Research Tools by Subject

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 A – Z

Need Assistance

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

Art, Literature, & Language

The Grove Encyclopedia of Classical Art and Architecture

The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts

International Encyclopedia of Dance

International Encyclopedia of Linguistics

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.

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.

The Oxford Companion to American Literature

The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Rhetoric

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance

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.

Artcyclopedia – Index of onlne museums and image archives; find out where the works of over 800 different fine artists can be viewed online.

Kovels – Information about collecting and antiques.

Union List of Artist Names Online – Find artists and their biographies.

Playbill – Offers complete Broadway, off-Broadway, regional, and London theatre listings as well as daily updated theatre news.

Arts & Letters Daily – News, reviews, latest trends, breakthroughs, disputes, and gossip in art and culture.

Google Book Search – Search the world’s most comprehensive index of full-text books.

The Writer’s Almanac – Brief biographies and notable events associated with writers and particular days.


Includes repair and maintenance information for many popular vehicles.

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

Arkansas Driver’s Licensing and Examination Information

Arkansas DFA Office of Motor Vehicles

Autoblog – Blog covering the auto industry with test drives and commentary on articles from other sites.

Auto Channel – Automotive information and opinion for consumers, auto industry executives, in-market buyers, and auto enthusiasts.

Edmunds – Car buying guide lists new car prices, used car prices, car comparisons, car buying advice, car ratings, car values, and auto leasing.

Fuel Economy Site – Gas mileage, safety, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions for new and used cars and trucks.

Internet Movie Cars Database – Database of vehicles seen in movies and TV series. Search by movie title or browse by vehicle make.

Kelley Blue Book – Resource for prices, values, and reviews on new and used cars.

Lemon Law America – Lemon law resource for consumers with defective cars, trucks, vans, suv’s, motorcycles, boats, RVs, motor homes, computers, and other consumer products.

NADA Guides – New car prices, used car values, car buying guides, car reviews, specs, safety ratings, photos, videos, car comparisons, tips and adice at the official used car guide of the National Automobile Dealers Association.

National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration – U.S. Administration responsible for reducing deaths, injuries, and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes.

Supercars – A comprehensive database of the world’s most exotic, rare and fast automobiles.

Books and Book Reviews

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Business & Law

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.

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

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History

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

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.

Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce – Information and introduction to the city’s services and qualities with a focus on future business development.

Arkansas Business – Source of Arkansas business news, research, and trends.

Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center – Provides free consulting and research services to both existing small businesses and emerging ones.

Arkansas Small Business Guide – Resources and information about starting and running a small business in Arkansas.

Arkansas Business and Communities Extension Service – Offers a range of professional services and data products to help communities make informed decisions.

Arkansas Judiciary – Directory of the court systems, resources, and decisions of the judicial branch.

Arkansas Bar Association – Provides law-related education to the citizens of Arkansas. Includes an attorney directory.

Arkansas General Assembly – Information on Arkansas budgets, bills and resolutions, acts, committees, legislators, and laws.

Arkansas Elections – Information and resources about elections from the state agency charged with overseeing elections and voting.

THOMAS – Featuring information on current legislation in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the Congressional Record, links to Committee reports, and more.

Federal Judicial Center – Education and research agency for the federal courts.

The White House – Features statements and press releases by the President as well as documents, an index of government information, history, and tour information.

Education & Jobs

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.

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.
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. / LinkedIn Learning / LinkedIn Learningis 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 Learning is typically available through a paid subscription, but CALS cardholders will get access to / LinkedIn Learning content for free.

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.

Arkansas Schools – Information about Arkansas K-12 schools, including School Report Cards, Arkansas Education Directory, and Charter Schools. Also includes regulations on homeschooling in Arkansas.

Little Rock School District – History of district and directory of information and programs including magnet schools, early childhood education, and school sites.

Arkansas Department of Higher Education – Information about institutions of higher learning in Arkansas.

FAFSA – Official site for the Department of Education Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Includes an online submission form with necessary documents, deadlines, eligibility, and general student aid information for college students.

U.S. Department of Labor – Fosters and promotes the welfare of job seekers, wage earners, and retirees by administering a variety of Federal labor laws.

Arkansas State Jobs – Lists job openings with the state of Arkansas.

Arkansas Online Jobs – Job listings, news, and articles from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

Occupational Outlook Handbook – Provides career information describing what workers do on the job, working conditions, training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations.


