Research and Reference

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ChiltonLibrary – 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

Driving – 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, motorcycle, and CDL licenses.


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.

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.

Ethnic NewsWatch – Includes 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.

NewspaperARCHIVE – NewspaperARCHIVE is the world’s best resource for historical and genealogical information. Our unique archive spans more than 400 years of family history, small-town events, world news and more. Archived newspaper access is only for Arkansas newspapers.

New York Times – Complimentary access to the New York Times. Sign up for an account or log in with your existing account.


General Reference

Dissertation & Theses – The database represents the work of authors from over 1,000 North American graduate schools and European universities and includes citations for masters and doctoral dissertations from 1637 to those accepted as recently as last semester. Some full text accompanies the abstracts, or copies may be requested through interlibrary loan.

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.

LISA: Library and Information Science Abstracts – This 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 – A 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) – General 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 – Background and analysis on 350+ leading issues, providing pros and cons on social, scientific, health, historic, economic, political, and global issues.

AtoZ World Food – AtoZ World Food is a comprehensive database of recipes and food culture articles for 174 countries. Think of it as a world cookbook for 147 countries, although it’s much more. Country information since 1993.

AtoZ Food America – AtoZ Food America™ is a single-source digital library reference that covers regional (6), state (50), and ethnic (35) cuisines for the entire country. AtoZ Food America™ also contains large-scale historical, ingredient, and reference modules of great use to cooks, culinary students, and historians.


Business & Finance

ABI/Inform Complete – Thousands 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.

Value-Line Library Elite – Value Line Library Elite is a research tool with searchable stocks, investment research, and investment education. Value Line Library Elite provides access to approximately 3,400 stocks, data, expert analysis, and unbiased commentary with a time-tested and performance-proven Ranking System. Reports are updated weekly.


Periodicals & Journals

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Digital Archive – Provides an index to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette photographs, articles and classified advertisements.

The Log Cabin Democrat – A daily newspaper serving Conway and Faulkner County and some surrounding areas. – Includes searchable editions of Arkansas newspapers prior to 1923.


Education, Jobs, & Careers

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.

ERIC – The Educational Resources Information CEnter database is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education to provide extensive access to education-related literature.

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.

Universal ClassRegister | 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.



The Grove Encyclopedia of Classical Art and Architecture – This encyclopedia spans every art form, medium, and civilization of the era, tracing the development of the art forms in Classical civilizations. The Encyclopedia contains hundreds of updated, revised, and expanded entries from the expansive scholarship in the Dictionary of Art and Grove Art Online, as well as dozens of new, specially-commissioned entries.

The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts – (Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) This reference covers thousands of years of decorative arts production throughout western and non-western culture. Included are hundreds of entries on artists and craftsmen, the qualities and historic uses of materials, as well as concise definitions on art forms and style. This topical collection is a valuable resource for those interested in the history, practice, and mechanics of the decorative arts.


Books & Book Reviews

EBSCO Host Research Databases

Novelist – 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 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.

Booklist Online – Book reviews published in Booklist Magazine from 1992 through the present. If you wish to print or email from this database, please make sure your computer security is set to allow pop-ups.

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

Bookflix – 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.

CLCD – The Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database is a source for reviews and information about books for Pre-K through Young Adults.

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. Suscribe via email, RSS feed, or view everything on CALS’s BookNews page.



Pronunciator – Pronunciator provides both guided and self-directed instructions for 80 foreign languages, and ESL for 50 non-English languages, along with a Course Designer which allows for the creation and deployment of custom courses by educators.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Rhetoric (Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) – Providing a comprehensive survey of the latest research – as well as the foundational teachings in this broad field – the Encyclopedia of Rhetoric features 150 original, signed articles by leading scholars. It synthesizes a vast amount of knowledge from classics, philosophy, literature, literary theory, cultural studies, speech and communications, and discusses basic concepts and themes throughout rhetoric.

International Encyclopedia of Linguistics (Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) – The Encyclopedia encompasses the full range of topics in linguistics, including such areas as historical, comparative, formal, mathematical, functional, philosophical, and sociolinguistics with special attention given to interrelations within these branches of the field and to relations of linguistics with other disciplines.



Literature Resource Center (Gale Infotrac) – Includes biographies, bibliographies and critical analyses of more than 120,000 authors from hundreds of sources including Gale Group print publications and scholarly journals.

Literature Criticism Online (Gale Infotrac) – The complete collections of Contemporary Literary Criticism, Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, and Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism in one easily searchable resource.

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

The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature (Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) – This award-winning Encyclopedia surveys the vibrant terrain of American literature in 350 essays from leading scholars, encompassing the range and depth of American literary history from the 1600s to the present day.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature (Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) – Provides comprehensive coverage the entire history of literature in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland in the major literary languages (Anglo-Saxon, English, Welsh, Scots, Irish, and Latin).

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature (Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) – Written by an international roster of more than 300 authors, the Encyclopedia comprehensively documents and interprets the books read by children throughout the world. With a global perspective that pays attention to significant international trends and the multicultural expansion of the field, it includes brief biographies of every major author and illustrator. Also included are feature essays on all genres of children’s literature, individual works, and prominent trends and themes, as well as general essays on the traditions of children’s literature in many countries throughout the world.


Performing Arts

International Encyclopedia of Dance (Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) – In nearly 2,000 articles written by scholars from fifty countries, the Encyclopedia covers the full spectrum of dance-theatrical, ritual, dance-drama, folk, traditional, ethnic, and social dance. Cultural and national overviews are accompanied by entries on dance forms, music and costumes, performances, and biographies of dancers and choreographers.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance (Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) – Provides authoritative and up-to-date information about theatre and performance from ancient Greek theatre to the latest developments in London, Paris, New York, and around the globe. In addition to performances in playhouses, it covers dance, opera, radio, film, television, and popular performance, including carnivals, circus, and public executions.


