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.

Ancestry Library Edition

Access from public library computers only. Start searching billions of records to help discover your family's story. Key sources include census records. The UK collections offer census records for England, Wales, Isle of Man, Channel Islands, and Scotland, 1841 to 1911. There are also sources on Ancestry Library Edition connected with births, marriages and deaths, immigration and travel, military service, wills, probate, land, taxes and crime. A simply search using an ancestor's first name and surname can produce some interesting results, which can be printed or emailed.

Contact your local library for more information.

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 website.

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.

Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland

Search over 45,000 entries including current surnames with more than 100 bearers and those that had more than 20 bearers in the 1881 census. The entries give an explanation of the name’s origins, variations in spelling, and information about geographical distribution.

In order to access this resource, visit the Oxford Reference website and sign in with your library card. Then select 'Show Books in my subscription'.

Visit the Oxford Reference website.

Who's Who (with Who was Who) Online

Who's Who is the essential directory of the noteworthy and influential in the UK and worldwide. Who Was Who includes over 100,000 entries from the archives of Who's Who dating back to 1898.

Visit the Who's Who website.

Free websites

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The "Debt of Honour Register" database lists the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died during the 2 world wars and the 23,000 cemeteries, memorials and other locations worldwide where they are commemorated. You can also search the register for details of the 67,000 Commonwealth civilians who died as a result of enemy action in the Second World War.

Visit the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website.

Family Search

Family Search is a non profit service sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The site provides access to "the largest collection of free family history, family tree and genealogy records in the world".

Visit the Family Search website.

Find my Past - Community Edition

Access from public library computers only.

View around 750 million records including birth, marriage and death records, the complete UK census collection (including the official 1911 census), millions of parish records (including Kent parishes) dating as far back as 1538, a vast military records collection spanning 1656 to 1994, migration records etc. This now includes the 1939 register.

Other subscriptions excludes memorial scrolls and the Living Relatives database. Our licence states that usage is for research into a user's own family history only, and not for any commercial or other purpose whatsoever and that accessing records on behalf of 3rd parties is not permitted.

Contact your local library for more information.

FreeBMD

Access to partial indexes for 1837 to 1992 civil records of births, marriages and deaths.

Visit the FreeBMD website.

Historic Environment Record

The Historic Environment Record provides free access to 1000s of local history resources including images, transcribed wills and documents and town trails. The Kent section includes transcribed wills, a history of the papermaking industry, a history of people and work in the Lower Medway Valley is being prepared. You can also access ordnance survey maps from between 1860 - 1930. Using the Map Search- Heritage Maps facility, you can also access historic ordnance survey maps of Kent as well as aerial photographs of Kent from 1946, 1990 and 2008.

Search the Historic Environment Record website.

Medway Archives Centre

The Medway Archive Centre preserves and makes available for research the archives of the Medway area of Kent and also the parish records of north-west Kent.

Visit the Medway Archives Online Catalogue.

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 Gazette - April 1857 to Dec 1964
  • 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 Express, Sandgate, Shorncliffe & Hythe Advertiser - 1868-1894, 1901, 1903-1913, 1915-1924
  • 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 - 1873 to 1896, 1898 to 1910, 1912 to 1976, and 1978
  • 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.

EBSCOhost

EBSCO is a collection of online resources that provides full text and bibliographic access to newspaper and journal articles. Search the following databases simultaneously, or select "Choose Database" to search each individually:

  • Education Resource Information Centre (ERIC)
  • European Views of the Americas 1493 to 1750
  • GreenFILE
  • Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts (LISTA)
  • MasterFILE Complete
  • MEDLINE
  • Newspaper Source Plus
  • UK & Ireland Reference Centre

Visit the EBSCO website.

Gale News Vault

Use the news vault to search the following resources individually, or all in one go:

  • British Library Newspapers
  • Illustrated London News Historical Archive 1842-2003
  • Times Digital Archive 1785-2014

Sign into our collection of Gale Databases to access the Gale News Vault.

Illustrated London News Historical Archive 1842 to 2003

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.

Sign into our collection of Gale Databases to access the Illustrated London News Historical Archive 1842 to 2003.

