Online resources - list by subject

All the resources listed below and on our A to Z list are free to use if you are a member of Westminster Libraries.

Go straight to: Quick reference & encyclopaedias | Advice & help | Art & designBeliefs & Customs | Biography | Books | Business | Family history | Law | Learning & careers | Music & performing arts | Newpapers & magazines | Social issues

24/7 resources are available anywhere you can reach the Internet. Outside the library, you will need your library card number to log in. Click on the title to go directly to the web page.

In House Specials (IHS) are available at one or more Westminster library (as noted for each individual resource), but not elsewhere. Library staff may need to log you in - please ask us. Click on the library name to get location and contact details

If you are looking for something specific and cannot see it here, try looking on our list of who's got which resource in London.

Quick reference & encyclopaedias

Title Description 24/7 or IHS More info
Civil Service Yearbook A directory with contact details for all government departments, offices, museums, QUANGOs, libraries, etc. (Available in Westminster Reference Library).  IHS  
Credo Reference A wide range of high quality reference books, searchable through a common interface. 24/7  
Gale Virtual Reference Library Over 120 eBooks on Arts, Humanities and Sciences. 24/7 About Gale Virtual Reference Library
KnowUK Directories and information sources on all aspects of life in this country. 24/7  
Oxford Dictionaries  Pro Regularly updated set of English language reference tools including dictionaries, thesauruses and guides to English and American usage, with audible pronunciations. 24/7  

Oxford Digital Reference Shelf

A collection of ebooks on the arts, literature & language, science & social science, and history & culture.



Oxford English Dictionary The most extensive dictionary of the English language and its origins. 24/7  
Oxford Language Dictionaries Translate words between the English, Chinese, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian and German languages, and hear how they are pronounced. 24/7  
Oxford Reference Online Over 200 reference books from the Oxford University Press. 24/7  

 Advice & help

Title Description 24/7 or IHS More info
Which? Local Forum for Which? readers to recommend service providers that they have experience of using in their local area (available at Marylebone Information Service). IHS  

Test results, recommendations and advice guides (available at Marylebone Information, Mayfair, PaddingtonPimlico, St John's Wood, Victoria & Westminster Reference Library).


Art & design

Title Description 24/7 or IHS More info
Art Abstracts & Art Full Text

Bibliographic database of periodicals, yearbooks, and museum bulletins (available remotely via the e-library - see right-hand column).

24/7 For remote access, log in to the e-library then click on 'Online reference' in the menu bar.
Art Index Retrospective Citations to Art Index volumes 1-32 of the printed index (1929 and 1984). Cites articles and reproductions from 579 art publications throughout the world.  IHS  
Benezit Dictionary of Artists Available on the Oxford Art Online platform, the Benezit Dictionary features nearly 170,000 artists. Many images of artists' signatures and monograms are included. There are also detailed museum listings. 24/7  
Burlington Magazine Index  Indexing and content from the fine arts magazine from 1903 to 1992  IHS  
Design & Applied Arts Index  The leading source of abstracts and bibliographic records for articles, news items, and reviews published in design and applied arts periodicals from 1973 onwards (available at Westminster Reference Library).  IHS  
Fashion Monitor Available at Westminster Reference Library IHS  
John Johnson Collection 65,000 items of printed ephemera. Particularly strong on advertising and 19th Century entertainment materials, including tickets, programmes and playbills, but also including popular topographical, satirical and humorous prints.  24/7  
Oxford Art Combines Grove Art with its 45,000 articles with the Oxford Companion to Western Art, the Encyclopaedia of Aesthetics and the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms. 24/7  

Beliefs and Customs

Title Description 24/7 or IHS More info
Oxford Biblical Studies Online Combines a series of six authoritative bible texts with related biblical texts, and a framework of study guides and commentaries. 24/7  
Oxford Islamic Studies Online Find out more about Islam and the Qur'an from over 3000 articles from dedicated scholars.  24/7  


Title Description 24/7 or IHS More info
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography The most authoritative collection of British biographies (over 58,000 entries). 24/7  
Who's Who and Who Was Who Directory of the noteworthy and influential, plus Who Was Who: 100,000+ entries from the archives of Who’s Who dating back to 1898 24/7 About Who's Who


Title Description 24/7 or IHS More info
Bookseller Online database of the magazine's articles, charts of sales, and other in-depth information about the book trade (available at Westminster Reference Library and Marylebone Information Service). IHS  
Contemporary Authors Biographical and comprehensive bibliographical information on more than 100,000 modern authors. 24/7  
London Review of Books Full-text archive of articles from the British literary review from 1979 to date. Available at Marylebone Information Service. IHS  


