Start your research with our collection of premium research databases and online resources to find valuable information on a variety of topics.
Access online learning tools, articles, newspapers, online local history tools, and more.
Use the age filters below to find resources tailored to particular age groups. Or use the subject tags in the left column to find resources on particular topics. Or you can browse the full list of collections in alphabetical order.
Displaying 1 - 38 of 38
Ancestry Library EditionAvailable inside the library only
Genealogical and local history information. Includes the digitized images of the U.S. Federal Census from 1790 to 1940, the American Genealogical Biographical Index, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, and slave narratives.
Booklist OnlineAvailable everywhere
Booklist Online contains over 120,000 reviews and thousands of features dating back to 1992.
Books & AuthorsAvailable everywhere
Books & Authors offers new ways to explore the endless possibilities and combinations of books, authors, genres and topics. Combining over 140,000 titles, 50,000 authors, and thousands of read-alike, award winner and librarian's favorites lists, Books & Authors helps bring readers and literature together. Through the use of expertly written and arranged content and a dynamic, cutting edge user interface, Books & Authors makes exploration of genre fiction and essential non-fiction fun! By leveraging our entire award-winning What Do I Read Next? collection, patrons and students alike can be sure that their next big read comes with a BIG recommendation.
Brainfuse Adult Learning CenterAvailable everywhere
Whether you are going back to school, switching jobs, or just want to brush up on an academic skill, our adult learning center is here to help. HelpNow writing experts will help you craft a winning resume and cover letter or help you learn Microsoft Office applications including Word, Excel or Powerpoint. Also, get help studying for the GED or U.S. Citizenship Test; Brainfuse includes practice tests, live coaching and other helpful resources.
Business Plan Handbook collectionAvailable everywhere
A collection of actual business plans compiled by, and aimed at, entrepreneurs seeking funding for small businesses in North America. Plans are from businesses in the manufacturing, retail and service industries, with company names and addresses changed. Also includes a business plan template, fictional business plans, a listing of organizations, agencies, and consultants; a glossary; and an updated bibliography.
Chilton LibraryAvailable everywhere
Search the most authoritative automotive repair information available to car owners.
College NavigatorAvailable everywhere
The College Navigator, from the U.S. Department of Education, provides students and their families with information about colleges and federal financial aid. Provides current data on expenses, financial aid, enrollment, admission, graduation rates, majors and the college selection process.
Comic Plus: Full Library collectionAvailable everywhere
With Comic Plus, you have unlimited access to thousands of digital comics, graphic novels, and manga from a variety of library-friendly publishers.
Every title is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on your computer, tablet or phone - no holds or wait lists required.
Full Library collection includes ALL comics. See age guidelines.
How to Access Comic Plus:
- Use your library barcode and password
Dictionary of American Family NamesAvailable everywhere
Contains more than 70,000 of the most commonly occurring surnames in the United States, giving their comparative frequencies, linguistic and historical explanations, selected associated forenames, and occasional genealogical notes.
(Free DMV Permit Practice Tests)
Every person with a driver's license, from a regular commuter to a racecar driver, started exactly where you are right now: worried about passing their permit test. In the past, the only thing you could do was pick up the study manual from the MVA and go over each page until you felt like you had the information memorized. But now, with the entire internet at your fingertips, there's a better way to prepare. Driving-Tests.org gives you the chance to practice in the best way possible: with realistic practice tests, filled with accurate questions, based on the permit manual from Maryland's Motor Vehicle Administration! Includes: 10 car practice tests, 6 motorcycle practice tests, 1 CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) practice test, 2 online driver’s manuals (car and motorcycle), a FAQ section with detailed answers to 100+ DMV-related questions.
Foundation Center DirectoryAvailable inside the library only
Available ONLY at the Fletcher Branch
*Please see a reference staff member for help logging in*
A collection of data for over 68,000 foundations, corporate giving programs, and grant-making public charities.
Free Health Research OnlineAvailable everywhere
There are many free websites online that provide quality health information right at your fingertips. This resource guide lists websites to help you research health info on general health, nutrition, finding a doctor, health insurance, local health-related organizations, professional articles and clinical trials, complementary and alternative medicine, consumer protection, diseases and conditions, and health info for seniors.Resource File:Namehealthresourcesonline.pdfDocument
Gale Academic OneFile SelectAvailable everywhere
This resource for academic research integrates the full text of publications from across the disciplines and now includes vocational/technical titles used by community college students, filling a specific need for curriculum-oriented collections. Expanded Academic ASAP provides indexing for more than 5,000 periodicals, more than 2,800 in full text without any embargo. The combination of full text for scholarly journals and selected general interest titles for smaller academic libraries is ideal.
Gale OneFile: Educators Reference CompleteAvailable everywhere
Educator's Reference Complete provides access to academic journals, reports, and many premier reference sources in the field of education. The majority of the full-text titles included are also found in the ERIC database. The database includes content in key subject areas including administration, bilingual education, child development and psychology, funding, health education, technology, and testing.
