 21 Jul 1855 to 31 Oct 1857
  • Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate and Cheriton Herald - 3 Jan 1891 to 28 Dec 1935
  • Gravesend Reporter, North Kent and South Essex Advertiser- Feb 1856 to Dec 1909
  • Kent and Sussex Courier - Jun 1873 to Mar 1950
  • Kentish Chronicle - 9 Jul 1859 to 28 Dec 1867
  • Kentish Gazette - 28 May 1768 to Dec 1874
  • Kentish Independent -  Jan 1843 to Dec 1909
  • Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal - 3 Jan 1794 to 21 Nov 1838
  • Maidstone Journal & Kentish Advertiser - 5 Jan 1830 to 25 Dec 1902
  • Maidstone Telegraph - 1 Jan 1859 to 5 Aug 1871
  • Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser - 18 Feb 1881 to 29 Dec 1950
  • South Eastern Gazette - 9 Jan 1827 to 30 Dec 1865
  • Thanet Advertiser- 26 Nov 1859 to 29 Dec 1950
  • West Kent Guardian - 13 Dec 1834 to 2 Aug 1856
  • Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald - 5 Jan 1867 to 31 Dec 1950

See the full list of titles.

Free access is restricted to library computers and you will need to register for an individual account. We have a limited number of concurrent licences across the county; to enable a maximum of people to benefit, the product will log you out following 10 minutes of inactivity.

Oxford bibliography and dictionaries

Access British and Irish literature and Victorian literature on the Oxford Bibliographies website. You can see also see the:

Dictionary of National Biography

A national record of men and women who have shaped British history and culture, worldwide, from the Romans to the 21st century

Visit the Dictionary of National Biography

Britannica Online

Our subscription provides access to three age-specific encyclopedias. Select the most suitable link for your needs in the list below. Enter your borrower number using a capital D.

EBSCO UK/EIRE Reference Centre

Need to illustrate your project work? EBSCO holds a huge bank of images rights-cleared for personal use. Also a selection of UK and International magazines, newspapers (including UK local and tabloid papers) and reference books. The EBSCO UK Reference Centre mobile app is also available for Kent library members.

Visit the UK Reference Centre website.

EBSCO Newspaper Source Plus/ MasterFILE Complete

More than 63 million articles from over 1,000 UK and international newspapers including The Times, Telegraph, Daily Mail, Washington Post, Toronto Star, and The Australian, and a range of full text periodicals in the areas of business, health, education, fitness, sports and leisure, personal finance, general science, multicultural issues, DIY, fashion and much more.
Visit the EBSCO website.

A free mobile app which searches across all the EBSCO databases is also available to download from your app store.

Access to research

Free, walk-in access to taxpayer-funded research papers for public library users. Browse the library of journals by visiting the Access to Research website. To access the full text of the journal article you will need to log in to a library computer (with a valid Kent Library card).

Ask at your local library for information on how to access this extensive and growing database of publicly-funded research papers and academic journals.

British History Online

British History Online is a digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles.

Our subscription includes access to institutional premium content.

Cambridge Histories Online

Containing over 300 volumes published since 1960, this covers over 15 different academic subjects including literature and performing arts, providing a diverse, up to date and authoritative collection that is a must for anyone researching or studying a subject that has an historical element.

Remote access requires a login and password. Ask at your local library on your next visit or call Ask a Kent Librarian on 03000 41 64 38 and give your library card number.

Visit the Cambridge Histories Online website.

Universal Job Match

You can search and apply for jobs free via Universal Jobmatch, which is one of the largest job search websites in Europe.

You don't need to be registered to search for jobs but setting up an account will help match job opportunities to your skill-set and enable you to use the CV builder.

Issues

Provides articles with news and views on each topic, key facts, key statistics, lobby group links, newspaper archives, reference sites, research guides and assignment/debate suggestions on contemporary social issues ranging from abortion and substance abuse to homelessness, racism and waste pollution.

Visit the Issues website.

Very Short Introductions

This collection offers concise overviews of a diverse range of subject areas - from climate to consciousness, game theory to ancient warfare, privacy to islamic history, entrepreneurship to literary theory. There are over 300 titles suitable for students, scholars, and the avidly curious, bridging the gap between reference content and higher academic work. Written by experts in the field they combine facts, analysis, new ideas and enthusiasm to make challenging topics highly readable. The perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly.

Visit the Very Short Introductions website.

Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia

This 17 volume encyclopedia - completely revised and updated 2003 version of the original work published in Germany in 1960 - incorporates recent developments in the animal world. You can use it online and download sections to your eReader to read or listen to at your convenience. Access is through the Gale Virtual Reference Library.

Visit the Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia website.

British Way of Life

Provides all new arrivals into the UK with the necessary information to make it easier for them to get used to their new home, to integrate and to become personally resilient.

Visit the British Way of Life website.

Life in Great Britain

This online course provides access to course material from chapters 2 to 6 of "Life in the United Kingdom: a journey into Citizenship" published by the Home Office. It also includes speech, a glossary, revision tests at the end of each section and full practice tests to prepare you for UK Citizenship test.

Please note: This product was designed for computers and doesn't work properly on iPad or Android mobile devices. Users can explore and read all the content, but they cannot currently access any audio files.

Visit the Life in Great Britain website.

Public Information Online

Public Information Online contains all material from 2006/07 Parliamentary session onwards. The site is updated daily with fully searchable PDFs that are available on the day of publication. It also includes non Parliamentary material from 2009 onwards including official departmental reports, technical papers , research reports, annual reports and statistical research.

Visit the Public Information Online website

Westlaw UK (Kent History and Library Centre only)

This legal resource provides:

  • Law cases - over 400,000 case reports and transcripts dating back to 1220
  • Legislation  - UK Acts and Statutory Instruments, consolidated back to 1267, as currently in force and updated daily
  • Commentary - analytical commentary from the entire Common Law Library, market-leading books and looseleaf publications.

Theory Test Pro

Theory Test Pro is a highly realistic online simulation of the UK's driving theory test. It contains 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.

How to sign up for Theory Test Pro

When you first use Theory Test Pro, you will need to register with your name, email address and password. This information allows Theory Test Pro to save your test scores so you can follow your progress as you practise for the test. If you sign up from anywhere other than a library, you will also need your library card number.

Visit the Theory Test Pro website.

Naxos Music Library

Listen to more than 1.5 million tracks. Select by genre - classical, jazz, blues, world music, pop/rock - or composer. Support materials for GCSE or A-level courses are in the study area. Also includes some spoken word under the genre tab. Remember to log out after each session.

Naxos Music Library mobile app is available for download to Android and iOS devices. Log in with your Kent library card number and follow the instructions under the mobile app tab.

Visit the Naxos Music Library website.

Naxos Music Library - jazz

Listen to almost 40,000 jazz tracks (7,000 discs) covering both jazz legends and contemporary jazz - search by genre or label, or by artist via the Advanced Search. Remember to log out after each session.

Visit the jazz section of the Naxos Music Library website.

Oxford Art Online

Comprises the full text of the 'Dictionary of Art' and the 'Oxford Companion to Western Art' and now Benezit Online. Includes over 45,000 signed articles, 2,500 illustrations, 40,000+ images linked from other art sites, and 21,000+ biographies.

Visit the Oxford Art Online website.

Oxford Music Online

Contains the full text of the 'New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians' (2nd edition), the 'New Grove Dictionary of Opera' and the 'New Grove Dictionary of Jazz' (2nd edition); over 45,000 specially-commissioned articles, 20,000+ biographies and 3-D interactive images of musical instruments.

Visit the Oxford Music Online website.

If you need help with research, homework or a library service our librarians are here to answer your questions.

Chat online

Being a member of the library gives you access to more than 50 online subscriptions free of charge.

Follow the links below for more information on resources. For licensing reasons, some of our resources are not available remotely and can only be accessed on computers in particular libraries, therefore no link is given. Ask your local library for more details.

Kent-specific sites - free to use

Social Care and Health

Our social care and health section has information and advice about care homes, day care, home care, carer's services etc. .

Kent and Medway Cancer Guide

Kent and Medway Cancer Guide is a site funded by Macmillan Cancer Support which contains a wealth of local and wider information and advice about cancer.

Visit the Kent and Medway Cancer Guide website.

Health Help Now

Find your nearest services or source of advice, and check symptoms.

Visit the Health Help Now website.

Live It Well

Live It Well pulls together ideas, resources and information about things to do in Kent "that can help you find ways to live life well".

Visit the Live It Well website.

Signpost UK

Signpost UK is the route to advice and help for people in Kent and Medway seeking information about mental health.

Visit the Signpost UK website.

National sites - free to use

HSE Books

HSE Books has full copies of Health and Safety Executive publications, including their regulations, available to download free as PDF documents. Search by keyword, click on the publication title and then on "free PDF download available" to access.

