Online Research and Learning

**Check out our list of resources available temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic**

General Research and Learning

  • America’s News (Newsbank) – News and information from reliable news sources spanning the U.S., including over 50 local Massachusetts newspapers.  Includes browser-friendly “Hot Topics” and “Special Reports.” 
    See the Magazines and Newspapers page for additional links.
  • Britannica Library is a multi-level encyclopedia for everyone from grade school students to business professionals and lifelong learners. Includes dictionary, thesaurus, videos, images, primary sources, e-books, world atlas, and more.
  • Career Transitions (Gale) provides guidance and essential activities for job seekers and those investigating new career options
  • EBSCOhost includes access to: MasterFILE Premier, Business Source Premier, and Health Source.  Select a specific database, or search them all simultaneously.
  • EBSCO Discovery Search allows you to search our physical catalog items and digital resources such as e-books, magazines, journals, videos and more, at the same time.
  • Gale Databases are shared throughout the state and include access to Academic OneFile and General OneFile, as well as a wide variety of subject specific databases
  • Research Companion (ProQuest) helps students do more effective scholarly research and supports educators as they teach core information literacy principles.

Books and Reading Resources

Watch a Tutorial


Consumer Information

  • provides full ratings and recommendations on thousands of products and services.  Including appliances, cars, electronics and computers, home and garden, health and fitness, babies and kids, food, personal finance, and travel. 
  • (free website) – site editors editors personally research every product category to recommend the best choices. 
  • / Consumer Issues – Learn how to be a safe consumer, what to do when a purchase or service goes wrong, and more. 


Health and Science

  • Health and Wellness Resource Center (Gale) – carefully compiled and trusted medical reference materials.
  • MedlinePlus – health information from the National Library of Medicine (free online).
  • Mayo Clinic Diseases and Conditions (free online) – comprehensive guides on hundreds of conditions.
  • ProQuest Science Journals – for students in academic research environments, this collection of scientific journals (dating back to 1986) features over 1,145 titles—with more than 965 available in full text.
  • Science in Context (Gale) – an engaging online experience for those seeking information on hundreds of today’s most significant science topics.

History and Current Affairs

  • Biography in Context (Gale) – full text magazine articles, images, and hand-picked web site links. Includes material from Contemporary Authors.
  • Global Issues in Context (Gale) – international viewpoints on a broad spectrum of global issues, topics, and current events.
  • History Reference Center (EBSCO) – entries from over 1,500 reference books, encyclopedias and non-fiction books, as well as nearly 57,000 historical documents.
  • Opposing Viewpoints (Gale) is a cross-curricular resource that provides informed, differing views help learners develop critical-thinking skills.
  • Points of View (EBSCO) covers almost 400 topics, each with an overview, background, arguments and counter-arguments.  Also included for each topic is a Guide to Critical Analysis for help in evaluating controversial subjects and opposing viewpoints.
  • The Topsfield Times is the library’s local history wiki, a work-in-progress.
  • U.S. History in Context (Gale) – contextual information on hundreds of the most significant people, events, and topics in U.S. History.
  • World History in Context (Gale) – for those seeking information on hundreds of the most significant people, events, and topics in World History.
  • See also our Magazines and Newspapers page.

Young Researchers

  • Britannica Learning Zone is designed for pre-K through 2nd grade, featuring interactive learning games about numbers, letters, sounds, geography, and more.
  • Britannica School is updated continuously and closely correlated to all curriculum standards.  Spanish version is available as well (Britannica Escolar).
  • Explora is a web portal to EBSCO’s databases, specially designed for school-age students and educators.
  • Gale Student Edition has content geared towards high school level projects.
  • Kids InfoBits (Gale) is specially designed for the K-5 set.

Looking for more?BPL Ecard

The Boston Public Library has an even more extensive collection of online resources.  Most are available to anyone with a BPL ecard.