Newspaper Source Plus

Newspaper Source Plus includes more than 860 full-text UK and international newspapers, providing more than 35 million full-text articles. Titles include The Times, Telegraph, Daily Mail, Washington Post, Toronto Star, and The Australian. In addition, the database features more than 857,000 television and radio news transcripts.

Newspaper Source Plus  is accessed through the EBSCOhost. Follow the link below and select "Choose Database" to select Newspaper Source Plus.

Sign into EBSCO to visit the Newspaper Source Plus website.

PressReader

Access over 7,000 newspapers and magazines on your phone, tablet or on a computer. Read the current edition and recent past copies. You can create an account with your library card to browse through the available titles by country, category or publication type.

Find out more about PressReader on our eBook pages.

The PressReader app is available for download on mobile devices. Please search for it on your app store.

Visit the PressReader website for more information.

RBDigital

A curated collection of over 130 eMagazines that you can download and keep for as long as you want.  Create an account with your library card, browse available titles and click on the "Checkout" button to download.

Find out more about RBDigital on our eBook pages.

The RBDigital app is available for download on mobile devices. Please search for it on your app store.

Visit the RBDigital website for more information.

Times Digital Archives 1785 to 2014

Search through the digital edition of The Times (London) 1785 to 2014 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.

Sign into our collection of Gale Databases to access the Times Digital Archives 1785 to 2014.

UK & Ireland Reference Centre

The UK & Ireland Reference Centre combines British & Irish sources (including magazines, newspapers, and reference books) with international sources to create the most complete collection of full-text research publications for UK/Irish public libraries.

The UK & Ireland Reference Centre  is accessed through the EBSCOhost. Follow the link below and select "Choose Database" to select UK & Ireland Reference Centre.

Sign into EBSCO to visit the UK & Ireland Reference Centre website.

UK Press Online – South Eastern Gazette

Access to digitised copies of newspapers. Please note our subscription only provides access to the South Eastern Gazette (1860-1912). Select the 'Advanced Search' to search the South Eastern Gazette. In order to access this service from outside the library, you will need to register for a free account.

Visit the UK Press Online website.

Free websites

DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals)

DOAJ is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals. Contains access to over 12,000 journals and 3.4million articles from 128 countries.

Visit the DOAJ website.

Easy News

The first newspaper designed to be accessible for people with learning disabilities. It will be published every two months and is available in print and online. An audio version will also be available on CD and online.

Visit the Easy News website.

Travellers' Times

Travellers' Times Online brings the latest news, pictures, video, opinion and resources from within the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

Visit the Travellers' Times.

Britannica Online

Explore the library edition of the online encyclopaedia from Encyclopaedia Britannica with hundreds of thousands of articles, biographies, videos, images, and web sites.

Visit the Britannica Online website.

Oxford Dictionaries

Oxford's English language reference works are popular and reliable resources that provide expert recommendations on grammar, spelling, and usage; essential guides to the written word; and specialist dictionaries for writers, editors, proof-readers, and other professionals.

Oxford Dictionaries also contains bilingual dictionaries in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Visit the Oxford Dictionaries website.

Free websites

BBC Bitesize

Learning resources for school and home for key stages 1 to 3 and GCSE level students.

Visit the BBC Bitesize 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.

Oxford Owl

An award-winning website packed with expert advice, top tips, eBooks and activities to help you support your child's reading and maths at home. Free registration.

Visit the Oxford Owl website.

Primary Homework Help

A site packed full of homework help resources and games suitable for primary school age children.

Visit the Primary Homework Help website.

Productivity tools

The University of Kent has pulled together a list of useful apps and software to help with work and study. Resources include support for file storage, text to speech and voice recognition and most of the tools are free to use

Visit the University of Kent 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.

COBRA

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

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.

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.

Free computer courses

Learn My Way

Step-by-step online basic computer courses. Customers can learn to use a keyboard and mouse, create an email account, search the internet and much more (e.g. job hunting and shopping online).

Please note: you will need your library branch's UK Online centre code to register for a full account.

Contact your local library for more information or visit the Learn My Way website.

Cisco online courses

We are working in partnership with Cisco NetAcad to provide a range of free online courses designed to help progress your career in IT. Cisco provides online industry recognised qualifications.

