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Public Libraries

The Digital Library framework agreement for English public libraries


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The Digital Library (formerly Reference Online) is a subscription-based electronic content service for English public libraries managed by Jisc Collections on behalf of the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL).

The resources licensed through The Digital Library have been procured by Jisc Services Ltd according to EU tender regulations, and were selected by an assessment panel of public librarians for their authoritative content, value for money and suitability for the public library audience.

The framework agreement is available for use by English public libraries over a period of two years from April 2016 to March 2018.


Which suppliers and products are on the framework agreement?

The list below provides an overview of the resources for which agreements have been secured. Follow the links to find details of the products on offer, along with pricing, licensing information, and instructions on how to order.


NB: You do not need to log in to view the content in the following links, log in requests are for non Public Library users

Abintegro Career Centre

A range of employability tools, learning and assessments aimed at career development for those in work, job searching, or preparing for any career move

Alexander Street Press Collection

Music, video and text-based resources from Alexander Street Press

Askews and Holts Library Services

An e-book lending solution with over 900,000 titles suitable for public libraries


A wide range of e-book content in the Bibliotheca Cloud Library

British Standards Online

A bibliographic, citation and full-text database of more than 55,000 standards

Britannica Library and Britannica Image Quest

Authoritative reference resources from Encylopedia Britannica

Bureau van Dijk

The Mint UK database of companies information

COBRA (Complete Business Reference Adviser)

Providing advice and support to micro-business owners, small firms and new business start-ups

Credo Reference

A complete full-text reference resource from Credo.


British Newspapers Parts 1-5: an online archive of national, regional and local titles from 1750 to 1950


A wide selection of e-books from Dawsonera


UKPressOnline: an online database of UK newspaper archives and current editions


A range of online resources from EBSCO

Microform Academic Publishers

British Online Archives: an online database of primary source collections

Mi Ventures

Offering business advice, information and support from online business advisors via ‘live chat’


An online portal that helps its users secure employment

Open 4 Business

An online funding portal that enables local businesses to find  financial support

Oxford University Press Reference Resources

A full range of resources from OUP, including the Oxford English Dictionary, Dictionary of National Biography, Who's Who and more


A range of online archives, including Vogue, Country Life, Harper's Bazaar and more

Public Information Online

A complete collection of parliamentary papers and government material from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland

Rock's Backpages

An online database of music writing, from the early 1960s to the present day

Rosetta Stone

A wide range of online language learning courses

Solus Library Apps

Two apps for public libraries: Library Mobile and Library Treasures

The Stationery Office (TSO)

A selection of official UK government publications

W F Howes

A collection of online products including PressReader, Zinio Magazines, IndieFlix and more


Who is eligible to subscribe to the resources?

All public library authorities in England may take advantage of The Digital Library. A full list can be found on our Eligible library authorities page.


Where can I find procurement documentation?

The published Contract Notice can be found here: Digital Library contract notice

The Award Notice can be found here: Digital Library award notice

The overarching Framework Agreement can be found here: Digital Library framework agreement

(NB individual supplier licences may vary slightly, please check terms and conditions. Licences can be found on the supplier webpages above.)


For more information on The Digital Library please contact Ben Taplin at Jisc Collections.

Last updated: February 2017