Databases for Online Research

Here you will find online access to magazines, newspapers and reference materials on a wide variety of subjects. Use the Apply Filter button to narrow down your resources even faster by entering KEYWORDS and/or selecting SUBJECTS. Use the Visit button to access the database resource. These resources are available to all DC Public Library cardholders and are accessible from home, work or in the library. Please enter your card number (without spaces) when prompted.

View streaming world-class documentaries, award-winning educational films, and instructional videos from PBS, BBC, History Channel, A&E, National Geographic, Ken Burns and other respected sources.

Search the full text of newspapers and other sources of current and archived articles on issues, events, people, government and more. It includes local news, editorials, announcements and other sections from over 2,000 sources.

Encuentre artículos actuales y archivados de periódicos, revistas y agencias de noticias de todo el mundo en Español.

Accessible Archives provides a searchable collection of African American Newspapers from 19th century that includes Washington DC resources.  It emphasizes eyewitness accounts of historical events, editorials, popular culture, and commerce during the 19th century for America from resources such as:  Christian Recorder, Colored American, Frederick Douglass's Paper, Freedom's Journal, National Era, North Star, Provincial Freeman and Weekly Advocate. 

Contains 500 full-text reference and scholarly articles and over 4,000 slave narratives. Includes primary documents, maps and images, lesson plans, and searchable timelines. 

Find over 3000 essays and images on blues, jazz, spirituals, civil rights songs, slave songs, minstrelsy, rhythm and blues, gospel and other forms of African American musical expression.

Contains over 5,000 biographies, more than 7,500 articles, and hundreds of maps, documents, images, timelines, and charts and tables of African-American life, history, and culture.

Search the full text of American newspapers and other sources of current and archived articles on issues, events, people, government and more. It includes local news, editorials, announcements and other sections from over 2,000 sources.

Search by state over 22 million current records of obituaries and death notices from hundreds of U.S. newspapers. This unique resource provides valuable information on the deceased’s occupation, avocation, education, military service, church affiliation and more.

Searchable eBooks geared toward children and teens covering all aspects of U.S. History.

Find and stream music from America's past. Includes songs by and about Civil Rights, political campaigns, Prohibition, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, anti-war protest and much more.

As of August 1, DC Public Library no longer provides access to AP Images. Looking for images to add to a school paper or presentation? Search Image Quest and get access to over 1 million images. 

Associated Press Images contains a history of the world in photographs from the 1840s to as recent as a minute ago.

Offers full text plus abstracts and indexing of an international array of peer-selected publications—now with expanded coverage of Latin American, Canadian, Asian and non-Western art, new artists, contemporary art, exhibition reviews and feminist criticism.

Best-selling fiction and nonfiction, classic literature, children’s and young adult, language learning, drama, classic radio programs and self-help are available for download and streaming. For instructions visit our OverDrive guide.

Offers full page and article images of the newspaper from 1837-1991.  Full text search access to diverse regional perspectives and coverage on events that shaped the 19th and 20th century.


Integrates biographies with related full-text articles from hundreds of periodicals, as well as thousands of images and links to hand-picked Web sites. Search for people—both current and historic from all eras—based on name, occupation, nationality, ethnicity, birth/death dates and places or gender.

Black Studies Center is a fully cross-searchable gateway to Black Studies including scholarly essays, recent periodicals, historical newspaper articles, and much more.

Searchable eBooks, geared toward children and teens, covering many aspects of African-American History and Culture.

Pairs high-quality children's video storybooks with factual ebooks for pre-schoolers, kindergartners and beginning readers. Related games and puzzles reinforce early reading skills and build curiosity about the world. Some titles in Spanish. Algunos títulos en español.

Free fun and engaging online videos teaching math and science concepts.

Research and analyze companies, industries and economies around the world.

Search a single eBook or DC Public Library’s GVRL collection for digital versions of selected encyclopedias and reference resources on a wide  range of subjects from art, business, environment, history, literature, medicine, multicultural studies, nations and the world and science. 

