Electronic resources available in the British Library

Using the BL #3

Although Oxford’s e-resources collections are very good and have expanded recently, there are still many databases which are not held in Oxford. This is usually for reasons of cost. The good news is that the British Library provides access to many of those to its readers in its reading rooms.

The following history eresources are available in the BL but not in Oxford. See the BL’s Electronic resources in our reading rooms for detailed descriptions. Additionally a small selection of databases can be accessed remotely if you are a registered reader (also marked with * below).


  • Ancestry.com (Library edition)
  • Book Review Digest Retrospective: 1908-1982
  • Index Translationum

British & Irish sources

  • BBC handbooks, annual reports and accounts, 1927-2001/2
  • BBC Listener Research Department, 1937-c.1950
  • British Politics & Society (part of Nineteenth Century Collections Online)
  • British Theatre, Music and Literature: High and Popular Culture (part of Nineteenth Century Collections Online)
  • British Records on the Atlantic World, 1700- 1900
  • Chamberlain Papers
  • Chatham House Online Archive, 1920-2008
  • Communist Party of Great Britain archives (British Online Archives)
  • Industrial Revolution (British Online Archives)
  • Prize Papers Online
  • Secret Files from World Wars to Cold War
  • State Papers Online 18th Century, 1714-1782
  • War diaries from the Imperial War Museum: The Great War (British Online Archives)

Newspapers & magazines

  • Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive 1880-2000
  • Le Monde, 1944-2000
  • The Tablet: the international Catholic news weekly 1840 to date

European sources

  • Akten des Kaiserlichen Reichshofrats 1486 to 1766
  • Archivum Secretum Vaticanum, Registra Vaticana
  • Registra Vaticana
  • L’Affaire Dreyfus et la Création de la France modern
  • Journaux de la Revolution de 1848 (Newspapers of the French Revolution 1848)
  • La France pendant la guerre 1939-1945: Resistance et journaux de Vichy (Voices from Wartime France 1939-1945: Clandestine Resistance and Vichy)
  • National Socialism, Holocaust, Resistance and Exile 1933-1945
  • Prize Papers Online

US sources

  • American Civil War: Letters and Diaries *
  • American Consumer Culture: market research & American business 1935-1965
  • Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century: Organizational Records and Personal Papers, Parts 1 & 2
  • Early American Newspapers, Series I
  • US Congressional Hearings Digital Collection, 1824-1979

Global sources

  • Global Commodities: Trade, Exploration and Cultural Exchange
  • Colonial and Missionary Records (British Online Archives)
  • World Newspaper Archive: African Newspapers, 1800-1922 *
  • Apartheid South Africa 1948-80
  • Middle East Manuscripts Online 1: Pioneer Orientalists
  • Asia: Official British Documents 1945-65
  • Asia and the West: Diplomacy and Cultural Exchange (part of Nineteenth Century Collections Online)
  • The Indian papers of Colonel Clive and Brigadier-General Carnac, 1752-1774
  • Records of the Raj
  • Southeast Asia in the Ming Reign Chronicles (14th-17th Centuries)
  • China: Trade, Politics and Culture, 1793-1980
  • Mass Culture and Entertainment in Russia
  • Mass Media in Russia, 1908-1918
  • The Current Digest of the Russian Press Digital Archive 1949 to the present

What next?

Before using these eresources in the British Library, you will need to be a registered user of the BL. Get started with Using the BL #1.

If you need guidance on using the collections, check out Using the BL #2 for details of guides, training and enquiry services.

Quick links

History eresources and desiderata: Find out more about electronic resources for History being considered for purchase, details of current trials and give feedback.

If a database or ejournal is not yet on the History Desiderata, you can Recommend an e-resource.

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