Thomas Ford Memorial Library

Welcome to our collection of databases, covering many academic and practical subjects. If you have questions about how to use them, please come by or call us at the Reference Desk, 246-0520. From home, you will need your Thomas Ford library card number to log into any of these great resources.

Use our database Subject Guides if you are unsure where to start.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | K | L | M | N | O | Q | R | S | U | V | W | XYZ |


In Library Only – The most asked for collection of genealogical databases. Many state, national, and international resources are included.

Antiques Reference

P4A Antiques Reference reports antiques sales from over 140 U.S. auction houses. Item details, photographs, and values for a variety of antiques, collectibles and fine art are added daily.

Biography in Context

New! Biography in Context includes nearly a million biographical entries spanning history and geography. Great for biography reports.

Britannica Library (Away from Library)

Britannica Library (Inside Library)

Britannica Library is a respected general purpose encyclopedia. Both adult, young adult, and children’s versions of the encyclopedia are available on this site.

Consumer Reports

Access Consumer Reports through the library to find ratings and reviews of consumer products.

ERIC via Firstsearch

ERIC is an education database that indexes and abstracts journals and research reports about education. Call the Thomas Ford Reference Desk for a user name and password.


Firstsearch is a database host that provides Illinois residents free access to Medline, ERIC, and WorldCat databases. Call the Thomas Ford Reference Desk for a user name and password.

Gale Virtual Reference

Need authoritative reference sources? Gale Virtual Reference helps students doing homework, business people needing industrial background, and readers interested in historical facts. Try this source as a scholarly alternative to Wikipedia.

Mango Languages

Mango is a fast, easy, and fun way to learn to speak a foreign language!

Medline via Firstsearch

Medline indexes and abstracts journals in the field of medicine. Call the Thomas Ford Reference Desk for a user name and password.

MasterFILE Premier

Find articles from almost 1700 magazines and journals covering a variety of topics like business, health, education, general science, multicultural issues and more. MasterFILE Premier also has a collection of reference books, images, maps and flags. Use this for general information and for researching articles on a specific topic.

NoveList Plus

Tell Novelist a title you enjoyed and it will suggest similar reading. You may search for novels by subject, author, and title. Book book club discussion guides and essays are also available.

Science Reference Center

If you’re researching scientific topics, try the Science Reference Center. The information and full-text articles here cover biology, chemistry, earth & space science, environmental science, health & medicine, history of science, life science, physics, science & society, science as inquiry, scientists, technology and wildlife.

US News College Compass

Use the College Compass to narrow down your college search.  Find a variety of “top ten” and “best of” lists for colleges and universities and read useful articles from the well respected US News and World Report.  This resources is for in-library use only.  Ask at the Information Desk for more details.

Western Springs Newspaper Obituary File

Citations to obituaries in Western Springs newspapers between 2003-2007. Incomplete.

WorldCat via Firstsearch

WorldCat is an international library catalog showing where books and other library material may be found. Use WorldCat to find titles not held in our local SWAN catalog. Call the Thomas Ford Reference Desk for a user name and password.

WorldCat via the Web

This version of WorldCat is easy to use and requires no library card nor password. An advanced search provides almost as many ways to search as via Firstsearch.