Fiction and nonfiction eBooks, Audiobooks and Video which can be read, listened to, and watched on computers, smartphones, e-readers and other portable devices. For instructions visit our OverDrive guide.

Find and stream over 1000 hours in over 1500 classical music performances, masterclasses and interviews with master teachers from around the world.

Find and stream over 12,000 albums covering music from the earliest times to the 21st century.

Find over 40,000 pages of text that cover the entire history of western classical music. Includes titles such as Baker's Dictionary of Music, Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians and Baker's Student Encyclopedia of Music.

Find and print more than 45,000 classical music scores covering major classical genres and time periods from medieval to contemporary. Contains full, study, piano and vocal scores.

Provides consumers with information about local suppliers and service providers to help them get high-quality services and products at the best possible prices. This nonprofit website covers approximately 80 topics, including prescription drug shopping, movers, auto repair shops and more.

Find and stream over 6800 albums sounds from every continent. Includes genres such as worldbeat, Balkanic Jazz, African Film, Bollywood, Arab Swing, fado, flamenco, klezmer, zydeco, gospel, gagaku and more

Basic Federal Government documents that define our democratic society.  From the “Bill of Rights” to “Statistical Abstract of the U.S.”

Find and stream movies from a selection of the most significant films of all time. Includes 10 micro-collections ranging from "Independent American Cinema" to French, German, Japanese and Eastern European/Russian films.

The District of Columbia Municipal Regulations is a compilation of the rules and regulations issued by District agencies and the Council of the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia Register is a weekly publication of the operations of the District's government.

Find and stream hundreds of  dance productions and documentaries by the most influential performers and companies from the 20th Century.  Includes ballet, tap, jazz contemporary, experimental, as well as forerunners and pioneers of modern concert dance.

Find, download and use datasets with high quality data, easy to use tools and applications.  Generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government with contributions from 172 federal agencies, innovators, developers, analysts and citizens across the nation.

Looking for an individual, a friend, a relative or want to create a market research list from over 206 million people. Search for an individual company or create a mailing list of multiple companies from over 23 million businesses households! Access a demographic report on any geography - or compare multiple geographies - for information including income, housing, race, age, education, retail spending, consumer expenditures, businesses and more.

OverDrive offers a wide range of popular adult, teen, and children's eBooks and audiobooks in fiction and nonfiction. For mobile and tablet customers titles are available to download using the OverDrive app for iOS and Android. Select titles are available to download on Kindle devices. Use OverDrive Read or Listen to access titles directly in a web browser on desktops and laptops. For instructions visit our OverDrive guide.  

Discover what our collection has to offer and search across several of our databases for direct access to full-text articles, videos, music and more. 

Search by Journal or Publication title or browse by discipline. Download articles in PDF format for offline access. 

Designed for students K-12. Consists of more than 2,000 full-text magazines, newspapers, reference books and transcripts—plus more than 1,000 maps, Web sites, audio-video files and pictures.

Enciclopedia Moderna is intended for high school students and has over 47,000 articles plus about 8,000 images. Complete with dictionary, atlas and timelines, it is the perfect resource for native speakers, bilingual students and students learning Spanish.

Britannica Escolar Online which is specifically designed for ages 6-12 and has 2,000 articles, images, videos, a workspace, and an atlas.

Online version of the popular encyclopedia. Features include a separate entry point for children, current headline news, educators’ tools, an atlas, a dictionary and an Explore Washington, D.C., section.

Used for more comprehensive research than the school version, it contains Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, over 700 full-text magazines and periodicals; over 10,000 eBooks and primary sources; an atlas; and statistic for current and historical country statistics

Select elementary, middle, and high school portal appropriate to each student’s reading, grade, and age level, with nonfiction content aligned to the Common Core and State Standards. The Lesson Plan Builder helps create interactive activities for small and large groups.

Online version of the popular encyclopedia available in Spanish. Versión en línea de la enciclopedia popular disponible en español.