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.

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.

Dictionary of American Family Names

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.

Digital Sanborn Maps
Please try our new resource, Fire Insurance Maps online.

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.

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.
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.

Butler Center for Arkansas Studies – Information and resources for conducting genealogical research, particularly in Arkansas.

National Archives Resources for Genealogists and Family Historians – Information, events, and research in genealogy and family history.

Genealogy Learning Center – Resources for beginners to genealogy and family history.

African-American Genealogy Research – Resources for researching African-American genealogy, including beginner’s guides, guidebooks, case studies, and bibliographies.

U.S. Genealogy Web Project – Provides links to all the state genealogy web sites.

National Genealogical Society – Guide to the internet for genealogists.


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. – Find, apply for, and manage grants. Includes a tutorial and links to types of grants, grant-making agencies, and related links.

National Endowment for the Arts – Independent federal agency that makes grants to art organizations and artists in all fifty states and six U.S. jurisdictions.

School Grants – Resources for locating, writing, receiving, and managing grant proposals for the elementary and secondary education community.

Non-Profit Guides: Grant Writing Tools for Non-Profit Organizations – Overview of grant writing with sample proposal summaries, inquiry letters, cover letters, and applications.


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.

National Institutes of Health: Health Information – Consumer health information from the NIH.

FirstGov for Consumers: Health – Large collection of links to federal health resources. – Searchable directory offering information that promotes health as a global concern.

World Health Report – Annual report on human health around the world, including research on health risks, diseases, and disabilities.

Small Steps to Better Health – Offers tips and encouragement to help people learn how to eat better and live healthier lives.

History / Geography

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

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

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

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.

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.

The Oxford Companion to World Exploration

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World
Provides information about major world developments from 1750 to the present, with close attention to social, economic, cultural, and political topics.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History

Arkansas History Commission and State Archives – Official archives of the state, responsible for collecting and preserving the source materials of the history of Arkansas.

Old State House Museum – Museum of Arkansas’ history, people, and culture.

Arkansas Historic Preservation Program – Identifies, evaluates, registers, and preserves the state’s historic and cultural resources and seeks to instill a preservation ethic in Arkansas.

BBC: On This Day – Highlights worldwide historical events using audio and video clips from the archives of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

American Memory – Provides free access to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience.

U.S. Census Bureau Geography – Maps and cartographic resources.

NationMaster – Allows users to graphically compare any combination of countries on a vast array of statistics drawn from the CIA World Factbook, the UN, and more.

National Geographic Map Machine – Offers maps for just about every place on Earth, viewable by population, climate, conservation, and topography.

News & Newspapers

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Log Cabin Democrat
A daily newspaper serving Conway and Faulkner County and some surrounding areas.
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.


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.

Gale Virtual Reference Library
Arkansas State Library logoGale 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.

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.

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 Research Companion
Developed 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.

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

SIRS Discoverer (formerly eLibrary)
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.

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

Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations – Famous quotes, passages, phrases, and proverbs traced to their sources. Quotations can be searched or browsed by date, author, and keyword.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary – Free online version of the Merriam-Webster English dictionary, with searchable dictionary definitions, thesaurus, and a student dictionary.

Ask Oxford – Searchable online version of the Compact Oxford English Dictionary, as well as thesauri, quotations, foreign language dictionaries, a word of the day, and games.

Old Farmer’s Almanac – Fun and practical information for everyday life including moon calendars, planting charts, recipes, weather predictions, and more.

How Stuff Works – Series of articles that explore the workings of electronics, computers, autos, finances, health, and scientific and social phenomena.

Guiness World Records – Official site of GWR, chronicling all kinds of strange and extreme talents, feats, and accomplishments.


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

Encyclopedia of Evolution

Encyclopedia of Global Change

STEM (formerly eLibrary Science)
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.

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.

Live Science – Chronicles the daily advances and innovations made in science and technology with original stories and news feeds, images, and video clips.

National Science Digital Library – Provides educational resources for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

National Science Foundation – Features news and discoveries, research, publications, funding guidelines, awards, and more. – Gateway to authoritative selected science information provided by U.S. government agencies, including research and development results.

Ask the Experts – Submit questions to scientific experts and browse questions and answers by topic.

20 Things You Didn’t Know About… – From Discover Magazine, this series covers quick facts on a variety of topics.