The introductory courses are self-paced so you can enrol and complete each one in your own time. At the end of each course you have the option to take a final assessment, or you may choose to complete a knowledge quiz to check your understanding. Cisco courses are industry recognised qualifications.

Free websites

CXK

CXK is a charity that delivers a range of services to empower young people and adults across the south-east to build the skills and confidence they need to move into sustainable education, employment or training.

Visit the CXK website.

Find a Job

You can search and apply for jobs free via Find a Job from the Department for Work and Pensions. You don't need to be registered to search for jobs but setting up an account will help match job opportunities to your skills and enable you to use the CV builder.

Visit the Find a Job website.

FutureLearn

FutureLearn is a private company owned by the Open University that offers a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. The courses are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life. Many of the online courses can be accessed for free for the duration of the course plus fourteen days.

Visit the FutureLearn website.

Kent Adult Education

Kent Adult Education provides an extensive programme of courses aiming to meet the varied needs and interests of Kent communities.

Visit the Kent Adult Education website.

Learndirect

Guidance and advice on careers and courses, as well as details of their online courses.

Visit the Learndirect website.

National Careers Service

The National Careers Service provides information, advice and guidance to help you make decisions on learning, training and work.

Visit the National Careers Service website.

UCAS

The University and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) is an independent charity providing information, advice, and admissions services to guide prospective undergraduate and postgraduate students (plus parents and advisers) along the right route, giving them the support and advice they need to make an informed decision about their future.

Visit the UCAS website.

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. Please contact Ask a Kent Librarian and give your library card number.

Visit the Cambridge Histories Online website.

Dictionary of National Biography

Tells the stories of more than 60,000 people who shaped the history of the British Isles and beyond. It also includes more than 11,000 portrait illustrations, essays, reference lists and groups. The DNB online contains the complete text of the original 33-volumes of the first edition of the Dictionary of National Biography, updated and expanded with new and revised entries.

Visit the Dictionary of National Biography website.

Education Resource Information Centre

ERIC, the Education Resource Information Centre, provides access to education literature and research. The database provides access to information from journals included in the Current Index of Journals in Education and Resources in Education Index. Content includes journal articles, research reports, curriculum and teaching guides, conference papers, dissertations and theses, and books dating back to 1966.

Education Resource Information Centre is accessed through the EBSCO Host. Visit the Education Resource Information Centre website and select "Choose Database" to select the Education Resource Information Centre.

Sign into EBSCO to visit the Education Resource Information Centre website.

European Views of the Americas

This new bibliographic database is a valuable index for libraries, scholars and individuals interested in European works that relate to the Americas. EBSCO Publishing, in cooperation with the John Carter Brown Library, has created this resource from "European Americana: A Chronological Guide to Works Printed In Europe Relating to The Americas, 1493-1750", the authoritative bibliography that is well-known and respected by scholars worldwide. The database contains more than 32,000 entries and is a comprehensive guide to printed records about the Americas written in Europe before 1750.

European Views of the Americas is accessed through the EBSCO Host. Visit the European Views of the Americas website and select "Choose Database" to select European Views of the Americas.

Sign into EBSCO to visit the European Views of the Americas website.

Gale News Vault

Use the News Vault to search the following resources individually, or all in one go:

  • British Library Newspapers
  • Illustrated London News Historical Archive 1842-2003
  • Times Digital Archive 1975-2012

Sign into our collection of Gale Databases to access the Gale News Vault.

GreenFILE

GreenFILE offers well-researched information covering all aspects of human impact to the environment. Its collection of scholarly, government and general-interest titles includes content on global warming, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling, and more. The database provides indexing and abstracts for more than 384,000 records, as well as Open Access full text for more than 4,700 records.

GreenFILE is accessed through the EBSCO Host. Visit the EBSCO website and select "Choose Database" to select GreenFILE.

Sign into EBSCO to visit the GreenFILE website.

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.

The John Johnson Collection

Access thousands of items selected from the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera at the Bodleian Library, offering unique insights into the changing nature of everyday life in Britain in the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Categories include Nineteenth-Century Entertainment, the Booktrade, Popular Prints, Crimes, Murders and Executions, and Advertising.

Visit the John Johnson Collection website.

Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts

Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts (LISTA) indexes more than 560 core journals, nearly 50 priority journals, and nearly 125 selective journals; plus books, research reports and proceedings. Subject coverage includes librarianship, classification, cataloguing, bibliometrics, online information retrieval, information management and more. Coverage in the database extends back as far as the mid-1960s.

LISTA is accessed through the EBSCO Host. Visit the EBSCO website and select "Choose Database" to select LISTA.

Sign into EBSCO to visit the LISTA website.

Free websites

British History Online

A digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the mediaeval and modern history of the British Isles – including Hasted's 'Historical and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent'. Please note that premium content cannot be accessed.

Visit the British History Online website.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Kent Archives and Local History

Kent Archives have a range of information and resources to help you explore your family history, and find out more about the history of Kent. Find help and advice on planning your search and visiting an archive centre from Kent Archives.

Visit the Kent Archives and Local History website.

Access to Research

Access to Research gives free, walk-in access to over 15 million academic articles in participating public libraries across the UK. Students and independent researchers can now access many of the world's best academic papers from leading publishers who have made their journal content available for free. Start by viewing which articles and journals are available from home, then visit a Kent library where you can view the full text the full text on a public computer.

Visit the Access to Research website.

Britannica Online

Explore the library edition of the online encyclopaedia from Encyclopaedia Britannica with hundreds of thousands of articles, biographies, videos, images, and web sites.

Visit the Britannica Online website.

Credo Reference

Gives online access to over 1200 top reference books from 124 publishers. Top publications include Black's Medical Dictionary, Brewers Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage, Debrett's People of Today, and Whitaker's Almanac.

Search for your library, or select it from the list of available options, and then log into Credo with your library card number.

Visit the Credo Reference website.

EBSCOhost

EBSCO is a collection of online resources that provides full text and bibliographic access to newspaper and journal articles. Search the following databases simultaneously, or select "Choose Database" to search each individually:

  • Education Resource Information Centre (ERIC)
  • European Views of the Americas 1493 to 1750
  • GreenFILE
  • Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts (LISTA)
  • MasterFILE Complete
  • MEDLINE
  • Newspaper Source Plus
  • UK & Ireland Reference Centre

Visit the EBSCO website.

Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopaedia

This 17 volume encyclopaedia – the 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.

Sign into our collection of Gale Databases and select the "Gale Virtual Reference Library" to access Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopaedia.

MasterFILE Complete

Designed specifically for public libraries, this multidisciplinary database provides full text for more than 2000 general reference publications with full text information dating as far back as 1922. Covering virtually every subject area of general interest, MasterFILE Complete also contains full text for more than 1000 reference books and over 164,400 primary source documents, as well as an Image Collection of over 502,000 photos, maps and flags. This database is updated daily via EBSCOhost.

Masterfile Complete is accessed through the EBSCO Host. Visit the EBSCO website and select "Choose Database" to select MasterFILE Complete.

Sign into EBSCO to visit the MasterFILE Complete website.

Oxford Dictionaries

Oxford's English language reference works are popular and reliable resources that provide expert recommendations on grammar, spelling, and usage; essential guides to the written word; and specialist dictionaries for writers, editors, proof-readers, and other professionals.

Oxford Dictionaries also contains bilingual dictionaries in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Visit the Oxford Dictionaries website.

Oxford English Dictionary

Widely acknowledged as the most authoritative and comprehensive dictionary of English in the world. It also traces the evolution of more than 600,000 words during the past 1500 years through 3.5 million quotations from a wide range of sources.

Visit the Oxford English Dictionary 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.

Free websites

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 Wisden's Cricketing Almanack Archive 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.

Online safety

A collection of helpful links to sources of information on online safety and scam prevention, and to organisations who can provide help and advice to children, parents, and anyone who uses the internet.

Visit the Online Safety website.

Westlaw UK

Available only at the Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone. Westlaw provides the following legal resources:

  • Case law: 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 loose-leaf publications.

Contact Ask-a-Kent Librarian for more information.

Which?

The Consumer Association provides independent and unbiased help to consumers of a range of products and services. Which Online contains product reviews, help with switching energy providers, links to trusted traders, consumer services and expert advice.

