Free online research resources


24/7 Online services

The services listed below can be accessed from any internet enabled device, with the exception of Ancestry and Access to Research, which can only be accessed from the library. To gain access to these resources just enter your library membership number at the prompt (e.g. 24102001234567).

You can browse through newspaper archives and look up words and definitions, synonyms, antonyms, rhymes and a whole lot more!

Access to Research
The Access to Research service is a new initiative to give free, walk-in access to a wide range of academic articles and research in public libraries across the UK. Available from library PCs only.

Ancestry Library Edition
Major family history resource including UK & Ireland Census collections 1841-1901, plus birth, marriage and death records ...and much more. Only available in the library.
Other useful resources: Ancestry Help & Advice Centre, 1881 UK Census, Family Tree Creator

Britannica Junior
Encyclopaedia Britannica for ages 5-11.

Britannica Student
Encyclopaedia Britannica for ages 12 - 18.

Encyclopaedia Britannica
Encyclopaedia Britannica for ages 18+.

COOCS – Community Open Learning Courses
COOCs have been developed to help people from all walks of life to share learning and create opportunities for personal development. For more information visit

Life in Great Britain - citizenship course
Prepare for your Citizenship test with this free study resource or just browse for help with your school or college work.

The British Way of Life
The British Way of Life is a comprehensive resource containing all the basic facts and information needed to help new arrivals understand, and succeed in, British life.

European news stream
Search and  access information from UK national and regional newspapers, and also European newspapers. Each issue of each newspaper is indexed thoroughly to enable you to find top news stories and also information contained in the various sections of the papers.

RB digital magazines and audio books

  • Full digital versions of your favourite magazines to read online. 
  • Thousands of digital audio books to download. 
  • Available from home, library public computers and on many internet devices. You will need your library card number and email address to set up your account.

Theory Test Pro (e-car driving course)
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.

Universal skills
Universal skills is a guide to help with Universal JobMatch and Universal Credit. It includes information on job hunting from CVs/covering letters to interviews and starting work. There is also help with improving basic IT skills.

Ziptales is a fun on-line resource that uses stories, quizzes and games to make reading a pleasure for children.
It includes:

  • 500 + interactive levelled stories and curriculum aligned English lessons. 
  • Voice overs, animations, videos, follow up comprehension quizzes and much more. 
  • Over 1500 printable worksheets to follow up each story/lesson. 
  • A fun and SAFE online learning environment. 
  • Use in small groups, or individual use at the library AND at home. 
  • Access online anywhere from any device including computer, laptop, iPads, tablets and more. 

You can also access our eBook and eAudio book collection.


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