Search a single eBook or DC Public Library’s GVRL collection for digital versions of selected encyclopedias and reference resources on a wide  range of subjects from art, business, environment, history, literature, medicine, multicultural studies, nations and the world and science.

Provides full-text coverage of more than 250 publications from the ethnic and minority press. The collection totals over one million newspaper, magazine and journal articles. Coverage dates back to 1990. Nearly one-quarter of the articles are presented in Spanish. Casi un cuarto de los artículos se presenta en español.

Covers all academic disciplines, including arts and the humanities, social sciences, science and technology. Access scholarly journals, news magazines and newspapers, many with full text and images.

Search over 88,000 images dealing with the Justice Department's and its Federal Bureau of Investigation's widespread investigation of those deemed politically suspect. The collection covers Malcom X, Thurgood Marshall, Black Panthers and many others.

Search over 56,000 pages of  the Civil Rights Congress (CRC) involvement in notable civil rights and civil liberties issues such as Willie McGee, the Trenton Six, Martinsville Seven and many others.  The CRC also held many high profile protests in Washington DC and the UN.  Due to its Communist Party affiliations, the Civil Rights Congress was cited as subversive  by  President Harry S. Truman’s Attorney General, Thomas Clark.

FreedomFlix brings American history alive! Explore topics from the revolutionary era to today’s world through videos, online books, project ideas and quizzes to check your learning.  For grades 4 and up.

Download up to three (3) songs a week and stream up to twenty-four (24) hours every day from ten thousand labels including Sony Music, with your library card and pin number. Access to over seven million songs, compatible with all MP3 players and computers. For additional information visit Freegal Music Streaming 1-2-3.

Search a single eBook or DC Public Library’s GVRL collection for digital versions of selected encyclopedias and reference resources on a wide  range of subjects from art, business, environment, history, literature, medicine, multicultural studies, nations and the world and science.

Learn more about the music of the world's peoples. Contains overviews on a particular region, survey of musical heritage, traditions and themes.

A one-stop source for news and periodical articles on a wide range of topics. Millions of full-text articles, many with images. Updated daily.

International viewpoints on a broad spectrum of global issues, topics and current events.

The District of Columbia Public Library serves as a Federal Depository Library.  Depository libraries serve the public every day by providing free access to a wealth of U.S. Government digital information products. 

As a federal depository library, the DC Public Library is required to have the titles in the "basic collection" accessible for immediate use. These titles are vital sources of information that support the public's right to know about the workings and essential activities of the Federal Government. This list is subject to change.

The library also serves as an access point for District of Columbia government documents.

Searchable eBooks geared toward children and teens covering a broad range of health and medical topics.

Covers more than 25,000 family and local histories and includes the complete U.S. Federal Census from 1790-1940, the Periodical Source Index (PERSI), the Revolutionary War Pension Applications & Bounty Land Warrant Applications, U.S. Indian Census Rolls, and the Freedman's Bank Records (1865-1874).

Full historic content from four major black newspapers: The Chicago Defender (1909-75), The New York Amsterdam News (1922-93), The Atlanta Daily World (1931-2003), and The Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988).

Contains full text for thousands of history encyclopedias, reference books, leading periodicals and other sources. Features nearly 57,000 historical documents, more than 77,000 biographies of historical figures, more than 37,400 historical photos and maps, and more than 80 hours of historical video.

Contains over 3 million images that cover a wide range of topics perfect for lesson plans and activities, student reports and projects, or school Web sites and flyers. Images are from the world’s leading collections including Getty Images, National Geographic Society and National Portrait Gallery of London. Photos can be downloaded, printed and emailed.

A collection of Hispanic magazines with full text. Covers business, health, technology, culture, current topics and other subjects. Una colección de revistas hispánicas con textos completos. Abarca negocios, salud, tecnología, cultura, temas de actualidad y otras materias.

Find and stream thousands of award-winning independent movies, shorts, documentaries and web series from major film festivals from around the world.

Find and stream over 8400 albums of every jazz genre and time period.

Job and Career Accelerator combines everything you need for a successful job search into one easy-to-use online application. Explore occupations, search for jobs, create resumes and improve skills.