HeritageQuest OnlineAvailable everywhere
Resources in this genealogy database include the US Federal Census 1790-1930; the Periodical Source Index, covering genealogy and local history periodicals written in English and French (Canada) since 1800; and the Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files.
Ira Lourie's Johnson Map ProjectAvailable everywhere
Alvin J. Johnson was a publisher of maps and atlases from 1854-1887, under the names A.J. Johnson, Johnson and Browning and Johnson and Ward. His Atlases and the maps of the various states in the United States have become collectible and are avidly sought by collectors and historians alike. Many state maps have been removed from Johnson's Family World Atlases and are collected in this form by collectors. The Johnson U.S. Map Project has created a data set of the changes in Johnson's U.S. and state maps which will allow the user of this website to definitively date the publication of any loose map from these atlases. We also present historical essays on the life of Johnson and his atlases and his relationship with other 19th Century American Atlas publishers, J.H. Colton and Augustus Mitchell.
The Johnson U.S. Map Project represents the work of Dr. Ira S. Lourie. He is a child psychiatrist who has been an avid map collector since 1978 and whose mapping related interests include both the maps of Maryland and the atlases of Alvin J. Johnson. He has presented his work on Johnson and his atlases to the Washington Map Society and has been published in the Map Society’s journal, the Portolan. Dr. Lourie is the sole owner of the Johnson U.S. Map Project database and website. In 2020 Dr. Lourie graciously donated his collection to the Washington County Free Library.
Legal Forms (Gale)Available everywhere
Access a wide selection of state-specific (and multi-state) legal forms and resources across the most popular legal areas.
Literature Criticism Online - Contemporary Literary CriticismAvailable everywhere
Literature Criticism Online takes literature, history and culture to the next level with the largest, most extensive compilation of literary commentary available. Contains centuries of analysis - the scholarly and popular commentary from broadsheets, pamphlets, encyclopedias, books and periodicals - in an easy-to-use online format that matches the exact look and feel of the print originals.
Magill’s Medical GuideAvailable everywhere
The Guide covers diseases, disorders, treatments, procedures, specialties, anatomy, biology, and issues in an A-Z format, with sidebars addressing recent developments in medicine and concise information boxes for all diseases and disorders.
Mango LanguagesAvailable everywhere
Mango Languages creates engaging language-learning experiences for individuals, libraries, schools, corporations, and government agencies across the continent and around the globe.
Casual, cultural, and conversational learning
Speak like a local in 70+ languages with practical, conversation-based language lessons for web, iOS, and Android. Learn Spanish, French, German, and more — download the free Mango app to get started.
Milestone Documents in American HistoryAvailable everywhere
Milestone Documents in American History combines 133 full-text primary source documents with expert analysis and commentary. Additional titles include:
- Milestone Documents in African American History
- Milestone Documents in American History
- Milestone Documents of American Leaders
- Milestone Documents in World History
- Milestone Documents of World Religions
Morningstar Investment Research CenterAvailable everywhere
Morningstar® Investment Research Center offers real-time access to comprehensive data and independent analysis on thousands of investments, spanning mutual funds, stocks, exchange-traded funds, and closed-end funds. Investment Research Center serves all levels of investors with a range of dynamic tools and thoughtful perspectives to help them make more informed investment decisions.
Novelist Reader's AdvisoryAvailable everywhere
In addition to locating books to read, users can learn more about books and authors through Feature Articles, Book Discussion Guides, and Book Talks.
Oxford Reference Premium CollectionAvailable everywhere
Oxford Reference Premium is a one-stop shop for reputable information from a well-trusted source. It covers 25 different subject areas, including art & architecture, history, language, law, philosophy, religion, science, and more. Over 260 titles are searchable in one place with new titles added all the time. A great first stop for any research needs.
Remote access to the site for WCFL users: washcofree / Bgee6Bix
Peterson’s Test and Career PrepAvailable everywhere
Search thousands of college and graduate schools, identify scholarships, take practice tests, create resumes, and explore careers.
Reference SolutionsAvailable everywhere
Reference Solutions (formerly ReferenceUSA) has vital information on every business & consumer in the United States & Canada. It assists business executives in finding valuable sales leads, conducting market research or competitive analysis, and provides an avenue for businesses to do effective marketing & outreach. Students are able to reference this data for research projects and job seekers may find gainful employment. Reference Solutions provides data on businesses, consumers, healthcare providers, new movers & homeowners, as well as historical business information.
