Research & Databases

Find a list of useful databases and websites below. Many of the resources can be accessed from home, but some will require you to enter your Portsmouth Public Library card number. For a list of subjects, look on the right side of the page. For video tutorials on many of our databases, click the button on the left side of the page. You will need to sign up for a free Niche Academy account to keep track of your courses.

Business and Finance


Resources for Small Businesses

The Portsmouth Public Library is committed to serving our community, and we know that small businesses, nonprofits, and entrepreneurs are vital to its resilience and wellbeing. This page details services that the library offers such as free spaces, services, and resources to support business productivity and growth, as well as links to outside resources.


The AtoZ Business Database includes 30 million U.S. businesses, and the AtoZ Residential Database includes 215 million U.S. residents. Researchers can easily share data by email among co-workers, family or friends, and export up to 1000 records.

Value Line

Value Line provides accurate and insightful investment research on companies, industries, markets and economies. This resources provides the latest data, sophisticated tools, and expert analysis and guidance, plus video tutorials to help you navigate their site. This online tool includes PDF access to the printed indexes you might be used to.  Outside the library a library card and pin is needed to access this database.

EBSCO's BusinessSource Premier

BusinessSource Premier offers information from business publications as well as tens of thousands of company profiles.

EBSCO's Regional Business News

Regional Business News provides full-text regional business publications for the United States and Canadian provinces. Users can search newspapers, magazines and other resources from trusted news sources.

Business Information Resources from Salem Press

Complete and expanded coverage of 104 high-growth industries; includes associations, newsletters, journals, trade shows, directories & databases. With thousands of updates to existing listings and hundreds of brand new listings, Business Information Resources is the source for information every business needs to stay current and competitive.

  • Follow the link above and click Business Information Resources under the Careers heading.

Consumer Price Index

Consumer Price Index cost of living information, nationally and regionally and by category

NH Small Business Development Center

NH SBDC's team of certified business advisors provides highly individualized, confidential advising at no charge to NH enterprises and is the leading resource for business advising and education for small to medium businesses in the Granite State.

NH Center for Nonprofits

The NH Center for Nonprofits is a statewide association dedicated to providing programs and resources that support nonprofit organizational capacity building and to partnering with sector leaders, businesses, and the broader community to elevate the visibility and status of the nonprofit sector.

Business Information from

An overview of business related services and information found in the State's networks of websites.

Seacoast SCORE

Seacoast SCORE offers FREE business mentoring, no-cost small business workshops, and numerous templates and tools to help you start or grow a business.

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Newspapers and Magazines


Newspaper Resource Guide

Newspapers are an invaluable research tool for genealogists. This guide will help you navigate all of the newspaper resources available to you through the PPL, including microfilm and digital papers. Northeast Collection is the online home of 100+ million pages pages of historical newspapers. Search or browse the collection to find news, notices of births, marriages and deaths, sports, comics and much more.

EBSCOhost: Masterfile Premier & Academic Search Premier

Masterfile Premier provides full-text magazines, reference books and primary source documents. It also includes an extensive image collection containing photos, maps and flags. Academic Search Premier is a leading multidisciplinary research database that provides full-text access to peer-reviewed journals, magazines and other valuable resources.

Portsmouth Herald

Homepage of the local newspaper. Includes news from Portsmouth, NH covering the Seacoast of New Hampshire and Southern Maine including Kennbunkport and York County, ME. There are several different ways to access the Herald, depending on what years you are interested in.

Newspapers Available in Print at the Library

A current list of the newspapers that the library subscribes to, which can be read in the library.

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Education & Technology


LinkedIn Learning

The LinkedIn Learning online video training library is an excellent resource offering almost 3,000 self-paced training classes on a wide range of computer skills for beginning, intermediate, and advanced users. Topics offered include: the entire suite of Microsoft and Adobe products, website development, business skills, design skills, audio and video tools, creative inspirations, and much more. All of the courses are taught by expert instructors and have fully searchable transcripts.


Learning Express

LearningExpress Library™
LearningExpress Library features online tutorials, practice tests, and e-books to help patrons of all ages. It offers job search and workplace skills improvement, skill building in reading, writing, math, and basic science, career certification and licensure exam prep, college and grad school entrance test prep, GED® test prep, and more.