A free online resource offering practice exercises and videos in math and science. 

The library provides a number of downloadable audio titles through Overdrive. These audio titles provide language learning in multiple languages, including German, Italian, Japanese, Arabic and English. The titles are available for download to PCs, laptops and an array of Windows Media-compatible portable devices. For instructions visit our OverDrive guide.

Over 200 volumes of content, from encyclopedias to biographies. Also includes maps, images, audio clips, interviews, music files, speeches, documents, and other material in English and Spanish. Sobre 200 volúmenes de contenido, de las enciclopedias a las biografías. También incluye los mapas, las imágenes, los clips audios, las entrevistas, los archivos de la música, los discursos, los documentos, y el otro material en inglés y español.

Searchable eBooks geared toward children and teens covering law in general and the U.S. Constitution. Search eBooks as a group or individually.

Offers practice tests and courses designed to help students and adult learners improve skills and pass academic and licensing tests.

Desde mejorar su lectura, escritura y habilidades matemáticas hasta la preparación del examen GED, los recursos que encontrará aquí lo ayudarán a lograr sus metas.

Designed to simplify access to standard legal forms. The database provides legal forms specifically drafted by attorneys for the District of Columbia, as well as federal forms and other documents applicable across the nation. Most forms can be customized by users. Subject areas include bankruptcy, bill of sale, contracts, divorce, employment, landlord tenant, living wills, name change, power of attorney, real estate, taxes, and last will and testament.

Up-to-date biographical information, overviews, full-text literary criticism and reviews on nearly 130,000 writers of all disciplines, from all time periods from around the world.

Search a single eBook or DC Public Library’s GVRL collection for digital versions of selected encyclopedias and reference resources on a wide range of subjects from art, business, environment, history, literature, medicine, multicultural studies, nations and the world and science.

Unlimited access to an online library of high-quality instructional videos taught by industry experts on the latest software tools and skills. Videos for all levels of learners. Learn a whole course or just the section you need. Topics include Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Web design, Social Media, Business and Career Skills and much more.

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Looking to learn a new language or learn phrases for an upcoming trip? Try Mango Languages, an interactive online resource providing audio tutorials to practice reading, listening, and speaking in over 70 different languages. It also has ESL courses for Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and Vietnamese speakers.

Download the app and get access on the go:
iOS app in the App Store
Android app on Google Play

Little Pim is a fun and interactive way to introduce a child to Russian, German, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Hebrew, English, Spanish or French.

National Library of Medicine’s database of health information for consumers and health professionals. Includes information on over 750 health topics, drugs and supplements, medical encyclopedia, dictionaries, interactive tutorials, and surgery videos. Also includes health information in over 40 languages.

MedlinePlus le ayuda encontrar las respuestas que usted busca en temas de salud. MedlinePlus ha recopilado la informacion mas confiable proveniente de fuentes autorizadas tales como la Biblioteca Nacional de Medicina y los Institutos Nacionales de la Salud, asi como otras agencias gubernamentales y organizaciones de servicios para la salud. MedlinePlus tambien le ofrece mucha informacion sobre medicamentos, una enciclopedia medica ilustrada, programas interactivos para el paciente y las mas recientes noticias acerca de la salud.

Database created by Memorial Sloan Kettering's Integrative Medicine Service to provide evidence-based information about herbs, botanicals, supplements, and more.

Complete archive of the Mergent/Moody's Manuals of corporate and securities information from 1909-present.   Find detailed company financial information: corporate annual reports,  Mergent Industry Reports, Ford Equity Reports, and  Key Business Ratios.

Provides business descriptions, corporate histories and financial statements for over 25,000 active and inactive U.S and international public companies. Updated daily.

Identify stocks, mutual funds and ETFs that meet your needs. Morningstar Library Edition combines all the fund and stock information necessary for in-depth research and smart portfolio construction. Each fund and stock report is loaded with critical data and decisive analysis.