Health & Medicine

ProQuest Family Health – ProQuest 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.



AGRICOLA – Indexes 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) – Composed 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.

The American Physical Society (APS) publishes journals that embody the society’s mission to advance the knowledge of physics.


Grants & Nonprofits

Foundation Directory Online – A database of foundations that make funding available to nonprofit organizations.

Foundations Grants to Individuals Online – A database of foundations that make funding available to individuals in the form of scholarships, fellowships, grants, awards, and other financial support.


Law & Government

Internal Revenue Service – The official source for IRS tax products, forms, and publications.

Arkansas Department for Finance and Administration – The State of Arkansas resource for tax, business, child support, vehicle, and state employee services information.

WestlawNext – 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.



African-American Heritage – A 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.

AncestryLibrary 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. Available at all CALS libraries.

Arkansas History Commission / State Archives – Here you can find research sources, search historical records and archival collections, and discover your Arkansas history.

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.

Dictionary of American Family Names (Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) – A dictionary like no other, the Dictionary of American Family Names documents 70,314 surnames giving their meaning, nationality, alternate spellings, common forenames associated with them, and the frequency of each surname and forename. For students studying family genealogy, or others interested in finding out more about their own lineage, the Dictionary is an ideal place to begin research.

Find a Grave – Find the graves of ancestors, create virtual memorials, add ‘virtual flowers’ and a note to a loved one’s grave, etc.

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.

Heritage Quest(Proquest) – Includes 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. – Includes searchable editions of Arkansas newspapers prior to 1923.


History & Geography

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.

Culturegrams Databases – Provides access to cultural reports, statistics, and primary source material for countries across the globe, including the United States and Canadian provinces. Includes unique information such as native recipes, interviews, photos and videos. Contains four modules: Kids, Provinces, States and World.

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.

Black Women in America(Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) – Provides expanded coverage of the achievements and contributions of African American women.

Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619-1895 (Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) – 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 (Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) – 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 the Middle Ages (Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) – A collaborative work of over 600 scholars from more than forty countries, the Encyclopedia provides 3,000 concise and detailed articles on all aspects of the period from the fifth to the fifteenth century.

The Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment (Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) – From the rise of Descartes’ disciples in 1670 to the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in 1815, these 700 articles by leading scholars break conventional geographical boundaries with coverage that includes not only Western Europe but also North America, Brazil, and Iberian, Russian, Jewish, and Eastern European cultures.

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 (Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) – Covering all aspects of global exploration, from Antarctica to the North Pole, The Oxford Companion to World Exploration includes biographies, national expeditions, and navigational and marine sciences. The Companion’s temporal scope ranges from the ancient cultures of Egypt, Persia, Greece, Byzantium, China, Polynesia, and Rome, through to modern space exploration. The articles have been written by leading scholars from across the globe, utilizing the most current scholarship in the field of exploration studies. The Companion contains 800 entries, supplemented by 150 black-and-white and 50 full-color photographs and maps. Published in association with the Newberry Library in Chicago, the Companion reproduces more than 100 images from its world-renowned collection.

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium (Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) – With more than 5,000 entries by an international group of eminent historians, this is the standard research tool on 1,100 years of Byzantine history. Exhaustive in its coverage, it brings to life this vastly important culture and empire, from the 4th century to the 15th.

The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance (Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) – The 4,000 entries provide rich detail on all aspects of the Renaissance in 14th to 17th century Europe, including comprehensive coverage of the art, literature, science, culture, philosophy, religion, economics, history, and conflict of the period. The text explores the influence that this intense intellectual and cultural revival continues to have on modern thought and society.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt (Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) – Featuring 600 original articles written by leading scholars, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt goes far beyond the records of archaeology to make available what we know about the full social, political, religious, cultural and artistic legacy of this 5,000-year civilization.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America (Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) – A collaboration of nearly 200 contributors from academia, industry, and the culinary world, the 700 original articles in The Encyclopedia cover the significant events, inventions, and social movements in American history that have affected the way Americans view, prepare, and consume food and drink.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States (Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) – With an unprecedented scope and cutting-edge scholarship, the Encyclopedia draws together the diverse historical and contemporary experiences in the United States of Latinos and Latinas from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Over 900 A-to-Z articles written by academics, scholars, writers, artists, and journalists, address such broad topics as identity, art, politics, religion, education, health, and history.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History (Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) – The Encyclopedia covers the entire history of seafaring, from ancient Egyptian shipbuilders to Viking sea-raiders, to the nuclear submarines and supertankers of today. Placing maritime affairs in their larger historical context, the Encyclopedia shows how seafaring has both reflected and influenced the major economic, cultural, military, and political developments in world history.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures (Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) – Written for a wide audience, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures is an invaluable reference for interested lay persons, students, teachers, and scholars in such fields as art, archaeology, religious studies, anthropology, Latin American culture, and the history of the region. Organized alphabetically, the articles range from 500-word biographies to 7,000-word entries on geography and history to the legacy of the arts, writings, architecture, and religious rituals.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World (Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) – 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 (Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) – The definitive source for information about the entire range of religious and social changes that altered the face of Europe in the sixteenth century, encompassing not only issues of church polity and theology but also developments in politics, economics, demographics, art and literature.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History (Oxford Digital Reference Shelf) – Although there has been extensive research on women in history by region, no other text or reference work has comprehensively covered the role women have played throughout world history. With over 650 biographies of influential women and over 600 topical articles covering topics such as geography and history, culture and society, organizations, movements, and gender studies.

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