Transparent Language

Whether you’re getting ready for a trip to a new country, want to practice speaking, or looking to learn a new language from scratch, Transparent Language can help. Transparent Language provides a fun, effective, and engaging experience for learners of all levels looking to build their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in a foreign language.  Combining robust courses, supplemental vocabulary, and grammar resources, Transparent Language Online is a complete language-learning system.

Transparent Language:

  • has over 110 languages to choose from, including English for speakers of over 30 languages
  • provides an easy mix of conversation and grammar with reading and audio.
  • offers Apple and Android apps
  • tracks your progress when you log in – but you can also use it as a guest.

Black Freedom Struggle in the United States

This Proquest database features more than 1,600 primary source documents related to critical people and events in African American history, from 1790 to the present. The documents featured center on the experiences and perspectives of African Americans, in the hope that this collection imbues the study of Black history with a deeper understanding of the humanity of people who have pursued the quest for freedom.

Digital Reference Books

This is an online reference collection of books from Salem Press/Grey House on literature and history. It includes:

  • HW Wilson's Reference Shelf series
  • The Working Americans series
  • Magill's Literary Annual, 1977-2014
  • Opinions Throughout History
  • Civil Disobedience, Social Justice, Nationalism & Populism, Violent Demonstrations and Race Relations
  • Treaties in the News
  • Pandemics: the Invisible Enemy
  • a selection of books on Ukraine and Russia
  • Video tutorials on Salem Press's titles


Creativebug includes classes for all skill levels, with new classes released every day. The Creativebug platform is simple and intuitive, with features like chapter divisions, note-taking tools, 20-second rewind and more. Users can save favorite classes and receive personalized recommendations. Some classes even include downloadable patterns, templates, and recipes!

Class topics include: Art and Design, Knitting and Crochet, Sewing and Quilting, Papercrafts, Jewelry Making,Food and Home Decor, Holiday and Party Ideas, and Crafts for Kids

Niche Academy

Niche Academy provides user-friendly tutorials to help you learn to use:

  • Library resources, like eBooks, streaming movies, and research databases
  • Social media sites like Facebook, Linked-In, and Goodreads
  • Services like Google Docs and Zoom

Tutorials include written instructions as well as videos to follow along with.

CIA World Factbook

The CIA's World Factbook provides basic intelligence on the history, people, government, economy, energy, geography, environment, communications, transportation, military, terrorism, and transnational issues for 266 world entities.

GCF LearnFree

For more than a decade, the program has helped millions around the world learn the essential skills they need to live and work in the 21st century. From Microsoft Office and email to reading, math, and more, offers more than 180 topics, including more than 2,000 lessons, 800+ videos, and 55+ interactives and games, completely free.

NH Driving Tests

This resource includes online editions of the driver's manual, practice tests for car, motorcyle, and CDL licenses, and an FAQ about applying for a license. Take the online tests to see how you would do before scheduling an appointment at the DMV!

TechBoomers is a free educational website, featuring tutorials that teach older adults and other inexperienced technology users how to use the most popular and trusted websites and Internet apps. They currently offer over 60 free courses packed with video and article tutorials written in easily-understood, non-technical language, providing context through real-world parallels.

Portsmouth Schools

Homepage of the School Department of Portsmouth

University of New Hampshire

UNH's homepage

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Genealogy and Local History


HeritageQuest Online

HeritageQuest Online is a genealogy resource, including full text of historic texts and genealogies, Census, revolutionary War records, Persi, etc.

Ancestry Library Edition

Ancestry Library Edition is a genealogical database, including access to Census records, Social Security death index, Immigration records, Military, etc. Covers the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Learn about the differences between and Ancestry Library Edition, as well as tips on researching with Ancestry.


Fold3 provides convenient access to US military records, including the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who served. Original records at Fold3 help you discover and share stories about these everyday heroes, forgotten soldiers, and the families that supported them.

Newspaper Resource Guide

Newspapers are an invaluable research tool for genealogists. This guide will help you navigate all of the newspaper resources available to you through the PPL, including microfilm and digital papers.

