Online resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19): change to service

Following advice from the government regarding the  Coronavirus (COVID-19) we have started reopening our libraries, see the latest Library service information.

See further information about changes to services.

Poole Libraries have taken out subscriptions to a number of quality information sites which are all available on this page for you to use for free.

If you are in a library you have direct access (no password required). Elsewhere your Poole library card number is your password, so just enter it when asked. All except Ancestry, Access to Research, Which online, the British Newspaper Archive and the John Johnson Collection are available for you to use in this way. These are only available if you are in a library - either on your own device using the library's WiFi, or on one of the library's free computers.

If you are not a member, it is easy to join - you can even join online.

Please also see our ebooks and audiobooks page.

Listen to music online

Naxos Music Library - listen to music online, and find information on music and musicians. Naxos Music Library (NML) is the world´s largest online classical music library.

The library offers the complete Naxos and Marco Polo catalogues plus the complete catalogues or selected titles from many other record labels. Along with classical music, jazz, world, and pop/rock are also represented.

NML can be accessed from any computer, anywhere, anytime. With the iPhone/iPod and Android mobile apps, subscribers can also access the service on the go, and the HTML5 player can stream music though the standard internet connection of the most phones and tablets.

New Resources from Oxford University Press

Oxford Bibliographies

You can now access Oxford Bibliographiesin Victorian Literature and British and Irish Literature for free logging in with your library card. Every article on Oxford Bibliographies is a respected guide to current thinking in that area, written and reviewed by experts, and with original commentary and annotations. The Victorian Literature moduleincludes annotated bibliographies on over 100 topics including Gender, Charles Dickens, Race, and more. In the British and Irish Literature moduleyou’ll find over 100 bibliographies, including topics such as Arthurian Literature, John Keats, and Christopher Marlowe. Watch the video guideto learn more.

Very Short Introductions

Very Short Introductions(VSI) is the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly, combining facts, analysis, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make often challenging topics highly readable. For the first time, these books are available online on an exciting digital platform. Very Short Introductions will change the way you think about the things that interest you, and are the perfect route into subjects you previously knew nothing about.


NewsBankhas articles from local, national and international newspapers.

Free online access to to over 1,000 Newspapers

BCP Library members now have free access to newspapers from 100 countries, including 166 national, local and regional UK titles. This includes:

  • titles available on the day of publication (including supplements)
  • 3 months back copies available for most titles
  • titles streamed online via a tablet, smartphone (app available for IOS, Android and Kindle), or web browser
  • full page viewing

To access this resource register using your library card detailsthen scroll to 'Newspapers', click on the Press Reader icon and then 'Checkout'. Customers with an existing RB Digital account can use this to access newspapers.

Resources available 24/7

Encyclopedia Britannica

Encyclopedia Britannica Library Edition is an easy to use, trusted source of information available in three levels; Junior, Student and Level.

GoCitizen is an 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 plus hundreds of practice test questions in the same format as the official test.


Kompass provides details on companies in the UK and throughout the world. In a library, the full service is available which includes financial information. A more limited service is available from home, use your library card to login from home.

Oxford Art

Oxford Art Online - Over 45,000 signed articles covering the fine arts, including painting, sculpture, architecture and the decorative arts, including ceramics, textiles, jewellery, interior design, furniture, glass, and metalwork. Over 21,000 biographies, over 6,000 art images and line drawings as well as direct links from biographies to other online resources, including the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography includes the life stories of over 57,000 men and women who shaped British history and culture worldwide, from the Romans to the 21st century

Oxford English Dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionaryis widely held to be the most authoritative and comprehensive record of the English language in the world,tracing the evolution and use of more than 600,000 words through 3 million quotations. OED Online gives you not only the latest text of the full Oxford English Dictionary, but also the Historical Thesaurus of the OED, and new ways to explore the English language.

Oxford Music

Oxford Music Online - Over 55,000 articles written by over 6,000 leading international experts chart the diverse history and culture of music and musicians from around the world. Detailed works lists for a vast range of composers. Over 500 Sibelius-enabled audio examples, over 33,000 biographies, learning resources and timelines provide invaluable support for teachers and students.

Oxford Reference

Oxford Reference Online is the new home of Oxford’s quality reference publishing bringing together over 2 million entries, many of which are illustrated, into a single cross-searchable resource. From subject reference, quotation, and language dictionaries in the Oxford Quick Reference collection, to award winning Oxford Companions and Encyclopaedias, in the Oxford Reference Library you can cross-search Oxford’s trusted reference content at the click of a button.

Rock's Backpages

Rock's Backpages is a complete archive of the history of rock music - they have given us access to free material available on the site: just click on one of the articles under Free on RBP and use the Username PooleRBP and password PooleROCKS to access the article.

Theory Test Pro

Theory Test Pro is an online simulation of the UK's driving theory test. It contains up to date versions of 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.

Who's Who

Who’s Who and Who Was Who - custom-built for biographical research: cross-search over 130,000 influential people from all walks of life worldwide, who have left their mark on British public life. Entries are written by the subjects themselves and can include full name, birth date, education, career, contact details and more. Compare subjects' biographies in Who Was Who with their autobiographical entries in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography with over 10,000 direct links.

Available only in libraries (not at home)

Access to Research

Browse a library of journals by visiting the Access to Research website. To access the full text of the journal article users will need to log in to a library computer with a valid Poole Library card. To find out more about accessing this extensive and growing database of publicly-funded research papers and academic journals, either download the flyer here or ask at your local library. There are some Frequently Asked Questions at

Ancestry - Temporary Home Access to Ancestry

While libraries are closed, library members can access Ancestry Online from home. To do this, go to the Libraries West homepage and login with your library card. The Ancestry link will then appear, and you can search through thousands of records at home.

Ancestryis a family history website where you can access Census information (1841 to 1901), births, marriages and deaths, military records and much more. You can access Ancestry free if you visit any of our libraries. For more information about researching your family tree, go to our Local and Family History page.

British Newspaper Archive

The British Newspaper Archive is a project to digitise up to 40 million pages from the British Library's vast collection of local newspapers over the next 10 years. Search millions of articles by keyword, name, location, date or title and watch your results appear in an instant. To begin, register with the site with your email address and password - once logged in, you can carry out unlimited searches (but our current licence only allows five users at a time).

John Johnson Collection

Another resource available in libraries is the John Johnson collection. This is essentially a collection of images of nearly 60,000 printed illustrations spanning the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The collection is held in the Bodleian Library at Oxford.


Search online - Hundreds of reports are available, and an archive which goes back to January 2005. Ask library staff to log you in.

Page last updated: 19 February 2021
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