Visit the HSE Books website.

NHS LifeChecks

NHS LifeChecks is an online health service that will help you assess your own and your child or teen's health and well-being. All you need to do is answer a set of simple questions about your lifestyle and NHS LifeCheck will give you confidential results and advice.

Visit the NHS LifeChecks website.

NHS Choices

NHS Choices is a guide to information about the NHS generally and services. The main gateway to the 'Patients' choice' scheme enabling you to choose your hospital.

Visit the NHS Choices website.

Patient Opinion

Patient Opinion is all about enabling patients to share their experiences of health care, and by doing so help other patients.

Visit the Patient Opinion website.

Patient UK

Patient UK  is a comprehensive, free, up-to-date health information as provided by UK GP s to patients and carers during consultations. The ultimate FAQ resource for health.

Visit the Patient UK website.

Boots WebMD

Boots WebMD is produced in partnership by boots.com and the BMJ Publishing Group Ltd (publishers of the British Medical Journal) this site provides free access to a wealth of information and advice on everyday health matters, written in a language that is easy to understand.

Visit the Boots WebMD website.

Libraries offer a wide range of books on health issues. Search the library catalogue or speak to your local library for more information.

Being a member of the library gives you free access to information that could otherwise cost thousands of pounds. For licensing reasons, some of our resources need to be used by staff on behalf of customers.

COBRA

The Complete Online Business Reference Advisor (COBRA) is an encyclopaedia of practical information for anyone involved in setting up, running and managing a business enterprise.

As a Kent library card holder, you can download or print documents for your own personal use, to help research, start up or run a business. No part of the product can be transmitted, promoted, referred to or linked to by any other means, including by email or on the internet, without written permission from COBRA. Remote access is restricted to 12 Business Information Briefings, 12 Business Opportunities Profiles, and 6 UK Market Synopsis a year. You can access the COBRA website in any Kent library or at home.

Visit the COBRA website.

Mint UK

Mint can be used to search for company reports, contact, financial, credit and ownership details for all registered UK companies; to download Euromonitor market intelligence reports; and extract mailing lists tailored to your requirements. Due to licensing restrictions, Ask a Kent Librarian needs to access Mint on your behalf.

Please contact us for more information.

Companies House

Companies House incorporates and dissolves limited companies, registers the information companies are legally required to supply, and makes that information available to the public. The Webcheck facility gives basic details for all UK incorporated companies – use it before settling on a business name.

Visit the Companies House website.

IP Equip

Learn how to protect your intellectual property rights by using the IP Equip interactive eLearning tool. This free online training will teach you about intellectual property rights such as trademarks, patents, copyright and designs.

Visit the IP Equip website.

Sources of Funding

Find out about available business loans and funding to help start or expand your business in Kent.

You can also find useful information from these organisations:

Being a member of the library gives you access to more than 50 online subscriptions free of charge. When you follow the links below you will be asked for your library card number. For licensing reasons, some of our resources are not available remotely and can only be accessed on computers in particular libraries, therefore no link is given. Ask your local library for more details.

Public Information Online

Public Information Online contains all material from 2006/07 Parliamentary session onwards. The site is updated daily with fully searchable PDFs that are available on the day of publication. It also includes non Parliamentary material from 2009 onwards including official departmental reports, technical papers , research reports, annual reports and statistical research.

Visit the Public Information Online website.

Free websites

Kent facts and figures

Data compiled and analysed by our Research and Intelligence unit.

Visit our Kent facts and figures page.

Kent Public Health Observatory

Information and statistics relating to public health in Kent.

Visit the Kent Public Health Observatory website.

Kent Landscape Information System

This site contains details on countryside access, landscape character, identifies opportunities for habitat creation and landscape restoration, the Kent habitat survey as well as areas designated for their conservation value.

Visit the Kent Landscape Information System website.

National Statistics

The site for official UK statistics, including census figures and neighbourhood statistics.

Visit the National Statistics website.

Eurostat

This website is updated daily and provides direct access to the latest and most complete statistical information available on the European Union, the EU Member States, the Euro-zone and other countries.

Visit the Eurostat website.

Wisden's Cricketing Almanack Archive

The online archive gives access to the famous Almanack from 1864-2011 including Cricketer of the Year essays, the best features and articles, editors' notes from each edition as well as reports and scorecards from every Test and one-day international.

Visit the Wisen's Cricketing Almanack Archive website.