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.

IndieFlix is a streaming movie service that offers access to pop culture favourites, box office hits, award-winning feature films, documentaries, and shorts. With IndieFlix, library members can instantly view thousands of titles from around the world,  including the best from classic TV, horror, comedy, film festivals, and more with public performance rights.

PressReader gives you unlimited access to thousands of magazines and newspapers from around the world so you can stay connected to the stories you love. See more information and access to user guides here.

Stingray Qello is the only place to watch over 1,500 of the most amazing live moments in music. It's the world's largest collection of full-length concerts and music documentaries streamed on-demand to just about any digital device. It's  like a never-ending concert ticket.

RB digital magazines, comics and audio books

  • Full digital versions of your favourite magazines and comics 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.

The Great Courses
Access The Great Courses via streaming videoon RBdigital! This is an exclusive invitation for library members to start their journey of lifelong learning taught by the top 1% of university professors and experts from the Ivy League and other renowned schools and institutions. With hundreds of videos on subjects ranging from photography to physics, astronomy to art, history to health, and more, The Great Courses Library Collection has courses on how to do it, how to learn it, or how it happened.

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.


Was the information on this page helpful or not?

Let us know