National Geographic Virtual Library brings together a complete archive of National Geographic magazine — every page of every issue from 1888 through present — along with a cross-searchable collection of National Geographic books, maps, images and videos.

New York Times (full text backfile to 1980, Book Review and Magazine are included in PDF format), Los Angeles Times (full text backfile to 1985), Wall Street Journal (full text backfile to 1984), Christian Science Monitor (full text backfile to 1988) and The Washington Post (full text backfile to 1987). Search as a group or individually.

1980-Present  -  The full-text electronic editions
1851-2013  - Digital edition with full text searching of each page, individual articles and images

NorthStar Digital Literacy Assessment and Certificate enables you to  

  • Learn Basic Digital Literacy Skills
  • Assess Your Digital Literacy Skills
  • Earn Your NorthStar Digital Literacy Assessment (NDLA) Certificate

A fiction and non-fiction database with subject heading access, reviews, annotations and much more for over 135,000 fiction titles. It also includes other content of interest to fiction readers, such as Author Read-alikes, What We're Reading, Book Discussion Guides, BookTalks and Annotated Book Lists.

Covers fiction and non-fiction titles that are popular with young readers as well as titles to use in the classroom. The NoveList Learning Center provides a complete introduction to the product and shows you how to use NoveList to meet your students’ reading needs. You can access the Learning Center by clicking on its link in the left-hand column of your screen.

Oxford English Dictionary is the accepted authority on the English language.  Guide to the meaning, history and pronunciation of over 600,000 words – past and present.

Find and stream over 2800 opera performances from staged productions, interviews and documentaries.

Covers the hottest social issues from terrorism to endangered species, stem cell research to gun control. Brings together all the information that's needed to fully understand an issue: pro and con viewpoint articles, reference articles that provide context, 140 full-text magazines, academic journals, and newspapers, primary source documents, government and organizational statistics, multimedia, including images and podcasts, and links to hand-selected Web sites.

The entire 34 volumes of The Dictionary of Art, including updates of text and over 22,000 links to art images in galleries and museums around the world. Topics covered include the fine arts (architecture, painting and sculpture) and decorative arts (ceramics, furniture, glass, jewelry, interior design and textiles) of world cultures, countries and regions.

The full text of the printed editions of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, The New Grove Dictionary of Opera and The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. It also includes notated music examples and links to images and sound.

Find and stream hundreds of the most valuable documentary films and series from PBS. Including Frontline, NOVA, American Experience, Odyssey, as well as films by Ken Burns and Michael Wood.

A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine that includes over 16 million citations from MEDLINE and other life science journals for biomedical articles back to the 1950s. Areas include medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, health care, and pre-clinical sciences.

Search over 700 transcriptions of interviews of individuals who made history in the struggles for voting rights, against discrimination in housing, for the desegregation of the schools, to expose racism in hiring, in defiance of police brutality, and to address poverty in the African American communities.

Zinio Digital Magazines is now RBdigital Magazines.

Read popular magazines on your tablet, mobile device or computer. Over 175 magazines available for checkout and download. Zinio customers can continue to use their same login credentials to access magazines in the new RBdigital Magazines app. On September 8, 2017 the Zinio for Libraries app will be discontinued. For instructions see: A guide on accessing RBdigital Magazines.

Download the new RBdigital Magazines app: 

Database of 44 million U.S. businesses and 271 million U.S. residents. Perfect for conducting job searches, searching for business opportunities and suppliers, tracking down addresses and phone numbers, locating out-of-town companies, corporate family trees, and conducting market research.

Search the full text of the DC Metropolitan newspapers (EXCLUDING the Washington Post) and other sources of current and archived articles on issues, events, people, government and more. It includes local news, editorials, announcements and other sections.

Magazines, newspapers, reference books and encyclopedias provide information on current events, the arts, science, popular culture, health, sports, history and more. Tools to help students think about their ideas and organize their information are included.

Over 2400 current and up-to-date eBooks in Computer Technology, Programming, and Personal and Professional Development. Includes content from top publishers such as O’Reilly, Sams, Microsoft Press and more.

