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.

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.

Looking for images to add to a school paper or presentation?  Search Associated Press Images which 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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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. Enciclopedia Moderna is intended for high school students and has over 50,000 articles plus 4,200 images. Complete with dictionary, atlas and timelines, it is the perfect resource for native speakers, bilingual students and students learning Spanish.

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 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.

Full historic content from three 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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

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.

As of May 16, 2017 DC Public Library no longer provides access to Powerspeak Languages.

Try one of our other language learning resources:

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.

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.

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.

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

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

Read popular magazines on your tablet, mobile device or computer.  Over 175 magazines available. For instructions see: A guide on accessing Zinio Digital Magazines.