Salem HealthAvailable everywhere
Salem Health covers diseases, disorders, treatments, procedures, specialties, anatomy, biology, and issues in an A-Z format, with sidebars addressing recent developments in medicine and concise information boxes for all diseases and disorders. Titles include:
- Magill's Medical Guide
- Salem Health: Infectious Diseases & Conditions
- Salem Health: Cancer
Salem LiteratureAvailable everywhere
Salem Literature is a robust online database that includes the complete content of printed reference sets. Titles currently available:
- Critical Survey of Mythology and Folklore: Heroes & Heroines
- Critical Survey of Mythology and Folklore: Love, Sexuality, and Desire
- Critical Survey of Mythology and Folklore: World Mythology
Salem ScienceAvailable everywhere
Salem Science is a robust online database that includes the complete content of printed reference sets. Titles currently available on Salem Science:
- Encyclopedia of Mathematics & Society
- Earth Science: Earth Materials and Resources
- Earth Science: Earth’s Weather, Water, and Atmosphere
- Earth Science: Earth's Surface and History
- Earth Science: Physics and Chemistry of the Earth
- Environmental Issues
- Encyclopedia of Global Warming
Sanborn Maps (Library of Congress edition)Available everywhere
Digital Sanborn Maps, 1867-1970 provides access to more than 660,000 large-scale maps for more than 12,000 American towns and cities. Sanborn fire insurance maps are the most frequently consulted maps in libraries, and are valuable historical tools. In electronic form, Sanborn maps allow users to easily manipulate the maps, magnify and zoom in on specific sections, and layer maps from different years.
Resource guide: Fire Insurance Map Research Guide
Something About the AuthorAvailable everywhere
Something About the Author Online provides first-time comprehensive online access to all volumes ever printed in Gale's™ acclaimed and long-standing Something About the Author series, which examines the lives and works of authors and illustrators for children and young adults and is the preeminent source on authors and literature for young people. Something About the Author Online includes both the main series and Something About the Author Autobiography Series, totaling more than 217 volumes, 12,000 entries, and nearly 17,000 images - all delivered in an easy-to-use 24/7 online format that matches the exact look and feel of the print originals.
The Post (WashingtonPost.com)No Access for Student Cards
Washington County Free Library in partnership with Western Maryland Regional Library has sponsored subscription access to WashingtonPost.com for all patrons and staff. To enjoy unlimited access, simply visit the site while connected to the library’s internet network. Access includes current news coverage from The Post’s expert reporting and analysis from Washington and around the world.
While The Washington Post, published since December 6, 1877, has long been considered the newspaper of record when it comes to politics and global affairs, The Post also contains smart and thoughtful reporting on topics ranging from the environment to food and cooking. Readers will not only benefit from reading The Post’s coverage, but also enjoy The Post’s interactives and videos.
In 2018, The Post formally launched its Enterprise Solutions division, along with The Washington Post’s Public Library program.
Onsite access: authenticates using the library’s IP ranges
- Using either the library’s computers or the public Wi-Fi on personal devices
- Find the link for onsite access to WashingtonPost.com on the library’s page for digital resources
- Select the onsite link to reach WashingtonPost.com
- Readers will be directed to the site There should be no paywall and no registration prompt with onsite access
Offsite access: authenticates by log-in credentials, specifically an email address and password
- Navigate to your library’s homepage; then go to the library’s page for digital resources
- Locate and select the offsite (remote) access link for WashingtonPost.com
- Readers are taken to your library landing page at WashingtonPost.com landing page with the following message “Try The Washington Post free for the next 7 days. Enter your email to get started:”
- Users should then register or log-in with two steps by entering an email address and password
- Unrestricted offsite access is available to readers for 7 days, beginning at the point of entering the site after registering or logging in. On the eighth day, users should return to the library’s digital resource webpage and select the offsite access link for WashingtonPost.com; this triggers a new 7-day access period for the individual.
Udemy (Gale Presents)Available everywhere
Learn and improve skills across business, tech, design, and more. Includes 10,000+ on-demand video courses in multiple languages.
Visit this video tutorial to find out how you can use Udemy.
ValueLine ResearchAvailable everywhere
Investment information and analysis to meet the changing needs of investors.
Very Short IntroductionsAvailable everywhere
Very Short Introductions offer concise introductions to a diverse range of subject areas from Climate to Consciousness, Game Theory to Ancient Warfare, Privacy to Islamic History, Economics to Literary Theory. Since the series was launched it has continued to offer new books each year for students and scholars, and the avidly curious, offering a bridge between reference content and higher academic work. All titles provide intelligent and serious introductions to a huge range of subjects, written by experts in the field who combine facts, analysis, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make challenging topics highly readable.
Free, live, online academic and job assistance for veterans transitioning to civilian life. Resources include:
- Resume Review
- Job interview coaching
- Standardized test practice
- Live academic tutoring
WCFL's Quick Reference Guide for GenealogyAvailable everywhere
The purpose of this guide is to serve as an introduction to the genealogy resources available through the Washington County Free Library system, including the John Clinton Frye Western Maryland Room.Resource File:NameWCF_Genealogy_Guide-January_2023_Edition.pdf
World Book EncyclopediaNo Access for Student Cards
Features the content of The World Book Encyclopedia, plus 16 additional databases, which include an online atlas, Spanish-language encyclopedia, teacher resources, World Book Kids, images and sounds, current events, and an online version of the World Book Dictionary.