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Free online resources

Resources you can view from home

All of the following resources are free to view.

COBRA: Complete Business Reference Advisor


COBRA contains all the information you need to turn your idea into a business or if you are thinking of working for yourself. Log on and find more than 4,000 factsheets, sector guides, market reports, local area profiles, contacts and sources of funding and support plus hundreds of practical guides to starting up more than 350 types of business. Ideal for anyone looking to start a business, write a business or marketing plan or conduct research into a new market. If you're using a Library PC you can access COBRA for free. If you wish to access COBRA from home you will need to log in with your Library Card Number at the same link.



NewsBank gives access to UK and Ireland newspapers from 1982. Full-text content of local and regional newspapers are provided on an easy-to-search database.

Please note: When logging into NewsBank from the first login screen please select ‘No Username and Password. Click here for additional login options’ and enter name of Library authority (Staffordshire) and your Library Card number.

Oxford Resources

What everyone needs to know

What Everyone Needs to Know logo

Our latest new resource from Oxford University Press. Want to stay up to date on important topics? We've got you covered with What Everyone Needs to Know®. Written by leading experts in their fields, this series offers balanced and authoritative primers on complex current event issues and countries.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Logo

Oxford DNB is a collection of more than 57,000 biographies, describing the lives of people who shaped the history of Britian and beyond from the 4th century BC to the 21st century.

Oxford English Dictionary Online

Oxford English Dictionary Online Logo

The OED Online has recently been updated with a new look and several new features. The core of the site is still the 600,000 definitions and uses of words, but the website now features word timelines, an historical thesaurus and pages on the OED's most-cited authors and texts - offering an insight into those who have shaped the English language.

Oxford Reference Online

Oxford Reference Logo

With Oxford Reference Online you can find a wealth of facts, figures, definitions and translations from more than 175 Oxford reference titles, including the acclaimed Oxford Companions series, and all 20,000 entries from the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.


Resources only accessible at Your Library

These resources are free to use, but can only be accessed at Your Library

Access to Research Periodicals

Free access to over 1.5 million academic articles covering such topics as Art and Architecture, Business, Environmental Science, History, Journalism, Languages, Politics, Film, Philosophy and Religion, Mathematics and Physics. 

GoCitizenGo citizen new

GoCitizen is a study resource for people preparing for the Life in the UK test or British Citizenship test. It has the latest official study materials licensed from the Home Office, the people who write the handbook, plus hundreds of practice test questions in the same format as the official test.  When you first use it, you will need to register with your name, email address and password

Theory Test Protheory test pro new

Practise your driving theory test using Theory Test Pro. It contains the official practice 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, the people who set the tests. 

When you first use it, you will need to register with your name, email address and password. This information allows Theory Test Pro to save your test scores so you can follow your progress as you practise for the test.

Ancestry - Library Editionancestry

Ancestry is the leading genealogy resource on the internet and is packed full of records, as well as hints and tips to help you trace your family history, whether you are from Staffordshire or beyond.

Records recently added to Ancestry:

  • England and Wales National Probate Calendar 1861-1941
  • Return of Owners of Land 1873 for England and Wales
  • Registers of coroners inquests for New South Wales, Australia 1796 -1947
  • UK Naval medals 1793 -1972
  • Military campaign medal award rolls 1914 -1949
  • World War II prisoners of the Japanese 

Findmypast - Staffordshire Collection
Findmypast is one of the leading family history resources on the internet. The Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Archive Service has partnered with Findmypast to make some of the most popular Staffordshire sources available online. Currently available are the Staffordshire Parish Registers (Church of England), 1538-1900, containing around 4 million records. Further resources are 'in the pipeline' and will be made available soon, so watch this space.

British Newspaper Archive

The British Newspaper Archive allows users to search the largest collection of British and Irish historical newspapers online, covering nearly 300 years of history.  This collection includes Staffordshire newspapers such as the Staffordshire Advertiser, Staffordshire Chronicle, Staffordshire Newsletter and Staffordshire Sentinel.

This resource is only available within our 43 Libraries, where users will need to register and create their own accounts.Once your account has been created you will have access to the entire archive. By registering, you will also gain access to the 'My Research area' which will enable you to keep track of your searches and bookmark your viewed items into folders.



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