History and social sciences resources

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.

British History Online (all libraries, no remote access)

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

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

Containing over 300 volumes published since 1960, this covers over 15 different academic subjects 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.

Visit the Cambridge Histories Online website.

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

European Views of the Americas: 1493-1750

Provided in collaboration with the John Carter Brown Library, this is a bibliographic for those interested in European works that relate to the Americas, based on the authoritative bibliography "European Americana: A Chronological Guide to Works Printed in Europe Relating to The Americas, 1493-1750." It covers the history of European exploration as well as portrayals of Native American peoples. A wide range of subject areas are covered from natural disasters to disease outbreaks and slavery.

Visit the European Americana website.

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.


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.

UK Press Online

Access digitised copies of:

  • The South Eastern Gazette 1852 - 1912

Visit the UK Press Online website.

Other useful websites

Historical currency converter

Find out how much an amount of today's money would have been worth in a particular decade or how much yesterday's money is worth today.

Visit the National Archives website.

Measuring Worth

If you want to know what a monetary value in the past is worth today, the Measuring Worth calculators can provide several alternative answers with a guide to the best choice.

Visit the Measuring Worth website.

Manuscripts Online

Manuscripts Online offers online primary resources relating to written and early printed culture in Britain during the period 1000 to 1500.

The resources include literary manuscripts, historical documents and early printed books which are located on websites owned by libraries, archives, universities and publishers.

Visit the Manuscripts Online website.

National Archives Education

Award winning suite of online resources for students and teachers on various periods of history from medieval times to today via the Victorians and the world wars. Includes podcasts, lesson plans linked to downloadable documents and video-assisted tours of various resources.

Visit the National Archives Education website.