Covers the latest scientific developments with thousands of topic overviews, experiments, biographies, pictures and illustrations, with articles from over 200 magazines and academic journals and links to quality websites, videos, audio files and podcasts.

Search a single eBook or DC Public Library’s GVRL collection for digital versions of selected encyclopedias and reference resources on a wide  range of subjects from art, business, environment, history, literature, medicine, multicultural studies, nations and the world and science.

Provides articles at three different reading levels for topics such as  extreme weather, space, the human body, physics, engineering and other curricular areas. Videos, vetted websites, project ideas, experiments, quizzes, information about science careers and recent science news articles enhance this resource that supports STEM learning.

Looking to start a business? Small Business Resource Center supports prospective and current entrepreneurs. It covers all aspects of starting and operating a business, including accounting, finance, human resources, management, marketing, and tax. Download reports and articles to help you write a business plan, craft a marketing campaign, launch a product, and more. 

Find and stream over 3000 albums from a virtual encyclopedia of the world's music and aural traditions.

Covers the latest concepts, trends, opinions, theories and methods from both applied and theoretical aspects of the social sciences. 

Multi-source database for high-school students with access to a variety of full-text magazines, newspapers, podcasts and reference books for information on topics most important to their curriculum, e.g. current events, the arts, science, health, government, history, etc.

Offers easy access to award-winning content based on national curriculum standards. Covering all core curriculum areas, including history, literature, science, social studies, and more, Gale Student Resources in Context provides a premium selection of reference material, more than 1,100 full-text periodicals and newspapers, primary sources, creative works, and multimedia, including hours of video and audio clips and podcasts.

Fiction and nonfiction eBooks and Audiobooks which can be read and listened to on smartphones, e-readers and other portable devices. For instructions visit our OverDrive guide.

Prepare for tests, plan for higher education, explore career paths, build a resume, and find job interview tools and tips.

Watch and read; explore true facts from among over a dozen topics. Watch a video, read a book online, explore topics through project ideas, craft activities, online resources and more! Subjects cover history, science and geography. For ages 8-11.

Offers animated, talking picture books, which are created by adding animation, sound, music and narration to existing picture books. A parent can read to the child, or the book can be “read” to the child online.

GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys) provides free online access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government. Search, Browse and Download.

Learn something new today! The Library now offers over 500 free online continuing education classes through UniversalClass. These self-paced, non-credit personal and professional development classes are led by real instructors who will give you continuous feedback on your progress. Quick Facts about Universal Class

Discover American history from pre-colonial times to the present by reading historical documents and articles about the famous individuals in American history and about historical events. This resource includes maps, images, and timelines.

Access Value Line's leading publications covering stocks, mutual funds, options and convertible securities as well as special situation stocks.

Feature films, classic films, documentaries, children’s videos and more available for online streaming.

Access to the financial newspaper of record, with in-depth coverage of national and international finance as well as first-rate coverage of hard news. Full text backfile to 1984.

Search and browse "scanned" copies of every page of every issue of the Star, long considered the "hometown paper of record" for the Nation’s Capital.  This valuable archive offers significant new research opportunities from the Antebellum Period to World War I to the start of the Korean War.

1987-Present - The full-text electronic edition.
1877-2000 - Digital edition with full text searching of each page, individual articles and images.

ProQuest Digital Microfilm Provides a simple and convenient way to access microfilm content in a digital format. Retrieve, view, print and email digitized images from the Washington Post Final Edition (2008-2017) 

As an alternative voice to The Washington Post, the Washington Times covers events in Washington, D.C., the nation, and the world. Established in 1982, the newspaper is the full-text electronic edition of record of the publication.

ProQuest Digital Microfilm Provides a simple and convenient way to access microfilm content in a digital format. Retrieve, view, print and email digitized images from the Washington Times (2010-2013).

Search a single eBook or DC Public Library’s GVRL collection for digital versions of selected encyclopedias and reference resources on a wide  range of subjects from art, business, environment, history, literature, medicine, multicultural studies, nations and the world and science.