Portsmouth Herald

There are several different ways to access the Herald, depending on what years you are interested in. – Northeast Collection – Northeast Collection is the online home of 100+ million pages pages of historical newspapers. At it's easy and convenient to search or browse the collection to find news, notices of births, marriages and deaths, sports, comics and much more. Its high quality digital images and powerful viewer provides the best look at these historical papers and makes it easy to print, save and share what you find.

American Ancestors

American Ancestors is the database of New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), which is a Boston research library for genealogists and family historians and home to 12 million+ original documents. Much of the collection is digitized and searchable by subscription only. Includes full access to the 162+ volume NEHGS Register! is a free genealogy website providing access to a large collection of genealogy resources from over 100 countries. Search over a billion names and images online. Portsmouth Public Library is now an Affiliate Site, which means that many restricted items are now available on-site in our library using our public computers or wifi connection.

New Hampshire City & Town Annual Reports

The New Hampshire State Library, in partnership with UNH, is working to provide a permanent digital collection of town reports for all 234 New Hampshire Towns. UNH’s collection includes 15,700 digitized reports from 214 of the 234 towns in New Hampshire. Records for Portsmouth go back to 1849.

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Employment Resources


See our resource page for job seekers here!

What are soft skills?

Learning Express

LearningExpress Library includes the Career Preparation Center, which has resources to help you change careers, conduct a successful job search, create great resumes and cover letters, interview with confidence, accept a job and negotiate your salary, learn social networking skills, and strengthen your business writing skills. It also has information on many different careers and the qualifications they require, and practice exams to help you prepare.



The AtoZ Business Database includes a job search section, as well as information on writing a resume, preparing for interviews, and assessing your skills.

LinkedIn Learning

The LinkedIn Learning online video training library is an excellent resource offering almost 3,000 self-paced training classes on a wide range of skills, including job searching, writing resumes, and many business and computer skills. All of the courses are taught by expert instructors and have fully searchable transcripts.

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Coronavirus information

EBSCO's Health Source - Consumer Edition

This database provides access to full-text consumer health magazines and reference books. It also includes searchable full text for current health pamphlets

EBSCO's Consumer Health Complete

This resource provides content covering all key areas of health and wellness, from mainstream medicine to the many perspectives of complementary and holistic medicine.

Health Resources from Salem Press

This collection includes:

  • Magill's Medical Guide, 9th edition
  • Pandemics: the Invisible Enemy, which covers pandemics from the Black Plague to COVID-19
  • The Cardiovascular Disease Handbook & Resource Guide
  • Complete Resource Guide for People with Chronic Illness, 2021/2022
  • Complete Learning Disabilities Resource Guide, 2023

Portsmouth Regional Hospital

Portsmouth Regional Hospital access to healthcare websites using the links in the library section


MedlinePlus consumer health information from the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health

National Institutes of Health

The NIH is the United States' federal medical research agency, and this page provides consumer information on many different medical topics

National Insititute of Mental Health

NIMH is the division of the NIH that focuses on mental health and wellness, and is the lead federal agency for mental health research

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

This division of the NIH focuses on scientific research on the diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine

Labtests Online from the AACC

This site provides information on various medical tests, and indicates what tests might be used to diagnose different conditions


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Law & Government



NEW! The library provides in-house access to Westlaw, a legal research platform with primary and secondary law sources. The library has a single station which can be used to access Westlaw. Offsite access is now available, and a library card is not required. Please ask at the Reference desk for assistance!

Government Documents

The library's page on State Documents and other resources

City of Portsmouth

The official municipal website

NH Legal Guides

Guides on 65 topics from the New Hampshire Law Library

NH Legal Links

Links from the New Hampshire Law Library

Access to New Hampshire government, laws, regulations, and agencies

NH Statutes

Revised Statutes Annotated, the laws of New Hampshire

Access to government services from the State of Maine

Maine Statutes

The laws of the State of Maine


Access to federal laws, regulations, departments, agencies

United States Code

The laws of the United States

Code of Federal Regulations

Administrative law of the United States

Federal Register

Daily publication of rules, proposed rules and notices of US departments and agencies

