Digital library

eBooks

Your Digital Library includes a download library of eBooks plus lots of online information sources.

eBook Library

You can use your Lancashire County Library membership to login and borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks.

You can borrow with one click, download and then read an eBook or listen to an eAudiobook on your computer or portable device.

Free software and apps are available for computers, phones and tablets. eBooks can also be transferred to eReaders and eAudiobooks can be transferred to music players.

Enjoying eBooks

We have produced a series of guides to help you get the most from our eBooks and eAudiobooks.

The eBook and eAudiobook Download Library is available to library members with a valid Lancashire postcode. 

More eBooks - Your Lancashire library membership also gives you access to 1100 reference and non-fiction eBooks on a huge range of subjects that you can search and read online at Literati by Credo. Just log in with your library card number. Excerpts can be shared, printed and saved.

Reference online

The sites detailed below consist of high quality online information resources. Normally to access any of these, you would need to take out a paid subscription.
As part of Lancashire County Council's Digital Library, we have paid the subscription so you don't have to. These sites are available for free to anyone using a People's Network PC or the Wi-Fi network in any Lancashire library and, outside libraries*, to all Library members using your library card number (14 digits) to log in.

*Please note that a few of these resources can only be accessed for free within Lancashire Archives, Libraries and Museums marked as *in library only.

Family and local history

Red Rose Collections

Red Rose Collections is our new online archive of Lancashire local history resources. It includes an Image Archive with over thirty thousand historic photographs digitised from the collections in Lancashire Libraries plus indexes to other resources, such as old local newspapers, local books, Preston Guild Rolls and the Lancashire Police index held at Lancashire Archives and Libraries.

Lancashire Archives on Ancestry*

You can now search and access images of Church of England baptism, marriage, and burial registers from parishes in Lancashire. Parish records are the best way of discovering births, marriages and deaths before the mid-19th century,and remain an important source after this. Lancashire Archives partnership with Ancestry lets us provide you with some of the most crucial family history records from the county of Lancashire. *Available at archives/libraries only. Please note that using Ancestry on archives/library PCs will enable you to search Ancestry's records, but not access some Ancestry features such as Family Trees and you may have difficulties attempting to use a personal Ancestry login on a archives/library PC.

Ancestry Institution*

You now have access to a new improved version of Ancestry, the largest online library of family history information, available free from the Peoples Network PCs in Lancashire Archives and Libraries. The collection includes Census Records, Birth Marriage and Death Indexes, Military records, Immigration and Emigration, and many more public records from the UK and around the world. It is constantly updated and enlarged. Ancestry create their own indexes, so you may be able to find records that were missing on other websites. *Available at archives/libraries only. Please note that using Ancestry on archives/library PCs will enable you to search Ancestry's records, but not access some Ancestry features such as Family Trees and you may have difficulties attempting to use a personal Ancestry login on a archives/library PC.

Find My Past*

Now available to access at Lancashire Archives, Find My Past is an easy to use website with hundreds of sets of public records from England and Scotland going back to 1200, including many from Lancashire Archives, and they are constantly adding more. The collection includes Census records, parish registers, occupational records, travel and migration, and many more. Find My Past do their own indexing, so you may be able to find records that were missing on other websites. *in Lancashire Archives and Libraries only.

Dictionary of National Biography

The DNB tells the stories of people who have shaped all aspects of Britain's past, from the fourth century BC to the present day, from royalty to rock stars. You can search by place to find out who was born, lived or died where you are. It also includes a special page devoted to Lancashire Lives.

Old Maps of Lancashire

Online versions of Old Maps of Lancashire produced by Lancashire's Archaeology Service, including full county maps 1610 - 1937 and town maps 1845 - 1950.

Mario interactive maps

Lancashire County Council's mapping site containing local maps and aerial photographs for the whole county. Some historic maps for the region are also available. You can select a location and then overlay historic maps, photographs and information. This site also provides interactive information on administrative boundaries and local census and social statistics.

Research World War One

Lancashire Museums have compiled lists of online sources for research into World War One with a focus on information available in North West England. Topics include Finding People and Memorials, Regiments, Medals and Uniforms, Women at War, plus resources for Schools.

More useful websites for family history

In our Good Web Guide, there is a selection of some of the best sites to get you going with researching your family tree. They include advice, information and access to some historical records that can be searched online.

Newspapers old and new

British Library Newspapers 1730 - 1950

This collection includes the Burnley Express, Lancaster Gazette and Preston Chronicle and offers national, regional and local newspapers from the Eighteenth to Twentieth centuries taken directly from the holdings of the British Library. The whole collection is fully searchable and you can view digital copies of the original newspapers.

Times Digital Archive

The complete digital edition of The Times (London) from 1785 and now extended to cover up to 2010. Every page of every issue includes headlines, articles, images, editorial, birth and death notices and classifieds. Search or browse through each issue.

NewsBank

NewsBank enables you search and read articles published in the UK newspapers in the last 5 to 25 years (varies with different papers). All the major national daily papers are included as well as many local and regional ones.

Business, jobs and innovation

Ask About Business

Ask About Business is a partnership between Lancashire Libraries and other authorities across the North West. Ask About Business provides information through libraries to support: Pre-start and new businesses, Existing businesses, Jobseekers, Consumers, Inventors and Business students. It includes free access for library members to Cobra Business Adviser.

Cobra Business Adviser

If you're running a business or planning a start-up, COBRA provides practical and continually updated information to help with start-up opportunities, employment, legal, finance, marketing, exporting, health and safety, as well as many useful links in the Local Area Profile.

