Birmingham City Council

Websites available in Birmingham Libraries

We subscribe to these websites, to give you access to large databases of up-to-date information.
The sites can be used on computers in Birmingham Libraries. Most are now available on home and office computers for use by members who live, work or study in Birmingham.

Newspapers and JournalsNewspapers | Times Digital Archive 1785 - 1985 19th Century British Library Newspapers
ReferenceCredo Reference | Oxford Reference Online | Oxford English Dictionary
BusinessCOBRA | Which?Online
ArtsLiterature Resource Centre | Columbia Granger's World of Poetry
Musicsearchmuze | Oxford Music Online | Naxos Music Library

Dictionary of National Biography | Ancestry Library Edition

Theory Test Pro

Driving Theory Test

Prepare for your Driving Theory Test with this online test site. More details

Please note - If you are experiencing difficulty accessing this site through Internet Explorer, please try a different web browser, for example Firefox or Google Chrome.


Go Citizen

Help with Life in the UK test and British citizenship tests. More details

Transparent Language Online

Learn a language online Over 80 languages available plus 16 courses to learn English from other languages.

19th century British Library newspapers

19th Century British Library Newspapers contains full runs of 71 influential national and regional newspapers representing different political and cultural segments of the19th century British society.
Includes the Birmingham Daily Post from 1857 - 1900.

Please note - 22 new newspapers have been recently added to this database.



Trace your family history using records from England, Scotland and Wales censuses from 1841 to 1911, birth, marriage and death records and UK parish and probate record


COBRA - the Complete Business Reference Adviser
includes information on start-up, legal, employment, marketing, exporting, finance, health & safety, plus exhibitions and events and many useful links in the Local Area Profile. Available on home and office computers

Newspaper reader

Newspapers- a searchable database of the Birmingham Post, the Evening Mail, the Sunday Mercury and the Sports Argus from January 1998. ( To find articles in these papers, you may need to include the word 'Birmingham' in your search ).Birmingham Newspapers

Now includesThe Sun from Jan 1997, Daily Mail from Jan 1996, The Guardian/The Observer from Jan 1996 and The Times/The Sunday Times from Jan 1997
Available on home and office computers

The Times Digital Archive

The Times Digital Archive 1785 - 1985

Search The Times from 1785 - 1985 and see the results as individual articles and in context on the whole page. Available on home and office computers

credo reference

Credo Reference is an online library that gives you access to a selection of reference books, including encyclopaedias, dictionaries and books of quotations, plus a range of specialist subject books.

Available on home and office computers.

Literature Resource Centre- Searches across many literary databases including 'Contemporary Authors' for more than 120,000 authors from every age and literary discipline.Available on home and office computers

Literature Resource Centre

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
50,000 biographies of people who shaped the history of the British Isles and beyond, from the earliest times to the year 2000. You can do a quick search, browse by date or in alphabetical order or look at the list of themes, e.g. saints, Oscar winners or poet laureates !
Available on home and office computers


A comprehensive source of information on music recordings distributed in the UK. Choose MusicMaster for popular and world music and jazz and Classical for classical music. I ncludes over 80,000 album cover scans and a DVD and VHS database.
Now available by
library card login on computers outside libraries.

Oxford Music Online

Oxford Music Online- a comprehensive guide to classical music, includes the contents of The Oxford Dictionary of Music, Grove Music Online and The Oxford Companion to Music.
Available on home and office computers

Naxos Music Library

Naxos Music Library is a collection of music available for online listening. It contains the complete Naxos and Marco Polo catalogues, plus selections from other labels, amounting to more than 170,000 tracks altogether. It is mainly classical music but also includes jazz, world, folk and Chinese music. Also available on your home computer if you have a library card.

Oxford English Dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionary

Relaunched in December 2010, this is the authoritative guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of over half a million words. It traces the usage of words through 2.5 million quotations from a wide range of international English language sources. Learn more about the OED.
Access to OED using your library card

New !See Oxford Online on YouTube

Oxford Reference Online

Oxford Reference Online

brings together over 100 dictionary, language reference, and subject reference works published by Oxford University Press. It is a fully-indexed, cross-searchable database of these books. Available on home and office computers


Which?Online is available in Central Library and in Sutton Coldfield Library. You will need to ask staff to log you into the site.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography