Research Tools A – Z

The Central Arkansas Library System makes a number of research databases available for use in the library. Registered library card holders may also use many of these databases from home. Unless otherwise noted, please use your library card number to gain access to these databases. Databases with no link to click on may only be used in the library.

Arkansas State Library logoDatabases marked with the Arkansas State Library logo are provided via Traveler Access, a project made possible by a grant from U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Arkansas State Library under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act. Additional state funds were provided by the Arkansas Department of Education.

View by Subject

Need Assistance

If you need assistance using these databases or finding information, please call 501-918-3000 or email

ABI/Inform Complete
Arkansas State Library logoThousands of full text periodicals, industry reports, and other documents provide a comprehensive picture of business trends and companies around the world.

African-American Heritage
Arkansas State Library logoA resource exclusively devoted to African American family history research. Includes such records as draft cards from World Wars I and II, the Freedman’s Bank, and the US Census, as well as help finding other information sources.

Arkansas State Library logoIndexes thousands of articles, reports, and other documents pertaining to agriculture around the world. From the National Agricultural Library.

American Physical Society (APS)
APS publishes journals that embody the society’s mission to advance the knowledge of physics. Databases listed in bold are available to CALS patrons inside the library only.

  • Focus – selected papers from APS journals explained for students and other researchers.
  • Physical Review Letters – brief important papers, all topics in physics.
  • Physical Review A – atomic, molecular, and optical physics.
  • Physical Review B – condensed matter and materials physics.
  • Physical Review C – nuclear physics.
  • Physical Review D – particles, fields, gravitation and cosmology.
  • Physical Review E – statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics.
  • Physical Review Special Topics – Accelerators and Beams.
  • Physical Review Special Topics – Physics Education Research
  • Physics – highlighting significant papers from APS journals.
  • Physics Central – educational/informational site about physics, for students and the public.
  • PROLA, the Physical Review Online Archive – archive of APS journals back to 1893.
  • Reviews of Modern Physics – in-depth articles, all topics in physics.

America’s News
U.S. news content from local, regional, and national sources. Its diverse source types include printed and online newspapers, blogs, journals, newswires, broadcast transcripts and videos. Search local newspapers for specific states or explore specific issues and events.

Ancestry Library Edition
Includes census, church, court and immigration records, as well as historical maps and many other genealogy resources, from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and other areas.

Ancestry Library Edition is available to CALS cardholders to use from home during the pandemic crisis. Email with your name and barcode for instructions. We will verify that you have a CALS account in good standing and then will provide instructions for how to access this resource. When CALS reopens to the public, this resource will no longer be available for at-home use.

AR BookFinder
The complete list of over 100,000 Accelerated Reader titles.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Collection
Combines all formats of the newspaper including full-text, online-only articles and page images into one simple search.

Arkansas Newspapers
Read current articles from over 50 local Arkansas publications.

Black Women in America
Provides expanded coverage of the achievements and contributions of African American women.

An online literacy resource that pairs classic video storybooks from Weston Woods with related nonfiction eBooks from Scholastic to build a love of reading and learning. Intended for use by PreK to 3rd grade students. Please note: For the best user experience, it is recommended that the latest version of Edge, Safari, Firefox or the Chrome browsers be used. All of these browsers may be downloaded for free.

Includes repair and maintenance information for many popular vehicles.

Civil War Newspapers – A collection of historical newspapers containing extensive local and national coverage of American culture, politics, and society from the Antebellum through the Reconstruction periods. Available at all CALS libraries.

Consumer Reports

Find ratings and reviews on products from household goods to electronics to cars with this free access to

Arkansas State Library logoCulturegrams provide concise, reliable, and up-to-date cultural information on countries, US states, and Canadian provinces.

Cypress Resume
Create a professional resume, cover letter, and references list quickly by simply entering basic information about yourself. Click on Login under Manage my Profile to create a profile that will allow you to save your resume and return to update it at a later date..

Dear Reader Book News
Users can select from 21 monthly book recommendations newsletters and 50 award lists all with direct links into the CALS catalog. Subscribe via email, RSS feed, or view everything on CALS’s BookNews page.

Dictionary of American Family Names

Digital Sanborn Maps
Please try our new resource, Fire Insurance Maps online.
The Central Arkansas Library System has partnered with to provide access to manuals and practice tests for the Arkansas Driver’s Test. The site includes practice tests for car and motorcycle licenses, as well as for the CDL.

eLibrary has been renamed SIRS Discoverer. More information is available under the SIRS Discoverer listing.

eLibrary Curriculum Edition
Arkansas State Library logoA curriculum and reference resource that provides a large general reference collections of periodical and digital media content designed specifically for schools and libraries of all sizes.

eLibrary Science
eLibrary Science has been renamed STEM. More information is available under the STEM listing.

Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619-1895
Documents the African American experience from the arrival of the first slave ship to the death of Frederick Douglass-and shows how American culture, history, and national identity have been influenced by the experience of African Americans.

Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present – Traces the transition from the Reconstruction Era to the age of Jim Crow, the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Movement, up to and including the 2008 election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States.

Encyclopedia of Arkansas
A free, authoritative source of information about the rich history, geography, and culture of Arkansas. The Encyclopedia contains more than 6,000 entries and pieces of media related to Arkansas with new material being added weekly.

Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

The Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment

Arkansas State Library logoThe Educational Resources Information Center database is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education to provide extensive access to education-related literature.

Ethnic NewsWatch
Arkansas State Library logoIncludes current journals, magazines, and newspapers from ethnic and independent presses. Content covers 1990-present, with specialized coverage of the following ethnic categories: African American/Caribbean/African; Arab/Middle Eastern; Asian/Pacific Islander; European/Eastern European; Hispanic; Jewish; Native People. It is updated daily with new content and contains over 2 million full text articles.

Fire Insurance Maps online (FIMo)
An online digital collection of color fire insurance maps, real estate atlases, and similar land use maps for the state of Arkansas. Includes publications by Sanborn, Perris, Hexamer, Whipple, Baist, Bromley, Hopkins, and others.

Fold3 (formerly
A collection of over 60 million pages of historical documents and personal histories, including millions of records available from the National Archives and other institutions. Please note: certain features of Fold3 require the use of an Adobe Flash plugin unavailable on some mobile and tablet browsers.

Foundation Directory Online
As a Funding Information Network Partner of the Foundation Center in New York, CALS provides access to a powerful database of over 120,000 grantmakers & grant recipients. Find the information your nonprofit organization needs to make an impact. Available only in the Information Services Department at the Main Library.

Foundation Grants to Individuals Online
The Foundation Center’s database of funding available to individuals in the form of scholarships, fellowships, grants, and other financial support. Available only in the Information Services Department at the Main Library.

Gale Virtual Reference Library
Gale Virtual Reference Library is a database of encyclopedias and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research. These reference materials once were available only in the library, but now you can access them online from the library or remotely 24/7.

The Grove Encyclopedia of Classical Art and Architecture

The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts

Heritage Quest
Arkansas State Library logoIncludes searchable images of U.S. Federal Census records, digitized family and local history books, an index to genealogical and local history periodicals, and other genealogy resources.

Index Arkansas
An index to articles and other information published in county history journals as well as selected statewide magazines, newspapers and books. Check the CALS catalog to see which of the titles are available at CALS and submit an Interlibrary Loan request if the title is not available at CALS.

International Encyclopedia of Dance

International Encyclopedia of Linguistics

Learning Express Library
An interactive database with practice tests and tutorials for many standardized academic and licensing tests, such as the GED, SAT, Nursing, Real Estate, etc. Access: Sign in as new user and create personal account using your library card number as your user name.

LISA: Library and Information Science Abstracts
Arkansas State Library logoThis database currently abstracts and indexes over 440 periodicals from more than 68 countries and in more than 20 different languages. Subject coverage includes all aspects of librarianship, library users, information retrieval and more.

Literature Criticism Online
The complete collections of Contemporary Literary CriticismTwentieth-Century Literary Criticism, and Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism in one easily searchable resource.

Literature Online (LION)
Primary and critical text database for literary research at all levels. The collection includes full text of more than 350,000 works of poetry, drama, and prose stretching back to the 8th century through the present day.

The Log Cabin Democrat
A daily newspaper serving Conway and Faulkner County and some surrounding areas. / LinkedIn Learning / LinkedIn Learning is an online learning company with more than 3,000 courses and more than 130,000 videos from web design, business, and media production to computer basics, including Microsoft Office. / LinkedIn Library is typically available through a paid subscription, but CALS cardholders will get access to / LinkedIn Learning content for free.

