LAUSD & CA Library Databases & Reference Sets

Accessing the Databases & Reference Sets

Collections of journal articles, newspaper, maps, videos and other types of resources accessible only through paid subscriptions that are available for all LAUSD students and employees.

  • ON CAMPUS: Just click on the links below to do your research.
  • OFF CAMPUS: you may access the digital library by going to this Remote Access log in page and signing-in with your LAUSD SSO. For teachers, this is your SSO; for students, this your LAUSD email and password. Here is a video to show you how to log in remotely. Remember when you log in remotely to use the links on that page to get to the databases, not the ones below.
  • Uses the table of contents to the right or scroll down to learn more about what databases are, to read descriptions of each database, or to get tips on choosing a database.

Enter your query in the search box at the top to search all databases at one time

LAUSD Digital Library's Free Sites

On the page above, look for the Free Sites button. Click to see a drop down menu of links by subject matter to free sites useful for academic research gathered by ILTSS. These links are grouped by discipline and topic. Since these are general internet sites, you may access them anywhere you have internet access.

About the Digital Library & Databases

What is the Digital Library (DL)?

A digital library provides access to scholarly digital sources including subscription databases and encyclopedias for easy access to accurate information. If you are doing academic research you should use this or the library catalog for your research, though there is a lot of information to satisfy personal information needs as well.

What is database?

A database is like a digital file cabinet; it organizes a collection of information to make the information searchable and accessible.A collection is any group of information/knowledge sources (books, articles, etc.). In the case of the subscription databases in the DL, the collections are arranged by source type and/or subject. For instance, EBSCO has a database of just newspapers and magazines; Grangers World of Poetry only contains information related to poetry. The Los Angeles Public Library also has databases that are freely accessible (most require an LAPL card number and PIN, which you can get for free at any of the LA public libraries -- applications are in our library as well).

How do I know which database to use?

What kind of information you are looking for will determine which resources you use. For a general overview, you might use an encyclopedia. For more in depth research, you might use a database, listed alphabetically below with brief descriptions, including types of sources and subjects to help you choose which is best for your research. Using scholarly tools for research will save you the time of having to verify the accuracy and credibility of sources you might find in a general internet search through a commercial search engine, such as Google or Yahoo.

Descriptions of Databases


World Book (S) and Britannica

  • excellent starting points for research
  • give you an overview of your topic and to fill in gaps of background knowledge needed to clearly write about your topic
  • are updated nightly, so contain the most current information
  • written by researchers who gather and consolidate verified information (unlike Wikipedia) so you can be sure that the information here is accurate and up-to-date; here is an great article about the importance of encyclopedias and insight into how they are created.
  • provides information at three reading levels: elementary, middle, and high school
  • Spanish version available in World Book (see buttons on bottom of the home page).
  • Britannica has a teacher/CCSS resource section.



Here you may search several or one of the ABC-CLIO history databases. These databases contain mainly encyclopedic articles and articles from reference books. Within the individual databases you may narrow your searches under the topics or library tabs by checking which subjects or topics you want to search within, but there is not an advanced search option with fields and limiters. Once in a database, there will be links at the very bottom to Research Tutorials and Research Wizards for tips and strategy for research in this database and in general.

American National Biography

This online reference collection contains portraits of over 18,700 Americans. It is searchable by name or research topics such as Women's History or Hispanic American Heritage, for which subdirectories are available within the database. Teachers, this is also a teacher's guide for ideas on how to integrate the database into your curriculum and how to align lessons to the CCSS.

Cavendish Square Digital

This database offers online reference collections in a variety of topics that are more specific than other databases, i.e. Colonial America, Dinosaurs, World War II, Elements, and Gods, Goddesses, and Mythology. Once a collection is selected, users may browse through an index of topics or do a simple search. Within the articles, tools for citations, sharing, and Google Drive integration are available. Assistive tools such as listening and translation are also available.