Internal Revenue Service

Tax forms and publications

Information about current legislation


Directory of lawyers nationwide

Voter Information

Voter information compiled  by librarians

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UNH Library

  • UNH's four Durham campus library locations are open to the public to use print or licensed electronic resources on site. Search the catalog to see if they have what you need. Check out these tips for effective searching and check their hours to find a convenient time to visit.
    • The Milne Special Collections and Archives maintains approximately 18,000 linear feet of rare books, manuscripts, University records, photographs, sound recordings, and other materials available for on-site use.
  • UNH extends borrowing privileges to all New Hampshire residents for a modest fee. Some residents are eligible for free borrowing privileges based on their employer, school or other affiliation.
  • UNH offers many Open Access electronic resources that are available remotely to the public. To limit your search to these items, follow these instructions. The UNH Scholars Repository provides Open Access to UNH research and scholarship, including faculty publications and student research.
  • As a U.S. federal depository library, the UNH Library provides free and ready access to and assistance with locating Federal Government information.
  • Patrons can visit UNH to use genealogy and local history resources.
  • Digital Collections focus on the history of New Hampshire, including UNH yearbooks, New Hampshire City and Town Reports, and New Hampshire State documents.
  • UNH offers expert-curated research guides on a wide range of topics. Some linked resources are limited to on-site visitors to UNH Library locations, while some guides provide general guidance.

N. H. State Library

The New Hampshire State Library is the first state library in America and was founded on January 25, 1717. Residents may borrow items from the collection, and anyone may access government documents on site. The NH State Library also has a collection of NH history and genealogy materials, and if you are unable to go in person you can use their ask a librarian service.

They specialize in questions about administrative rules, genealogy and history, laws and legislation, New Hampshire people and places, statistics, and state government agencies, services, and organizations.

NHAIS Interlibrary Loan System

The NHAIS Interlibrary Loan System provides access to the holdings of libraries throughout New Hampshire and supports resource sharing among them. To borrow an item from another library, you can submit a form at any desk within PPL, use our online form, or click the link above to search the Union Catalog directly and submit a request from there. For help, please see our interlibrary loan page.


WorldCat connects thousands of libraries’ collections in one place, making it easy for you to browse the world’s libraries from one easy search box.

During the past 50+ years, thousands of libraries have entered their information about millions of books, magazines, movies, songs, maps, genealogical records, research theses and so much more into WorldCat. And not just the physical items you could find when you visit a library, but many kinds of digital content like open-source e-books, articles, downloadable audiobooks, and photos. You can also find article citations with links to full text, authoritative research materials, one-of-a-kind documents and photos of local or historic significance, and digital versions of rare items that aren’t generally available to the public. is supported by OCLC, a nonprofit global library organization that provides shared technology services, original research, and community programs so libraries can better fuel learning, research, and innovation.

Some WorldCat tips:

  • If you're within a certain radius you will see PPL as a “featured library” when we have something in their search results.
  • You can create a Worldcat account and make PPL your“favorite library.”
  • We have MORE than what WorldCat knows about! If WorldCat doesn’t show that we have it, please should check our catalog!

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with millions of books, films and video, audio recordings, photographs, newspapers, maps and manuscripts in its collections. The Library is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office.

The Library preserves and provides access to a rich, diverse and enduring source of knowledge to inform, inspire and engage you in your intellectual and creative endeavors. Whether you are new to the Library of Congress or an experienced researcher, they have a world-class staff ready to assist you online and in person.

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Home & Auto


Car prices and reviews, repair and care advice


New and used car prices, car reviews, safety information

Mitchell Online [in library only]

Repair manuals, including wiring diagrams, for automobiles from 1974 to now consumer information from many federal agencies, including the Do Not Call Registry

Consumer Product Safety

Consumer Product Safety information about unsafe and recalled products

NH Driving Tests

Online editions of the driver's manual, practice tests for car, motorcyle, and CDL licenses, and an FAQ about applying for a license.

Moneygeek provides personal finance advice, including this resource on auto loans and financing. They also have a page on car insurance.


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Advice for Readers


EBSCO's NoveList Plus

NoveList Plus has reading recommendations for both fiction and nonfiction, for all ages. Find read-alikes and new favorites by author, genre, setting, story, and more.

EBSCO's Book Index With Reviews

Whether you need a bibliographic database for collection development or a tool to help patrons identify titles, Book Index with Reviews is the right choice. BIR includes full-text reviews and is perfect for developing booklists and subject guides.

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