Title & link Description 24/7 or IHS  More info
COBRA The complete business reference adviser, including opportunities, markets, financial and legal information. 24/7 About COBRA
Experian In-depth company information (similar to Fame), including accounts, locations, directors, shareholders and products/services provided (available at Church Street, Paddington, Pimlico and Westminster Reference Library). IHS About Experian
Grantfinder Lists over 6,000 funding opportunities: grants, tax breaks, loans, and awards, covering almost every sector, from the UK and EU (available at Church StreetPaddington, Pimlico and Westminster Reference Library). IHS About Grantfinder
Integrated Tariff (Revenue & Customs) - provides information on taxes payable to UK customs upon import/export of goods (available at Westminster Reference Library). IHS  
Keynote Market reports covering a wide variety of subjects (available at Church Street, Paddington, Pimlico and Westminster Reference Library).
Kompass [Inside the library][Outside the library] This Worldwide directory covers thousands of companies and their products; exporters, importers, suppliers and more. 24/7  

Marketline Advantage

[Inside the library] [Outside the library]

In-depth information on companies and markets from around the world. 24/7

For remote access, log in to the e-library then click on 'Online reference' in the menu bar.


Wide range of market research reports from a very highly regarded source (available at Westminster Reference Library)

IHS About Mintel

Family history

Title Description 24/7 or IHS More info
Ancestry Key records for family history research, including 1841-1911 census; birth, marriage and death records; street directories, telephone directories, school and military lists (available in all libraries all libraries). IHS About Ancestry
Find My Past  Excellent for searching for your family's history specialising in UK records (available in all libraries). IHS About Find My Past


Title Description 24/7 or IHS  More info
Westlaw Legal database of cases and legislation with access to useful legal journals, books and news. (available at Westminster Reference Library & Marylebone Information Service).  IHS About Westlaw 

Learning & careers

Title Description 24/7 or IHS More info
Go Citizen Study resources and practice tests for candidates preparing for the Life in the UK Citizenship test. 24/7  
Learning Nexus: Online Independent Learning Computer and business skills for personal and small business use. Plase note that you must register at any Westminster library before you first use Learning Nexus.


About Learning Nexus
Theory Test Pro Study resources and practice tests for candidates preparing for the driving theory test, including Hazard Perception tests featuring video simulations of unfolding driving situations. 24/7  

Music & performing arts

Title Description 24/7 or IHS More info
International index to Performing Arts A database indexing a great many performing arts magazines/journals. Also includes some full text articles. 24/7  
International Index to Music Periodicals Indexing and abstracts for several music journals and magazines plus some full-text articles from ProQuest. 24/7  
Music Online Reference Music reference resources from Alexander Street Press, including Classical, African American and World music, plus a scores library. 24/7 About Music Online Reference
Naxos Music Library Listen to nearly 87,000 CDs from Naxos and other labels. Classical, jazz, nostalgia, world and pop. Read sleeve notes, glossaries and fun stuff. 24/7 About Naxos Music Library
Oxford Music Online Combines Grove Music (Music & Musicians, Jazz, and Opera) with the Encyclopaedia of Popular Music, the Oxford Dictionary and Companion. 24/7  
White Book Directory of entertainment companies, artistes and agents.  IHS  

Newspapers & magazines

Title & link Description 24/7 or IHS More info
The Economist Fully searchable complete facsimile edition of the weekly paper covering politics, current affairs, business and trade, from 1843 to 2009. 24/7  
Financial Times Historical Archive Searchable facsimile archive of the daily financial newspaper from 1888 to 2009 24/7 About the FT's Archive
The Guardian and Observer archive Searchable facsimile archive of The Guardian and The Observer from 1791 to 2003. 24/7 About the Guardian & Observer
Illustrated London News Searchable facsimile archive of the magazine stretching from 1842 to 2003. 24/7  
Lancet Full text of the medical research journal from July 1996, and searchable index back to 1823 (available at Marylebone Information Service). IHS  
Library Press Display Newspapers from around the world, often online before the print edition. 24/7 About Library Press Display
New African Searchable and browsable facsimile edition of the monthly African news and current affairs magazine, with an archive dating back to 2007 (available at Marylebone Information Service). IHS  
News Vault Allows a single search across several news databases: the Economist, the Financial Times, the Illustrated London News, Picture Post and the Times. Date ranges for these are noted elsewhere on this page. 24/7  
Newsbank Huge searchable archive of national & regional newspapers and magazines going from the current issue back several years. 24/7 About NewsBank
Newsweek Digital-only edition of the long-established American news magazine. (available at Marylebone Information Service). IHS  
Picture Post Facsimile archive of the iconic photo-journalism magazine chronicling life in Britain throughout the Second World War and the years of austerity following it, 1938-1957. 24/7  
The Times Digital Archive A fully searchable facsimile edition of the Times covering 1785-2007. 24/7 About the Times Digital Archive
UK Press Online Fully-searchable facsimiles of the Daily Mirror from 1903 to the current issue. Also Daily & Sunday Express and Daily Star. 24/7 About UK Press Online
Zinio eMagazines

Get full digital copies of a wide variety of current magazines  for free, on your computer, smartphone or tablet.


Social Issues

Title & link Description 24/7 or IHS More info
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