Bolton Library and Museum Services

Online Resources

Access a world of information from your PC, laptop or tablet!*


Our information resources are easy and free to use. All you need is the eight digit borrower number on your library card. (If you are using a smart card, please enter the eight digit number written on the reverse of the card).

If you are not already a member of the library you will need to join to use some of these resources.  Joining the library is easy and doesn't cost you a penny – please see the Join the library page.


*Please note that a few of our resources are only available to use on a Bolton Library networked computer.

Need some help with our resources?

Contact our friendly team at Ask Bolton Libraries for help on 01204 332853 or email



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 via Bolton Library Service computers only

Search the Access to Research database

Ancestry Library Edition

Search an extensive database of records to help you in your family tree research.

*Available via Bolton Library Service computers only

Access Ancestry Library Edition

The British Newspaper Archive

Whether you are a researcher, historian or you simply want to know more about Britain's history, take this fantastic opportunity to search The British Newspaper Archive

*Accessible via Bolton Library Service computers only.

You must register for an account to be able to view records.

Access The British Newspaper Archive

British Standards Online

British Standards Online is the most comprehensive and authoritative source for publications from the British Standards Institution. It covers all current, historic, and draft British Standards and more than 16,000 BSI adopted European and international standards.

Access British Standards Online


COBRA is a continually expanding business encyclopaedia covering all aspects of starting and running a business.  From writing a business plan to expanding an existing business, COBRA contains around 4000 factsheets, market reports, contacts, and sources of funding and support to help entrepreneurs and their advisers.

Access COBRA

Encyclopaedia Britannica

Britannica contains over 120,000 articles, a world atlas, thousands of images and videos, an online dictionary and thesaurus and much more!

There are three editions of the Encyclopaedia Britannica available online – Library edition, Student edition and Junior edition.

Access our Encylopaedia suite

FAME Business Database

Fame contains comprehensive information on companies in the UK and Ireland. You can use it to research individual companies, search for companies with specific profiles and for analysis.

*Available via Bolton Library Service computers only. Ask a member of staff to log you on.

FAME Log in - Staff Only

Find My Past - Now includes 1939 Register!

Trace your ancestors and build a family tree by researching extensive birth records, census data, obituaries and more with Find My Past.

*Available via Bolton Library Services computers only.

Access Find My Past

Issues Online

Issues Online covers topics such as crime and justice; drugs and alcohol; health; human rights and citizenship. Every topic has news articles, key facts and statistics, opinions from people involved in the subject and suggestions for topic work and assignments.


Access Issues Online

NewsBank U.K. and Ireland Newspapers

NewsBank provides access to 351 newspaper and journal titles from across the U.K. and Ireland. It includes national, regional and local publications with archives going back as far as 1982 for some titles.

To log in put '16p' at the beginning of your library card number.

Access NewsBank

Oxford Dictionaries Pro

Oxford Dictionaries Pro is a comprehensive resource which can help you with anything from word pronunciation to using words in the right context. Whether you are a student or a writer, you’ll find something useful in this resource.

To log in put 'bol' at the beginning of your library card number.

Access Oxford Dictionaries Pro

Oxford English Dictionaries

Illustrates how a word is used and how the meaning of a word has changed over time by quoting from source material – from film scripts to wills, classic literature to blogs.  Excellent for tracing how a word first entered the language and how it has evolved.

To log in put 'bol' at the beginning of your library card number.

Access OED

Oxford Art Online

The most comprehensive online reference resource for all aspects of the visual arts worldwide from prehistory to the present day. 

To log in put 'bol' at the beginning of your library card number.


Access Oxford Art Online

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Contains over 56,000 biographies of anyone who was anyone in British history, from the Romans to 21st Century. 

To log in put 'bol' at the beginning of your library card number.

Access DNB

Oxford Music Online

Oxford Music Online is a wealth of information about anything and everyone related to the world of music. Our subscription includes access to Grove Music Online, The Oxford Dictionary of Music and the Oxford Companion to Music.

To log in put 'bol' at the beginning of your library card number.

Access Oxford Music Online

Oxford Reference Online

A vast collection of subject dictionaries and reference books offering over 1 million facts and definitions.  Oxford reference online also contains bilingual dictionaries and a range of English dictionaries and thesauruses.

To log in put 'bol' at the beginning of your library card number.

Access Oxford Reference Online

Universal Skills

An online step-by-step guide to Job Skills, Find a Job and Universal Credit. Plus a full introduction to basic computer skills - including tablets and mobiles. Visit the Universal Skills site to learn more.

Universal Skills

Which? Consumer Reports

Instant access to 1000s of independent reviews and recommendations online.

*Available to use at  Bolton Central Library only. Ask a member of staff to log you on.


Which? Log in - Staff Only