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Reference online A-Z list

Free access to a wide range of online reference materials at home or in our libraries.

Reference Online is available 24 hours a day, all year round and contains information on a variety of subjects from encyclopaedias to music, biography and news. All you need to do is enter your library membership number - the nine-digit number without spaces - after clicking on each title. If you are not already a member you can join the library online.

Access to Research

Free access to published research from academic journals and conference proceedings

Access in libraries only


Trace your family tree using the UK Census information; birth, marriage and death records; and parish and probate records.

Access in libraries

Britannica online

The world famous encyclopaedia now in three editions for children, students and the full library edition.

Access in libraries

Access at home

British Library Newspapers

Of great interest to local and family historians, this collection contains 71 regional and local newspapers (including Jackson's Oxford Journal) of nineteenth century Britain.

Access at home or in libraries.

British Newspaper Archive

The BNA contains 40 million newspaper pages from the 1800s right up to 1999. Filter your search by time period, region or place or publication. Only available in libraries - register here for a BNA account

Access in libraries only.

British Standards Online

Full-text access to current, historic, and draft standards produced by the British Standards Institution (BSI). Includes c.40,000 current British, European, and International standards, covering products and services. Updated daily.

Covering every area of life from technical guidelines for production processes in a diverse range of industries to specifications. Codes of best practice that improve safety, efficiency, interoperability, and facilitate trade.

The subscription allows reading onscreen only.

Available in libraries

COBRA – the Complete Business Reference Advisor

Used by thousands of business advisers to help people into self-employment and invaluable for existing small business owners and start-ups COBRA has reliable, practical content that explains regulations, trading issues, opportunities and developments in over 550 small business trades and sectors.

Access in and outside libraries



The definitive source of over 4 million active companies in the UK and Ireland with information on around 13 million private companies.

Use powerful functions including matching companies to your own profile; checking credit scores and identifying business contacts.

Available through the Ask a Librarian information service and to customers in Oxfordshire County Library .We strongly recommend contacting Ask a Librarian to discuss your requirements first unless you are an existing FAME user.

Find My Past

Family history and genealogy resources containing birth, marriage and death records, censuses, including the latest 1921 Census, military records, and local newspapers.

Access in libraries only

How to find your ancestor in the 1921 Census


Freegal Music

Freegal Music provides access to a collection spanning over 15 million songs, music videos and audiobooks from more than 40,000 music labels worldwide. You can stream and download music from a wide variety of genres on a desktop computer or mobile device.

Access at home or in libraries.

The John Johnson Collection

This collection provides access to thousands of items selected from the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera, offering unique insights into the changing nature of everyday life in Britain in the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Categories include Nineteenth-Century Entertainment, the Booktrade, Popular Prints, Crimes, Murders and Executions, and Advertising.

Access at home or in libraries.


Independent and comprehensive research on more than 400 UK industries. Use data and analysis to understand market size, assess competitors, draft business plans and pitches, make forecasts and perform due diligence. Includes:

  • Industry Reports
  • Brexit Impact Statements
  • Specialized Industry Reports
  • Business Environment Profiles

Find out more

Available initially through the Ask a Librarian information service and to customers in Oxfordshire County Library and Bicester Library 

Naxos Music Library

Listen to whole discs or individual tracks of genres including classical, jazz, blues, and world music through this streaming service. Choose from over 60,000 CDs. Enter your library card number in the Passcode box at the top left hand of the page.

Naxos Music Library App for Android & iPhone

Naxos provide an app which allows library members to access Naxos Music Library from their Android or Apple mobile device using either WiFi connections or your data plan. To use the app, follow these steps:

  1. Find and download the NML app (via Google Play, iStore, etc.)
  2. Login into Naxos Music Library via the link on www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/referenceonline, and enter your borrower number.
  3. Click on Playlist.
  4. Click on Sign Up and register (the username and password you create will be used within the app. You cannot use your library card to log into the app).
  5. You can create a playlist within the Naxos Music library website OR just log in to the app and search, browse and stream.

Access at home or in libraries.


The full-text of UK national newspapers and selected local and regional newspapers, including some Oxfordshire titles.

Coverage start dates vary for each title with some starting in 1980s - and most continuing to the current edition. The Oxford Mail and Oxford Times coverage is 2007 to the current edition.

Access at home or in libraries

OverDrive magazines

OverDrive gives you free access to the latest magazines, including The Economist, Gardener’s World, Mojo, What Car? and Computer Active. Every title is provided in a high-res format identical to those in the newsagents, available on your PC or through the Libby App.

Access at home or in libraries

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

The nation’s authoritative biographical source of 55,000 biographies of people who shaped the history of the British Isles and beyond, from the earliest times to the year 2012.

Access at home or in libraries 

Oxford Dictionaries

Oxford Dictionaries tells you how you should be using English today, offering correct spellings, definitions, & alternative words you can use. It also includes expert guidance on writing styles, usage & grammar and specialist guides for legal and technical writing.

Access at home or in libraries.

Oxford English Dictionary

We apologise for the recent intermittent access to the OED and are working with the provider to resolve this. The subscription is current. Please try again later if you experience problems.

The definitive dictionary of the English language, tracing the history, origin, and meaning of more than 600,000 words through time.

Access at home or in libraries.

Oxford Music Online

The complete online version of ‘Grove’s Music and Musicians’ with information on classical music, world music, pop and jazz.

Access at home or in libraries.

Oxford Reference Online

Over 170 fully-indexed, cross-searchable dictionary, language reference, and subject reference works published by Oxford University Press.

Access at home or in libraries.


PressReader gives you access to more than 7,000 of the world’s top newspapers and magazines. Explore titles such as The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Beano, The Week Junior, Red, El Pais and The Washington Post

Access at home or in libraries.

Rock's backpages

The ultimate archive of music journalism... Over 20,000 classic articles on artists from Aaliyah to ZZ Top, on all genres from rockabilly to hip hop, by the finest music writers of the last 50 years. To access the library please enter your library card number in the 'Login via your library' section on the left of the page.

Access at home or in libraries.

Tense Buster

Practise and improve your English language skills with this eLearning course. Tense Buster can test your level and help build confidence in your vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. You can create a simple account to keep track of your progress, or just practise.

Access at home or in libraries

The Times Digital Archive 1785-2019

The complete Times newspaper in facsimile. Fully searchable – a fascinating record of 200 years of world news coverage.

Access at home or in libraries.

Which? magazine

Product reviews and trusted independent advice on consumer issues.

Who's Who and Who Was Who

Who’s Who: the essential directory of the noteworthy and influential in all walks of life, in the UK and worldwide, published annually since 1849.

Access at home or in libraries.