National restrictions are in place. Learn what this means if you live or work in Westminster.

Online resources by subject

Westminster's libraries offer many free online resources to members. Browse through our collection of 24/7 resources and In-House Specials (IHS) using the content table below or, if you know the name of the resource, check the a to z listing.

24/7 resources can be accessed anywhere you can reach the internet - just log in with your library card number. If you're not a member, join now

IHS are only available at specific libraries in Westminster. Library staff may need to log you in, so please ask.

If you can't see a specific database in this guide, try Online Resources in London Public Libraries.

1. Quick reference and encyclopedias

Title Description More information
Access to Research Free access to 1000s of academic journals IHS from all libraries

Britannica Library Junior

Britannica Library Student

Britannica Library Adult

Comprehensive and interactive e-learning resources from Britannica Library which are engaging, differentiated and age-appropriate 24/7
Civil Service Yearbook Contact details for all government departments, offices, museums, QUANGOs, libraries, and so on IHS from Westminster Reference Library
Oxford English Dictionary (OED) The most extensive dictionary of the English language and its origins 24/7
Oxford Reference  Over 200 reference books from the Oxford University Press 24/7
Oxford Research Encyclopedias

A comprehensive collection of in-depth, peer-reviewed summaries on an ever-growing range of topics.

Who Else Writes Like...? A readers' guide to fiction authors

Who Else Writes Like...? is an established reference web resource and reading promotion tool. It is designed to help anyone who enjoys reading fiction to expand the number of writers they read.

You can browse by genre or go straight to an author of interest, check up on characters and series or the latest prize-winning writers, and follow the links to authors' websites for additional information.

Log in with your library membership barcode.


2. Advice and help

Title Description More information
Which? Test results, recommendations and advice guides IHS from Marylebone, Pimlico, Victoria and Westminster Reference Library


3. Art and design

Title Description More information
Burlington Magazine Index  Indexing and content from the fine arts magazine from 1903 to 1992 IHS from Westminster Reference Library
Design and Applied Arts Index  Abstracts and bibliographic records for articles, news items, and reviews published in design and applied arts periodicals from 1973 IHS from Westminster Reference Library
Fashion Monitor Find contacts, news and events for the fashion and beauty industry IHS from Westminster Reference Library
John Johnson Collection 
[inside the library]
[outside the library]
65,000 items of printed ephemera particularly focusing on advertising and 19th century entertainment materials 24/7
Oxford Art Combines Grove Art (45,000 articles) with the Oxford Companion to Western Art, the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics and the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms 24/7

4. Biography

Title Description More information
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) The most authoritative collection of British biographies 24/7
Who's Who and Who Was Who Directory of the noteworthy and influential, plus 100,000+ entries from the archives dating back to 1898 24/7

5. Books and comics

Title Description More information
eAudiobooks from RBdigital Free downloadable eAudiobooks for library members 24/7 - use the eAudiobooks page to sign up
eBooks from cloudLibrary Free downloadable eBooks for library members 24/7 - instructions on the eBooks page
eComics from cloudLibrary Free downloadable eComics for library members 24/7 - instructions on the eComics page
Oxford Bibliographies Authoritative research guides on British and Irish Literature and Victorian Literature 24/7

6. Business

Title Description More information
COBRA Complete business reference adviser including opportunities, markets, financial and legal information 24/7
Experian MarketIQ In-depth company information including accounts, locations, directors, shareholders and products or services provided. More about Experian IHS from Church Street, Paddington, Pimlico and Westminster Reference Library
GRANTfinder Information on over 8,000 funding schemes including grants, loans and awards from local, regional and national UK government, European funding, charitable trusts and corporate sponsors IHS from Westminster Reference Library
IBISWorld Access to UK market and industry reports including key statistics, analysis, performance forecasts and major industry participants IHS from Church Street, Paddington, Pimlico and Westminster Reference Library
Kompass [Inside the library][Outside the library] Worldwide products and services directory with detailed company information 24/7
Marketline Advantage 
[Inside the library] [Outside the library]
In-depth information on companies and markets from around the world 24/7 [Outside the library, log in using your library card number and password. Click on 'Online reference', then the 'Marketline' icon. If using a smartphone, you may need to scroll across icons to see Marketline icon]
Mintel Wide range of market research reports from a very highly regarded source IHS from Westminster Reference Library

7. Family history

Title Description More information
Ancestry Key records for family history research including 1841 to 1911 census (birth, marriage and death records), street directories, telephone directories, school and military lists IHS from all libraries and on your own device via wifi within library buildings
Findmypast  Search for your family's history through UK records IHS from all libraries and on your own device via wi-fi within library buildings

8. Languages

Title Description More information
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 24/7

9. Law and official publications

Title Description More information
Public Information Online Online access to all of the UK's Parliamentary publications, such as full text Parliamentary Papers and Official publications including House of Commons' and House of Lord's papers and bills, Command Papers. Parliamentary Debates and more IHS from Westminster Reference Library

10. Learning and careers

Title Description More information
The British Way of Life An easy to use online study resource to help new arrivals understand the British way of life. Some of the many topics covered are the different types of visa, finding a job, pre-school for children, further adult education, the communication network. 24/7
Go Citizen Online study resource for candidates preparing for the Life in the UK test or British citizenship test. 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. 24/7
IXL Maths and English Practice

Online learning experience that provides comprehensive, curriculum-based maths and English for children in reception and up to year 13.

Parents and guardians will need to sign up at your local Westminster library and provide passwords and usernames in order to be able access the site.

Learn My Way  Learn My Way has free courses for you to learn digital skills to stay safe and connected.  24/7
Theory Test Pro Everything you need to get ready for your driving theory and hazard perception tests. Take practice tests using official questions from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the people who set the tests

11. Music and performing arts

Title Description More information
eScores from cloudLibrary Free downloadable eScores for library members 24/7 - instructions on the eScores page
Performing Arts Periodicals Database A database indexing performing arts magazines and journals, plus some full text articles from ProQuest 24/7
Music Periodicals Database Indexing and abstracts for several music journals and magazines, plus some full-text articles from ProQuest 24/7
Naxos Music Library Over 128,000 CDs from Naxos and other labels including classical, jazz, nostalgia, world and pop music 24/7
Open Music Library

The world's largest open index of digital resources for the study of music

Oxford Music Online Combines Grove Music with the Encyclopedia of Popular Music, the Oxford Dictionary and Companion 24/7
White Book Directory of entertainment companies, artists and agents IHS from Westminster Reference Library

12. Newspapers and magazines

Title Description More information
eMagazines from RBdigital Free downloadable magazines for library members 24/7 - instructions on the eMagazines page to sign up.
The Economist Complete edition of the weekly paper covering politics, current affairs, business and trade, from 1843 to 2012


Illustrated London News Searchable facsimile archive of the magazine stretching from 1842 to 2003 24/7
News Vault Single search across several news databases (Economist, Illustrated London News, Picture Post, Times) 24/7
Newsbank Archive of national and regional newspapers and magazines going from the current issue back several years 24/7
Picture Post Archive of the iconic photo-journalism magazine chronicling life in Britain throughout the Second World War and the years of austerity following it 24/7
PressReader Newspapers and magazines from over 100 countries in over 60 languages, often online before the print edition 24/7 - instructions on the eMagazines and eNewspapers page
The Times Digital Archive Archive of the Times covering 1785 to 2013 24/7

13. Online resources for children

Title Description More information
eBooks, eMagazines, eNewspapers, eAudiobooks and eComics Free downloadable books, magazines, newspapers, audiobooks and comics for library members 24/7
Britannica Library Junior Contains comprehensive content for primary school children aged 5 to 11 years old. Whether it is frogs or physics, gardening or geography, Britannica Online Library Edition covers it all 24/7
Issues Online

Provides personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) resources for teachers, students and parents. They use images, graphs, infographics, videos and glossaries to help students and teachers understand information covering a wide range of PSHE subjects, KS4 topics, lessons and social issues



Login via 'Public Library' with your library membership barcode

IXL Maths and English Practice

Online learning experience that provides comprehensive, curriculum-based maths and English for children in reception and up to year 13.

Parents and guardians will need to sign up at your local Westminster library and provide passwords and usernames in order to be able access the site

Who Next...? A guide to children's authors

Who Next...? is for when children ask: “Who can I read next?” or “Who writes like my favourite author?”.

Writers of children’s fiction are listed with suggestions of other authors who write in a similar way, together with key book and series titles.

Log in with your library membership barcode.



14. Social issues

Title Description More information
Issues Online Aimed primarily at students wishing to gain a better understanding of the world around them and the issues which affect their lives, but useful to anyone researching social issues. 24/7
Last updated: 17 November 2020