Despite it being the middle of the summer, if you have children in your household, your thoughts might soon be turning to the subject of homework and getting those tasks and projects started and finished before the last weekend of the holidays. Alternatively, you might be looking to expand your knowledge of a particular topic or want to prove that your answer in that quiz was the right answer despite what the Quiz Master said. If any of these things apply, then Encyclopaedia Britannica is the eResource for you!

As a Warwickshire Libraries member, you have access to a number of online resources using your library card number to log in. We previously took you through Oxford Reference and if you would normally visit our libraries to help with your reference queries, while our services are reduced, using our eInformation and Learning resources means you can find the information you’re looking for from home.

If you visit our Library Catalogue, you’ll find the link to our eInformation Resources along the top of the page or you can click here.

Annotation 2020-08-10 113511

For today’s blog, Andrew will take you on a quick tour of Encyclopaedia Britannica which you’ll find on our ‘eInformation and Learning’ page, listed under ‘Quick Reference and Encyclopaedias’.

Encyclopedia Britannica

Annotation 2020-08-10 114238

Who is Encyclopaedia Britannica for?

With three age-appropriate databases – Junior, Student and Adult – Encyclopaedia Britannica is ideal for everyone from adult learners who are studying for a course or qualification through to younger children who are just starting out on their educational journey.

Annotation 2020-08-10 114255

How do I find what I need?

Searching is easy. For example, if you are looking for information about Germany, after entering that as a search term, you are offered a choice of related articles, images, videos, magazine and journal articles, recommended web sites, primary sources and a historical review of key years in that country.

Annotation 2020-08-10 133900

When you have selected the article you want to look at and clicked on the link, you’ll end up on a page that looks similar to the one below. You can scroll through the entire thing or jump to various sections using the links on the left hand side. You can also browse the  ‘Images & Videos’ and ‘Related’ tabs.

Any word that shows up as a different colour (blue in the screenshot below) is a link to a further article. Clicking on these links will widen your search and take you to further articles on different topics.

You’ll also notice three purple buttons on the screen at the beginning of the article. These are the ‘Article Reading Level’ buttons. By clicking on these, you’re taken to the same article but written at an alternative level – in the example below, the article is from the ‘Adult’ database of Encyclopaedia Britannica (‘Level 3’) but by clicking on the ‘1’ or ‘2’, you would be taken to the same article but written at the ‘Junior’ or ‘Student’ level. This can be a useful trick to know about if your initial search isn’t detailed enough (or is too detailed for your needs).

Annotation 2020-08-10 114528

There are various accessibility options available by clicking on the blue icons near the top right hand side of the page. You can increase or decrease the font size of an article, have it read out to you, translate it into other languages, create a citation and print it. The ‘star’ allows you to bookmark/’favourite’ what you have found so you can return to it in the future and you can send the details of the article via email (though remember, you will need to be logged in to Encyclopaedia Britannica to view the whole thing).

Why should I use Encyclopaedia Britannica?

Fundamentally, Encyclopaedia Britannica contains articles written by experts. It is perfect for helping to develop information literacy (i.e. the ability to find, evaluate and use information) and it encourages learners to think more deeply about research. Users can find trusted information about which they can think critically to ensure the information they find and use is factual and unbiased.

Where can I access Encyclopaedia Britannica?

You can access it anywhere! As long as you’re a Warwickshire Libraries library member, you can log in from home on any personal device – PC, laptop, tablet or a smartphone. If you’re not a library member, you can join online here.

From home, once you’ve clicked on the Encyclopaedia Britannica link on our ‘eInformation and Learning’ page, you’ll need to log in with your Warwickshire Libraries library card number and you can start to explore!

If you find that you need help with any of our digital resources, you can email us at Remember, you can get online anytime with Warwickshire Libraries and there are lots of resources to explore.