Useful information resources

Find good quality, reliable information in the library or at home, for free.

We provide access for library members to a number of free subscription websites and digital services. You can log in to all our online resources from home using your library card number, unless stated otherwise. If you are not a member, find out how to join.

Some additional websites which you may find useful are also listed here.

Research and help with homework

Access to Research gives free online access to over 10 million journal articles from more than 6,000 academic journals covering arts, humanities and sciences.

You can search and preview from home, but reading the full article and printing (one copy only) is only available using a library public computer. This is for non-commercial use and private study. - English definitions, synonyms, word origins, audio pronunciations, example sentences, slang phrases, idioms, word games, legal and medical terms.

Foreign Language Online Dictionaries – links online dictionaries for a huge range of languages.

Onelook - a 'search engine for words and phrases'. Find words and phrases that start, end or contain certain words and related words or phrases.

Phrase Finder - 2,000 English idioms, phrases and expressions, with their meanings and origins explained.

BrainyQuote – claims to be the world's largest quotation site.

Crossword Clue Solver - searches for incomplete crossword answers and elusive clues. The site includes a wizard for answers with multiple words.

Internet Anagram Server - type in any word or phrase to find its anagrams.

Family history

Get access to a wide range of resources for searching your family history including birth, marriage and death records, UK censuses 1841 to 1911, military records, town and trade directories, school records, passenger lists and more.

Ancestry Library Edition - only available using a library public computer (Family Tree Maker is not available).

Findmypast - this service is only available using a library public computer (living relatives is not available). Findmypast does not provide access to the 1921 Census or British newspaper collection through the library account.

Other resources

Royal Berkshire Archives – archives of the Royal County of Berkshire, looking after nearly 900 years of Berkshire’s history.

Discovery - access records held by The National Archives and more than 9,000 archives across the UK, many are available for download.

Archives Hub - descriptions of thousands of UK archive collections representing over 330 institutions across the country - an effective way to discover unique and often little-known sources to support your research.

NLS Maps - National Library of Scotland offers access to historical maps for the UK. Discover old maps of Bracknell in the 'Map Series' section.

Visit our local and family history page to find more resources for learning about your history.


BFI Replay 

60 years of screen stories, digitised and preserved for you.

Relive, research and lose yourself in the past with thousands of digitised videos and television programmes. These are from the collections of the British Film Institute (BFI) National Archive and partner UK Regions and Nations Film Archives. 

Available exclusively at your local library, come down and delve into the recorded past for fun, discovery, nostalgia or research. 

Access BFI Replay using any Bracknell Forest library public computer. 

For the best experience, use headphones. You can plug your own headphones into the public computers.

Which? Online

Consumer magazine with test results, recommendations and advice.

Which? Online is available at the following libraries:

  • Bracknell
  • Crowthorne
  • Sandhurst

Click on the 'Which Online?' link on the library computer's desktop.

Learning and careers

Ability Net - free help with IT and technology for older and disabled people. Advisers can visit you at home or you can get help at other locations, including Bracknell Library on Fridays from 10am to 11:30am.

Adviza (National Careers Service) - book an appointment in Bracknell for personalised careers and learning information, advice and guidance.

Bracknell Forest Community Learning

Future Learn - a wide variety of free online courses from top UK universities and specialist organisations.

Google Digital Garage - free digital skills courses from Google.

Learn My Way - free online courses to learn digital skills to stay safe and connected using a computer or other devices.

National Careers Service - careers advice and information.

Open Learn - free online courses from the Open University covering a wide range of topics at introductory to advanced levels.

Books, reading and writing

Children’s Book Sequels – discover the right of order of series of children’s books and find author websites for information, fun and games.

E-books and e-audiobooks from BorrowBox - free for library members.

Fantastic Fiction – find out which books have been published in a series or by your favourite author and get information on new or forthcoming books and recommended books.

Gnooks - a very simple website. Enter up to 3 author's names and Gnooks will recommend another author you might like.

Goodreads - search for a book you have enjoyed to find a list of other recommended titles. Rate books to find recommendations based on your reading history.


RNIB free audiobook service - for registered visually impaired UK residents.

What should I read next? - enter your favourite book and get suggestions for other books you might enjoy. You can also browse books by genre.

WhichBook – search by mood or emotion, plot or character to find suggestions for your next read.

Writers and Artists’ Yearbook - creative writing resources and expert advice. The book can be found in Bracknell Library.

Help and advice

Citizens Advice - helpful information on a wide range of topics and details of your local Citizens Advice, for free, confidential, independent advice, face-to-face and by phone.

Bracknell Forest Help Yourself - information and support to help you stay well and independent.

Community map - find local community groups and activities.

Newspapers and magazines

E-magazines and e-newspapers from PressReader - free downloadable titles from over 100 countries in over 60 languages – often online before the printed edition.

Find out more on our digital magazines and newspapers page.

Contact information

Bracknell Forest Libraries

Make an enquiry