Virtual reference library

We subscribe to major online information resources so that you can use them free of charge, at home, at work or in the library, at any time of day or night. All you need is your library card number. If you are not a member, then find out how to join. Joining online will give you immediate access to all of these resources.

Available in the library or from your own computer or tablet

Solihull Local Information Directory Explore the library catalogue eNewspapers eMagazines
Life in Great Britain First Steps on your computer Theory Test Pro

Available in the library or from your own computer or tablet using Single Sign On

Sign in once to your library account or by clicking any of these links to access the rest without the need to sign in again. You'll need your Library PIN - if you don't have it, click to reset on the page or contact us here.

Oxford Dictionaries Online Oxford English Dictionary Oxford Reference Online Oxford Bibliographies Online
Very Short Introductions UKPressOnline

Available in libraries only

FAME and MINT Ancestry Library Edition Find My Past
Which? eMoneyfacts Online Access to Research

Life in Great Britain

Life in Great Britain

Life in Great Britain is an online study resource for candidates preparing for the Life in the UK Test or British citizenship test. The service includes an online version of the latest official study materials licensed from the Home Office, the people who write the handbook, plus hundreds of practice test questions in the same format as the official test.

To access Life in Great Britain enter your library card number with SLP in capital letters and without spaces.

First Steps on your computer

First steps logo

If you or someone you know wants to learn how to use a computer, then First Steps can help you. It shows you all about how computers work, how to use the keyboard and mouse, how to organise files and also how to use the Internet; if you’re working through the course, you can save your place.

To access First Steps enter your library card number with SLP in capital letters and without spaces.

Theory Test Pro

Theory test pro logo

Theory Test Pro is a highly realistic online simulation of the UK's driving theory test, for cars, motorcycles, large goods vehicles, and passenger carrying vehicles. It contains the entire official test question bank, hazard perception video clips and an online version of the Highway Code. All this material is licensed from the Driving Standards Agency (DSA), the people who set the tests.

When you first use Theory Test Pro, you will need to register with your name, email address and password. This information allows Theory Test Pro to save your test scores so you can follow your progress as you practice for the test. There is no charge to access Theory Test Pro.

To access Theory Test Pro enter your library card number with SLP in capital letters and without spaces.

Available in the library or from your own computer or tablet using Single Sign On

Sign in once to your library account or by clicking any of these links to access the rest without the need to sign in again. You'll need your Library PIN - if you don't have it, click to reset on the page or contact us here.

Oxford english dictionary graphic

Oxford Dictionaries Online

Dedicated to improving communication through an understanding of, and a passion for, language from around the globe.

Access Oxford Dictionaries Online.

Oxford english dictionary graphic

Oxford English Dictionary (OED)

The OED is the world's most authoritative guide to the meaning, history and pronunciation of more than half a million words, tracing their usage through 2.5 million quotations. Now with features including timelines, the Historical Thesaurus of the OED, and more search options. 

Access the Oxford English Dictionary.

Oxford Reference online logo

Oxford Reference Online

More than 100 reference works from Oxford University Press, fully indexed and cross-searchable.

Access Oxford Reference Online.

Oxford Bibliographies logo

Oxford Bibliographies

Free access to research guides on Victorian Literature and British and Irish Literature.

Access Oxford Bibliographies.

Very Short Introductions logo

Very Short Introductions

10 online books, clear and readable introductions to Twentieth Century Britain, British Politics, Drugs, Contemporary Art, History, Management, Mathematics, Nutrition, The Earth, and Planets.

Access Very Short Introductions.

UK Press Online

Daily express logo     Daily Mirror logo

This online archive provides copies of the Daily Mirror from 1903 to date, the Daily Express from 1900 to date, and also contains a collection of World War 2 papers, including the Yorkshire Post, Daily Worker and the Blackshirt, an excellent source for research.

Access UK Press Online.

Available in libraries only

Access to Research

Access to Research logo

Available now, free online access to over 10 million articles and conference proceedings, many with full text, from over 8,800 journals, including Health and Biological Sciences, Engineering and many more subjects from major publishers. Only available for access within libraries.

Ancestry Library Edition

Ancestry logo

Free access from all library PCs to one of the most useful websites for UK and International resources to help you trace your family tree.

Ancestry includes: census returns 1841-1911 for England, Wales, Scotland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man; indexes to births, marriages and deaths in England & Wales 1837-2005; First World War service records, pension records and medal rolls; lists of ships’ passengers arriving in the UK 1890-1960; indexes to wills 1861-1941.

Find My Past

Find my past logo

Free access from PCs in all Solihull Libraries to records including: 1911 census for England & Wales; overseas indexes to births, marriages and deaths 1961-1994; lists of ships’ passengers leaving the UK 1890-1960.

Our community edition of Find My Past does not include access to the ‘Living Relatives’ records.

Business information

(See our Business Information Service for more information) 


MINT logo

MINT is an excellent source for mailing lists, and B2B research.

Over 5.5 million UK companies are listed including over three million active companies. Mailing lists can be created using a range of criteria including postcodes and other geographical areas, turnover, type of business, and number of employees. You can plot the company structure including shareholders, subsidiaries and corporate groups.

Information available includes:

  • contact details with phone number and web address if available
  • financial data for 3 years, and analyses/ratios for the company
  • credit scores and ratings
  • director and other contact details which link directly to their LinkedIn profiles
  • shareholder and ownership data
  • access to Companies House documents

Mint UK also provides access to a wealth of information on directors including: date of birth, address, current and previous directorships and in some cases, biographical information.

Request a mailing list

You can request a mailing list from the MINT database; the minimum charge is £30 for up to 400 businesses and 6p for each additional business over 400, irrespective of the level of information for each business.

Request a mailing list

Card payments will be obtained from the Core Theatre Box Office. A telephone number is required if you are paying by card.

Please note, the MINT database is compiled from a variety of information sources, including the companies/businesses themselves. For this reason, the availability of some information, such as types of directors, or contact addresses/emails, cannot be guaranteed.

For smaller businesses some information is estimated, such as the number of employees and turnover.

Solihull Libraries do not have control over the content of the MINT database and cannot be held responsible for decisions made using the information supplied. Phone numbers in the MINT database are marked if they are registered with the Corporate or other Telephone Preference Service to prevent unwanted sales calls.

Information on the law relating to email marketing business can be obtained from the Information Commissioners Office.


FAME logo

FAME stands for Financial Analysis Made Easy, and contains information on 3.4 million UK companies, with detailed financial information for 2.4 million of these.

Reports available include:

  • contact information, in some cases with web and email addresses
  • full profit and loss and balance sheets
  • cash flow and ratios
  • financial trends and changes
  • credit scores and ratings
  • director and shareholder details
  • details of senior staff
  • access to Companies House documents including annual returns

You can also do more analysis by creating your own ratios.

If you want more information on how to obtain mailing lists or other information please contact us. Charges are applicable for some services.


Which logo

You can access the Which? website as well as a two-year archive of reports, the site contains up to the minute buying guides. Available to use on computers at every library, just ask staff for assistance. 
Which? are a consumer rights group who have been offering independent advice and campaigning on behalf of consumers for more than 50 years.

Business information only available at Solihull Central Library


eMoneyfacts logo

The online service of the Moneyfacts journal contains:

  • market mortgage sourcing
  • life quotations
  • savings
  • loans and cards searches
  • statistics such as the Retail Price Index since 1948

Live Chat

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