Which Magazine is available in print and online at the following libraries only: Ashford, Canterbury, Dartford, Dover, Folkestone, Gravesend, Margate, Sevenoaks, Sittingbourne, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, and the Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone.

Contact your local library for more information.

Free websites

Checkatrade

In partnership with Kent County Council Trading Standards, Checkatrade provides contact information for reputable and credible traders that have been thoroughly vetted by both Checkatrade and Trading Standards.

Visit the Checkatrade website.

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice provides free, confidential and independent advice to help people overcome their problems. It provides guidance on your rights covering areas such as benefits, jobs, money matters, relationships, health, housing, and a range of consumer issues.

Visit the Citizens Advice website.

Kent Trading Standards

Trading Standards work with businesses and developing partnerships to create and maintain a safe and fair trading environment where Kent businesses can operate and grow, and Kent consumers can engage in their economic activity with confidence.

Visit the Trading Standards website.

Law Society

Search the database of registered solicitors, and find further guidance about paying for legal services, specialist solicitors, lawyers for businesses, complaints, and directories.

Visit the Law Society website.

Legal Aid

Legal aid can help meet the costs of legal advice, family mediation and representation in a court or tribunal. This site provides information about the service, and helps to check if you are eligible.

Visit the Legal Aid website.

Legislaton.gov.uk

The official portal to the full test of all UK legislation. Maintained by the National Archives, this site contains primary legislation from 1247 to the present day, as well as secondary legislation and draft legislation. Full text of all statutes as enacted, with revised versions of many laws also available.

Visit the Legislation.gov.uk website.

Money Advice Service

The Money Advice Service is an independent organisation set up by the government. It provides free and impartial advice to help you improve your finances, with direct support available by phone and online. Their website contains tools and calculators to help you keep track of your money and plan ahead.

Visit the Money Advice Service website.

Turn2us

Turn2us is a national charity helping people when times get tough. They can provide financial support to help people get back on track.

Visit the Turn2us website.

Gale Literary Sources

Brings together several premier literary databases to provide access to thousands of biographical and critical essays about authors and playwrights, analysis and literary commentary on key texts, as well as contemporary and academic reviews of adult and children's literary works. Also includes the full text of thousands of poems, speeches and short stories.

The following sources can be searched individually or all together:

  • Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete Online
  • Literature Criticism Online
  • Literature Resource Centre – LRC
  • Litfinder
  • Scribner Writers Series
  • Something About the Author Online
  • Twayne's Authors Series

Sign into our collection of Gale Databases to access Gale Literary Sources.

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. Please remember to log out after each session.

The 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. Please remember to log out after each session.

The Naxos Music Library – Jazz 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 Jazz Music Library website.

Oxford Bibliographies

Provides students and teachers with access to accurate and reliable sources, citations and research materials. Each article is written and reviewed by academic experts, providing an authoritative guide to current scholarship, original commentary and annotations.

Log in with your library card number for access to the 'British and Irish Literature', and 'Victorian Literature' modules only.

Visit the Oxford Bibliographies website.

Oxford Music Online

Contains the full text of the 'New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians' (2nd edition), the 'Oxford Companion to Music' and the 'Oxford Dictionary of Music' (6th edition); as well as thousands of specially-commissioned articles, biographies and 3-D interactive images of musical instruments.

Visit the Oxford Music Online website.

Screenonline

BFI Screenonline is the "definitive guide to Britain's film and TV history". You can view thousands of stills, publicity materials, synopses, specially written analyses and biographies. Clips of TV programmes and films can only be viewed from public library computers.

Visit the Screenonline website.

Free Websites

Boosey & Hawkes Online Scores

This online catalogue offers free viewing of over 400 contemporary orchestral, opera, and large ensemble scores by modern composers such as Bartók, Bernstein, Britten, Copland, Stravinsky, Kael Jenkins and Steve Reich. All that is required to view scores online is to complete the free online registration form.

Visit the Boosey & Hawkes Online Scores website.

British Cartoon Archive

A unique online database containing details of the main cartoon collections held in the archive, located at the University of Kent in Canterbury. Cartoons can be found by cartoonist, publication, date, name or subject. The computer displays the cartoon's image and the cataloguing details.

