Online reference information

These subscription databases are available to Camden library members by remote access (on your home computer or portable device), unless otherwise stated. You will be asked to enter your 14-digit library membership number as a password in order to access each database.

You could pay subscriptions for using all of these services but they are free to anyone with a valid Camden library card.

The services are:

  • dictionaries, single volume encyclopedias and other reference information
  • literature, art and music
  • newspapers and journals, including archives for research, and a wide range of current online newspapers and magazines 
  • academic and research papers (only from a library computer) 
  • family history (only available on a library computer )
  • law (only available on a library computer)

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Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Nearly 60,000 definitive biographies of great Britons and people who have influenced British history and culture – leaders, thinkers, scientists, artists, authors etc.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Oxford Reference

Oxford Reference Logo

Dictionaries and encyclopaedias, e.g. dictionaries of law, ecology, African mythology etc. Easy searching offers choice of short or long entries, quotations etc.

A huge general knowledge database, offering access to more than a million entries from 175 Oxford University Press subject dictionaries, encyclopaedias and companions. Also includes language dictionaries, quotations, biographies and maps.

Oxford English Dictionary (OED)

Oxford English Dictionary logo

The definitive guide to the meaning, history, spelling and pronunciation of over half a million current and obsolete words.

It traces the usage of words through 2.5 million quotations from a wide range of international English language sources, from classical literature and specialist periodicals to film scripts and cookery books. It also includes the Historical Thesaurus of the OED.

 Oxford Dictionaries

Oxford Dictionaries Pro

Intended as a supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary. Includes online dictionaries for translating French, Spanish, German, Italian, Arabic and US English words and phrases, a synonym finder (thesaurus), advice on English grammar style, as well as games, word lists and discussion pieces on modern word usage.

Who's Who and Who Was Who

Who's Who and Who Was Who logo

The full up-to-date text of Who's Who, the definitive current biographical directory of the most influential and noteworthy figures in British public life, as well as leading international figures. Who Was Who is the full archive of former contemporary entries from Who's Who, dating back to 1897.

Art and music- Oxford Online. 

Grove Art Online (also known as Grove Art)

Grove art logo

34-volume dictionary and encyclopaedia of the arts and artists, with links to thousands of pictures. Covers painting, sculpture, architecture, domestic arts, textiles, jewellery, furniture and all areas of design. Includes the full text of The Oxford Companion to Western Art and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms. Now also includes the Benezit Dictionary of Artists.

Oxford Music Online (also known as Grove Music)

Grove music logo

29-volume dictionary and encyclopaedia of music, composers and performers, with playable musical examples. Includes the full text of The Oxford Dictionary of Music, The Oxford Companion to Music and The Encyclopaedia of Popular Music, plus specialist coverage of opera and jazz.

Newspapers and magazines 


Read or research contemporary reportage – the full text of articles from most of the national UK daily and Sunday newspapers, including some regional papers, business titles and newswires. Coverage of different papers varies, but most date from about 1998 up to a few days ago. Newsbank also compiles Special Reports on current (mostly international) news topics.


Times Digital Archives

Times Digital Archives logo

The searchable full text of ‘Britain’s newspaper of record’, reproduced from 1785-1985, including articles, editorials, reviews, births, deaths and marriages, advertisements etc. A key tool for historical research (for text after 1985 consult Newsbank, above).

Good news – the archive has been extended to include material up to 2010. Next year, material from 2011 will be included.  

Other databases

Please note: remote access is not available for these subscription databases. They are only accessible on public computers in all Camden libraries.

Ancestry Library Edition

Research your family history on the largest genealogy database available online, which contains more than five billion names:

  • You can only access Ancestry Library Edition from the welcome screen on the public computers in any Camden library

Lexis Library 

  • You can only access Lexis Library from the welcome screen on public computers in any Camden library
Camden Libraries is no longer able to subscribe to the full version of Lexis Library.  Availability of Lexis from Camden Libraries is limited to Halsbury’s Laws of England.  In December 2015, Camden Cabinet agreed to a range of savings to the library service and this means we have to make changes to the range of services. 

To continue to use the full version of Lexis Library, you will need to visit the British Library, and register for a reader’s pass where the service is freely available to members. The database can only be accessed onsite by registered readers. You will have to become a registered reader at the British Library and visit the site to use the service. 

Access to Research

Discover the world of published academic research at your local library. Free access to over 10 million academic articles. Share using #AccesstoResearch. Follow @A2R_4libraries on Twitter

You may only use this database in a Camden public library.  

Life in Britain

Life in Britain logo

Life in Britain is an online resource that supports people who are preparing for the Life in the UK Test. The program includes practice tests. You can access it remotely or by booking a Camden public PC.

Please visit your local Camden library to find the book Life in the United Kingdom: A Guide for New Residents, copies of which are available for loan. 

Please note: Life in Britain is not the official test. Please visit for the official service and to book a Life in the UK Test as part of your application for UK citizenship or settlement.

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