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Free Resources for Idea Store Users

Are you interested in local and family history? Did you know that you can access free resources for your research using your Idea Store membership card 24 hours a day?

Visit Ancestry Library Edition

Ancestry Library Edition
Researching your family tree?
Discover genealogy, family trees and family history records online.

View the Quick Start Guide [PDF]

This service is only accessible at your local Idea Store or library

Visit Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
50,000 biographies of people who shaped history.

For more details view the 'Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: A Short Guide' video.

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Visit The Times Digital Archive

The Times Digital Archive
The complete digital edition of The Times [London] from 1785 to 1985


Virtual Bookshelf: Browse Online

View The Oxford Companion to Family and Local History


Oxford Reference Online
Visit the home page and type 'family history' in the search box.

The Oxford Companion to Family and Local History is the most comprehensive and authoritative guide available to all things associated with the family and local history of the British Isles. It provides practical and contextual information for anyone enquiring into their English, Irish, Scottish, or Welsh origins and for anyone working in genealogical research, or the social history of the British Isles.

View the Oxford Dictionary of Local and Family History

Oxford Reference Online
Visit the home page and type 'family history' in the search box.

This dictionary provides both amateur and professional historians with quick answers to questions of terminology that may arise in the course of research. It contains, for example, entries on legal and other specialist terms; types of documentation; sources of information; social and religious groups; institutions and organizations; historical and political events; official functions and occupations; and authors and scholars.

Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland

The ultimate reference work on family names of the UK, covering English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Cornish, and immigrant surnames. It includes every surname that currently has more than 100 bearers, and those that had more than 20 bearers in the 1881 census.

Each entry contains lists of variant spellings of the name, an explanation of its origins (including the etymology), lists of early bearers showing evidence for formation and continuity from the date of formation down to the 19th century, geographical distribution, and, where relevant, genealogical and bibliographical notes, making this a fully comprehensive work on family names.

This authoritative guide also includes an introductory essay explaining the historical background, formation, and typology of surnames and a guide to surnames research and family history research. Additional material also includes a list of published and unpublished lists of surnames from the Middle Ages to the present day

e-Book: Download the eBook for Free

View How to Do Everything Genealogy

How to Do Everything: Genealogy 

Fully updated and revised, this bestselling genealogy guide helps you tap into the wealth of global ancestry records and offers proven strategies for both traditional and electronic research. How to Do Everything: Genealogy, Second Edition explores basic rules of genealogical evidence, evaluation of source materials, research methods and successful techniques for web-based research. You'll get new information on DNA-based records, social networking sites, blogs, podcasts, the latest hardware and software and much more.