Visit the British Cartoon Archive website.

Dickens Journals Online

An open access online resource which launched in 2012 as part of the Dickens Bicentenary celebrations. Offers digitised and indexed content to many of the journals Dickens edited or published.

Visit the Dickens Journals Online website.

Europeana

Explore over 58 million artworks, photographs, artefacts, books, films, newsreels, broadcasts and music from European museums, galleries, libraries and archives.

Visit the Europeana website.

VADS (Visual Arts Data Service)

VADS is the online resource for visual arts. It has provided services to the academic community for 12 years and has built up a considerable portfolio of visual art collections comprising over 100,000 images that are freely available and copyright cleared for use in learning, teaching and research in the UK.

Visit the VADS website.

MEDLINE

MEDLINE provides authoritative medical information on medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, pre-clinical sciences, and much more. Created by the National Library of Medicine, MEDLINE uses MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) indexing with tree, tree hierarchy, subheadings and explosion capabilities to search citations from over 5,400 current biomedical journals.

Medline is accessed through the EBSCO Host. Visit the EBSCO website and select "Choose Database" to select MEDLINE.

Sign into EBSCO to visit the MEDLINE website.

Free websites

Health Help Now

Online service provided by the NHS. Use the website to check you symptoms, get advice and find local health services.

Visit the Health Help Now website.

Kent Bereavement Advice Service

The Kent Bereavement Advice Service (KBAS) offers practical advice and support after the death of a relative or friend. Those planning for the end of their own lives or expecting a bereavement are also welcome to call, as are professionals and volunteers who support people around the time of death.

The service has been created through a partnership between Kent County Council (KCC) and Simplify Probate which provides Bereavement Advice Centre to improve access to information at and around the time of death.

Visit the Kent Bereavement Advice Service website.

Kent Public Health Observatory

Information and statistics relating to public health in Kent.

Visit the Kent Public Health Observatory website.

Kent Social Care and Health

Kent County Council's social care and health section has information and advice about care homes, day care, home care, carer's services, adoption, and health and mental health services.

Visit the KCC Social Care and Health 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.

Macmillan Cancer Support

Macmillan provides help, support and advice for all individuals affected by cancer.

Visit the Macmillan Cancer Support website.

NHS Choices

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

Visit the NHS Choices 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.

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.

British Standards Online

Available from public computers in all our libraries. British Standards Online provides free access to the full-text of almost all British Standards as well as their European and International equivalents. Please ask a member of staff for access.

Contact Ask-a-Kent Librarian for more information.

COBRA

The Complete Online Business Reference Advisor (COBRA) is an encyclopaedia of practical information for anyone involved in setting up, running or 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, we need to access Mint on your behalf.

Contact Ask-a-Kent Librarian for more information.

Printed Resources

Directory of Grant Making Trusts

The key information source for fundraisers. This guide provides access to information about two-thousand grant-making charities, each with the potential to give £40,000 a year or more. Entries outline grant-makers' selection criteria, how to apply, and what kinds of projects they fund. The directory can be searched by geographical area, field of interest, type of beneficiary and type of grant available.

The directory is held at the Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone.

Free Websites

Approved Documents

The most recent versions of the Approved Documents that support the technical "Parts" of the Building Regulations together with Regulation 7 are accessible from the Planning Portal website.

Visit the Planning Portal website.

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.

Getting your business online

Nominet has produced two free guides to help explain why your business needs to be online, and how to go about getting your business online. You can find out more information and download both guides from the following links:

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:

Elected Representatives

The following links will lead you to your local:

Democracy Matters

An informal alliance of over 30 civil society organisations and community education providers aiming to promote learning for democracy, citizenship, participation and practical politics, particularly among people who have least power in society.

Visit the Democracy Matters 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.

Kent County Council statistics

Non-personal information published by us, including invoice and salary information, website statistics and statistics for libraries, registrations and archives.

Visit our data about the council 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.

Public Information Online

Public Information Online contains all material from 2006/07 Parliamentary session to the present. 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.

UK Parliament

Access details of the text of the Houses of Commons and Lords daily debates (Hansard) current and historical, research materials on various topics, contact details for members of the two Houses and much more.

Visit the UK Parliament website.