Mango Languages
Arkansas State Library logoProvides language learning experiences with step by step lesson plans for 71 different languages. This database features ESL (English as Second Language) lessons for over 16 languages along with a text translator. First time users must create a profile in order to use the resource.

Are you looking for a few good books to read? Sign up for our e-newsletters and get great book suggestions by email. We’ll deliver reading lists right to your inbox along with new gems, bestsellers, and related titles. You’ll also be able to check immediately whether the items are available at your local Library or whether they’ve been checked out.
CALS provides access to digital copies of the Arkansas Gazette (starting in 1819) and the Arkansas Democrat (starting in 1878) to 1923 on Available only at your preferred CALS branch or at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies.

Novelist Plus
Includes subject headings, reviews, summaries and more for over 135,000 fiction titles. Use Novelist to find other books by a favorite author, or similar books to a title you’ve already read.

Novelist Plus K-8
Includes information on many titles popular with students in grades K-8, arranged by instructional unit, theme or topic. Teachers can find appropriate fiction to complement classroom instruction.

ProQuest Central
Arkansas State Library logoA large general research database featuring a diverse mix of content including scholarly journals, trade publications, magazines, books, newspapers, reports and videos.

ProQuest Family Health
Arkansas State Library logoProQuest Family Health covers subjects from sports injuries to women’s health, from food and nutrition to midwifery, from eye care to dentistry. It includes important general medical journals such as The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine as well as a strong selection of consumer and news magazines.

ProQuest Research Companion
Arkansas State Library logoDeveloped to help students do more effective research and to assist educators in teaching the basics of the core information literacy principles of finding, evaluating, and using information.

Includes directory listings for over 12 million businesses and 120 million households in the United States.

SIRS Discoverer
Arkansas State Library logoGeneral reference database for elementary and middle school learners, researchers, and educators covering curriculum areas and content sets such as reading, language arts, current events, science, social studies, history, health, and technology. SIRS Discoverer provides editorially-selected, indexed, and curated materials from over 2,100 newspapers, magazines, and websites offering guided research for young researchers.

SIRS Issues Researcher
Arkansas State Library logoBackground and analysis on 350+ leading issues, providing pros and cons on social, scientific, health, historic, economic, political, and global issues.

Something About the Author Online
The complete run of Gale’s Something About the Author reference set, including thousands of illustrated biographical profiles of children’s authors and illustrators.

Arkansas State Library logoComposed of more than 500 full-text scholarly journals and popular science magazines covering research and instruction in earth, life, physical, medical and applied sciences; and technology, engineering, and math.

Universal Class (Register | Login)
access more than 500 lifelong learning courses in over 30 subject areas, many of which offer continuing education units (CEUs). All classes are designed and led by professional instructors and include videos, assignments, quizzes, tests, and options for social media interaction with other learners. Patrons may take multiple classes and learn at their own pace.

WestlawNext is an online legal research service that provides access to legal research of Arkansas and U.S. cases, statutes, procedures, and publications. Most significantly, WestlawNext offers broad access to Arkansas Legal materials and fillable forms in areas like family law, wills, and bankruptcy. WestlawNext access is limited to in-library use. Only a total of two people can be logged in to Westlaw throughout the library system at any one time, so please remember to log out after using WestlawNext. West Reference Attorneys are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can be reached by calling 1-800-REF-ATTY. Available at all CALS libraries.

World Book Online
Arkansas State Library logoEarly World of Learning
 – Offers narrated stories with word-by-word highlighting, interactive games, interactive reference material for beginners, and more to help young learners build vocabulary, comprehension, phonics, and reading fluency.

World Book Online – Kids
Arkansas State Library logoDeveloped especially for young students with simple navigation, easy-to-read articles, multimedia, interactive games and activities, science projects, and and teacher tools.

World Book Online – Spanish
Arkansas State Library logoA student-focused resource that offers World Book’s excellent editorial content, rich media, and interactive features in Spanish.

World Book Online – Student
Arkansas State Library logoIncludes the articles of the World Book Encyclopedia, a Biography Center, dictionary, atlas, an extensive multimedia collection, thousands of editor-selected Web sites, correlations to curriculum standards, and much more.

Search the collections of libraries in this community and around the country to find books, music, movies, etc.