General Reference

These general references sources are encyclopedic in scope and are a good place to start learning about almost any topic.

Free State Wide Academic OneFile

Academic OneFile is a comprehensive periodical resource of full-text peer-reviewed content for over 10,000 manually indexed journals and reference works covering all subjects, including the full-text of The New York Times back to 1995 and NPR, CNN & CBC transcripts and podcasts.

Free for all Massachusetts residents. Provided by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Massachusetts Library System.

Free With BPL ECard AtoZDatabases

AtoZdatabases is a reference and marketing database that includes 30 million business profiles, 220 million residents, 1.1 Million Healthcare Professionals, and much more. It is ideal for sales leads, mailing lists, market research, employment opportunities, and tracking down hard to find phone numbers and addresses.

Provided by the Boston Public Library and available for free with a BPL eCard. Individuals who live in, own property in, or commute to work in Massachusetts may register for an eCard.

Free State Wide Britannica Online Public Library Edition

Britannica Online Public Library Edition is a powerful resource. In addition to the famous encyclopedia, Britannica Online also includes a dictionary and thesaurus, atlases, timelines, and other features.

Free for all Massachusetts residents. Provided by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Massachusetts Library System.

Free State Wide Britannica Online School Edition

Britannica Online School Edition lets you choose your level, with content geared to Elementary, Middle School, High School, and a PreSchool Learning Zone. Each level includes dictionary and thesaurus, atlases, timelines, and other features at the appropriate grade level.

Free for all Massachusetts residents. Provided by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Massachusetts Library System.

Free State Wide Britannica World Data Analyst

This resource provides comprehensive current and historical statistics on the countries of the world for historical and cross-national comparisons. It also allows for the creation of tables and charts or data export for deeper analysis.

Free for all Massachusetts residents. Provided by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Massachusetts Library System.

Free State Wide Britannica’s Spanish Reference Center

This site offers resources in Spanish for all ages in two unique interfaces, each with its own comprehensive encyclopedia: Enciclopedia Moderna for high school and college students and Britannica Escolar for elementary and middle school students.

Free for all Massachusetts residents. Provided by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Massachusetts Library System.

Free With BPL ECard Credo Reference

Credo Reference covers every major subject, with easy access to trusted content from over 70 of the world’s leading academic publishers. This aggregate database includes 538 hundred highly-regarded reference titles, and seamless linking to other valuable and trusted information sources to speed your research.

Provided by the Boston Public Library and available for free with a BPL eCard. Individuals who live in, own property in, or commute to work in Massachusetts may register for an eCard.

Free State Wide Gale Group Databases (InfoTrac Web)

A tool that lets you search many of our databases at once.

Free for all Massachusetts residents. Provided by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Massachusetts Library System.

Free State Wide Gale Virtual Reference Library

Over 20 full-text reference books covering the arts, biography, business, environment, history, literature, medicine, multicultural studies, geography, and science.

Free for all Massachusetts residents. Provided by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Massachusetts Library System.

Free State Wide General OneFile

Use this general interest database for full-text and images from magazines, reference books, and newspapers for information on current events, popular culture, the arts and sciences, sports, etc.

Free for all Massachusetts residents. Provided by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Massachusetts Library System.

Free State Wide Global Issues in Context

Global Issues in Context offers international viewpoints on a broad spectrum of global issues, topics, and current events. Featured are hundreds of continuously updated issue and country portals that bring together a variety of sources for analysis of social, political, military, economic, environmental, health, and cultural issues. Each of these includes an overview, unique “perspectives” articles, reference, periodical, primary source and statistical information.

Free for all Massachusetts residents. Provided by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Massachusetts Library System.

Free In Library JSTOR (available in library)

This treasure trove for researchers contains back issues of over 800 scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences. The website also contains tutorials and help pages to orient new users.

Provided by Forbes Library and available for use in the library.

Free State Wide Kids InfoBits

Targeting the research needs of grades K-5 students. this resources incudes Blackbirch Press curriculum support references, 100 full-text age appropriate magazines and 2 newswires. Graphs, charts, maps and over 2,500 searchable images.

Free for all Massachusetts residents. Provided by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Massachusetts Library System.

Free With Forbes Card National Geographic

National Geographic Virtual Library (NGVL) supports a range of research needs in the areas of science, history, technology, the environment, cultures, and more. Includes People, Animals, and the World and the National Geographic magazine archive 1888 – Present.

Provided by Forbes Library. Remote access requires a Forbes Library card.

Free State Wide Opposing Viewpoints in Context

Opposing Viewpoints in Context is provides contextual information and opinions on hundreds of today’s hottest social issues. Drawing on the acclaimed Greenhaven Press series, it features continuously updated viewpoint articles, topic overviews, full-text magazines, academic journals, news articles, primary source documents, statistics, images, videos, audio files and links to vetted websites.

Free for all Massachusetts residents. Provided by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Massachusetts Library System.

Free With BPL ECard Oxford English Dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language. As a historical dictionary, the OED is very different from Dictionaries of current English, in which the focus is on present-day meanings. You’ll still find present-day meanings in the OED, but you’ll also find the history of individual words, and of the language.

Provided by the Boston Public Library and available for free with a BPL eCard. Individuals who live in, own property in, or commute to work in Massachusetts may register for an eCard.

Free State Wide Research in Context

Designed for middle school students. Includes mainly full-text magazines, newspapers and reference books covering current events, the arts, science, popular culture, health, people, government, history, sports and more. This resource has a highly visual design and navigation  combined with the authoritative content and user-focused tool set needed to support middle school assignments and coursework.

Free for all Massachusetts residents. Provided by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Massachusetts Library System.

Free State Wide Student Edition

Now with over 1,100 titles, cross searchable with eBooks, this periodical database is designed for high-school students with access to a variety of indexed and full-text magazines, newspapers, podcasts, and reference books for information on current events, the arts, science, popular culture, health, people, government, history, sports and more.

Free for all Massachusetts residents. Provided by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Massachusetts Library System.