British Standards - Access in Libraries

Updated daily, this is the authoritative site for all BSI publications, more than 16,000 of which are BSI-adopted European and International standards. You can request up to a maximum of 10% of any standard to be printed by library staff for personal, non-commercial use.

British Standards - Access outside Libraries

The same BSI standards and publications are available to view outside Libraries, but cannot be printed or saved. Please note, however, that it may not be possible to view Standards with the Google Chrome browser or on some mobile devices.

Jobseeker skills

Help and guides for jobseekers. Includes Universal Jobmatch, job hunting, CVs/covering letters, interviews and starting work. On this site you'll also find current information on Universal Credit. A YouTube video is available to help you use the universal skills program.

The Digital Garage

Lancashire libraries have teamed up with the Good Things Foundation and Google to support small businesses, charities and start-ups in Lancashire make the most of being online. The Digital Garage consists of a series of free tutorials on everything from your website to online marketing and beyond. You can create a personal profile of your needs and choose the topics you want to learn. We are happy to offer introductory training and support.

More useful websites for business and jobs

Recommended websites in our Good Web Guide to help with a wide range of business and employment needs.

School and homework

World Book Online for Kids

Full of facts and information for 6-10 year olds, World Book Online for Kids features colourful and simple navigation, thousands of easy-to-read articles packed with illustrations, videos, interactive maps, comparison tools, and a wealth of engaging games and activities.

Literati by Credo

Literati is a library of 1100 reference and non-fiction eBooks on a huge range of subjects that you can search and read online. It includes the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia and also a range of Dorling Kindersley's stunning DK Eyewitness series. Excerpts can be shared, printed and saved.

World Book Student

Designed for students in secondary schools and 6th form college, World Book Student includes thousands of extra articles, rich multi-media and learning resources in addition to all the articles from the print versions of the World Book Encyclopaedia. A host of research tools and features, such as 'Behind the Headlines' which uses a selection of current daily events as starting points to encourage exploration of the background and issues, and a weekly current events quiz.

Learning Place

Endorsed by the Lancashire Grid for Learning and teachers throughout Lancashire, all these sites in the Learning Place are chosen and validated by library staff to help in your learning and fit in with the National Curriculum.

Music

Grove Music online

Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians has been used by music lovers and musicians as a favourite source of information for over 100 years. This up to date online edition, now part of the Oxford Online, also includes The Dictionary of Opera, Dictionary of Jazz and Encyclopaedia of Popular music.

Information, facts and figures

Literati by Credo

Literati is a custom website where eBooks from Credo Reference can be easily searched and read online. Literati provides users with a multitude of resources, from non-fiction eBooks, images, and easily accessible Topic Pages on a large range of subjects. Literati is also able to cross reference with our main library catalogue. It includes the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia

Oxford Dictionaries

With up-to-date online dictionaries, thesauruses, and language reference content, Oxford Dictionaries is an extensive, integrated, smart-linked language resource. It offers quick search access to definitions of words, phrases, and idioms, with expert guidance on style and usage, grammar, and spelling; plus specialist guides for legal and technical writing, job applications and letters. You can search for word translation and usage, to and from a number of foreign languages.

Oxford English Dictionary

The "OED", Oxford English Dictionary is the ultimate dictionary of English. In 'paper form', it has over 25,000 pages covering every word in the language and how it's been used over the centuries and now also includes the Historical Thesaurus of the English Language begun in 1965 and finally completed in 2008.

World Book Online Advanced Edition

World Book Advanced is a powerful reference tool that includes a vast multi-media encyclopaedia and primary source database, fully integrated in a single search, useful for general research and secondary-level and college students.

World Book Student

Useful for both students and the general researcher, World Book Student includes thousands of extra articles, rich multi-media and learning resources in addition to all the articles from the print versions of the World Book Encyclopaedia. A host of research tools and features, such as 'Behind the Headlines' which uses a selection of current daily events as starting points to encourage exploration of the background and issues, and a weekly current events quiz.

Information4living

Information4living allows you to find reliable sources of information to support critical aspects of your life - such as your health and wellbeing, money, benefits or work. It is fully searchable by postcode.

More Useful Websites

In our Good Web Guide, a selection of hundreds of the best websites chosen and checked by library professionals to answer your questions and provide reliable information on a wide range of subjects.

More...

Ask a Lancashire librarian

Lancashire librarians staff this web-based real-time enquiry service during working hours and will quickly respond to any questions received out of hours.

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. This service is now available in our libraries as part of a two year pilot. Subjects include art, architecture, business, engineering, history, languages, politics, philosophy, mathematics and the sciences. All content provided is digital and can be accessed from our People's Network PC.

*The Access to Research initiative is only available within our libraries

Go Citizen

GoCitizen.co.uk is an online study resource for candidates preparing for the Life in the UK Test or British citizenship test. The service includes an online version of 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. This site requires registration using a valid email address.

Oxford Bibliographies

Every article on Oxford Bibliographies is a respected guide to current thinking in that area, written and reviewed by experts, and with original commentary and annotations. The Victorian Literature module includes annotated bibliographies on over 100 topics including Gender, Charles Dickens, Race, and many more. In the British and Irish Literature module you’ll find over 100 bibliographies, including topics such as Arthurian Literature, John Keats, and Christopher Marlowe.

Public Information Online

Public Information Online is the only resource which will allow you to view UK and Great Britain Parliamentary publications in PDF format online. These include all Parliamentary material (House of Commons and the Lords papers, bills and amendments, Daily Hansard, etc. from the 2006/07 Session onwards) as soon as they are published, the site is updated daily.

Theory Test Pro

Theory Test Pro is a highly realistic online simulation of the UK's driving theory test. It contains the entire official 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 (DSA), the people who set the tests.