Columbia Gazetteer of the World Online

A geographic encyclopedia searchable by type of place, state or province, country, continent, population or geographic coordinates. Data includes information about both physical places and political entities and includes both current and historical information (i.e. name and border changes for countries). Includes citation information for accurate and quick citation in papers.

CultureGrams (ProQuest)

This site provides insight into the culture of a country. It was started as pamphlets to train missionaries, but is great for anyone curious about the customs of places around the world or preparing for a trip. A great compliment to the Gazetteer and Facts on File.

EBSCO Publishing

This database indexes scholarly journals and other periodicals and covers all subjects and is a great resource to use once you have narrowed your topic and are looking for specific information. All EBSCO searches include full advanced features (full-text, peer-reviewed, publication date, etc) and has links to latest news about the topic in the search results. Here are some of particular interest:

    • Subject specific information may be found in the Literary Reference Center, History Reference Center, and Consumer Health Complete databases.
    • Student Research Center: This a database that draws from a variety of sources: newspapers, magazines, encyclopedias, radio and T.V. news and more. It covers a wide variety of topics, including social issues. This database is good for browsing and research and is leveled for Middle School or High School Reading Levels.
    • Academic Search Premier is a comprehensive database with more peer-reviewed access and is the next step from the Student Research Center to prepare students for college level databases.
    • Magazines & Newspapers (It's more than Magazines and Newspapers!) Going here will allow you to select one ore more databases to search (some which are also on the main page of sub-directories). For any database click on the title list to see what is included. There is also a directory of eBooks containing collections of reference books in pdf format.
    • Points of View offers sources on controversial topics. Great for persuasive papers to get all sides of an argument.
    • EBSCO Discovery Service and Explora Secondary Schools are designed as directories, with information sorted by subject areas for browsing, though the EBSCO advanced search tool is also available.

InfoBase Learning

This is a directory of ebooks (mostly encyclopedias) and primary sources organized by broad subjects. While you may simply enter a search term, as a directory it is designed for users to browse according to certain collections: (i.e. Careers & Education, Current Issues, General Reference, Geography & Culture, History, Literature & Language Arts, Medical & Health, and Science & Mathematics. Issues & Controversies, American Women's History, Bloom's Literary Reference Online). These collections offer easy to browse interfaces that look more like a new website than a database, though it offers some advanced search options and allows you to sort results by primary and secondary sources.

Gale Databases

This is a directory organized by subject or topic, including biography, literature, and science. Directories are designed more for browsing than advanced searching. In addition to the topical collections (Biography in Context, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, Science in Context, Student Resoruces in Context) there is also a Virtual Reference Library of reference ebooks (including more current versions of collections in our print reference section) . The General Reference Center provides access to magazines, newspapers, and reference books through a more advanced search interface and offers the latest content covering current events, popular culture, the arts and sciences, sports, hobbies, and more.

Granger's World of Poetry

All things about poetry and poets organized by subject, biographies, commentaries, history & criticism, and sources (books or journals) where you find the poems you are seeking. Includes full poems for some titles. You can also look up poetic terms in the glossary and listen to the poems read in the listening room. Provides citation information for reference lists. (S)

This database contains any time of map you can imagine. In addition to specific searches, you may browse by subjects (Geography, History, Earth Science, & Civics) or collections (i.e. Antique Maps, Physical Maps, U.S. Congressional Districts). There is even a section of maps in Spanish.

Oxford (Grove) Art Online and

Oxford (Grove) Music Online

These two collections are highly specialized resources for anything you want to know about art or music. The advanced search allows to you to narrow to a topic or category or to search across all their resources. Find information on anyone from da Vinci to Botero, from Tchaikovsky to Lil Wayne.

Oxford (Grove) University Press

This is a reference collection online. You may browse through sources by subject or reference type.

Salem Press

Contains reference collections sorted by discipline and concepts. This is like a specialized encyclopedia, so it is not aggregating journal articles, but just providing access to researched information from this press. There are limited advanced search functions.