Library and Online Research

Libraries and other important online resources, including the Wikimedia Foundation Projects, Google Research Tools, several digital and used book sources, and more are organized here to assist members with research into scholarly articles, databases, images, audio, video, books, and other materials. Have a source you think should be featured here? Submit it here.

Library Resources

Mina Rees Library

CUNY GC Mina Rees Library

Members of the Lifelong Peer Learning Program (LP2) have on-site access to the print collection of the GC CUNY Mina Rees Library LP2 members may check out 10 books from the collection at a time, for a loan period of 8 weeks.

The LP2 Research Guide has information about logging in and searching within a database, locating specific articles and doing broad exploratory searches, as well as determining whether the GC has access to a particular journal, and more when on-site.

See the Guide for LP2 Members to the Mina Rees Library as well as the Virtual Library Orientation video (1 hour) by Mason Brown and Elvis Bakaitis which was created specifically for LP2 members. For assistance in using library resources use the Ask A Librarian feature or email GC Librarian Mason Brown.

The library also offers extensive documentation for a wide range of Open Access Academic and other resources.

New York Public Library

The New York Public Library has made many of its key academic databases, including JStor, EBSCO, ThomsonGale (Gale), ProjectMUSE, ProQuest Research Library available to NYPL cardholders remotely during the Covid lockdown period. Of its total 834 databases of Newspapers, Academic Journals, Archives, Ephemera, Art, and Photography 327 are now available remotely. Even without a library card 194 of these databases can be accessed from home. All members of the Graduate Center community are eligible to borrow materials through this program using your Graduate Center email address when you fill out the request forms. Reach out to our liaison Mason Brown or Mariel Villeré for assistance if needed.

Your Local Public Library

Local public libraries across the TriState area offer online and special resources, borrowing privileges from network libraries, and the assistance of librarians who are familiar with a wide variety of research topics and resources and can provide a great deal of help with searching for information.

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world with 2.7 million digital items available online (including Photos, Prints, Drawings, Legislation, Manuscript/Mixed Materials, Books, Printed Materials, Newspapers, Periodicals, Notated Musics, Personal Narratives, Maps, Audio Recordings, Films, Videos and more). It also offers a world-class staff ready to assist you online.

100 Great University Libraries Anyone Can Access Online

See the full list of these libraries with links. A sample of these amazing libraries follows:


WorldCat is the world’s largest network of libraries (over 10,000!) and allows you to search many libraries at once for books, music, and videos, research articles, as well as digital items (like audiobooks). lets you find an item of interest and then locate a library near you that owns it. Usually you will link directly to the item record on the library’s Web site. The actions available to you on that page will vary from one library to another. Some WorldCat libraries make their specialized reference databases available on their Web sites, but some only to library members. With a Free WorldCat Account you can save lists, bibliographies and reviews of library materials.

Free Online Research Resources


JSTOR is a not-for-profit digital library platform for discovering and connecting research, images, and primary sources and partners with libraries, museums, and publishers to reduce costs, extend access, and preserve scholarship for the future. JSTOR can be accessed with a New York Public Library Card. It offers FREE accounts for individuals that allow them to read up to six articles every 30 days online for free.  (Note temporarily increased from 6 to 100 during Covid.) Individual accounts enable independent researchers to access and download free JSTOR articles. Learn how to open an Individual JStor Account.

Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is an American digital library with the stated mission of “universal access to all knowledge”. It provides free public access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, software applications/games, music, movies/videos, moving images, and millions of books. In addition to its archiving function, the Archive is an activist organization, advocating a free and open Internet. As of February 2021, the Internet Archive holds over 29 million books and texts, 8.7 million movies, videos and TV shows, 629,000 software programs, 16 million audio files, 3.8 million images, 224,000 audio files, and 534 billion web pages in the Wayback Machine.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a freely accessible search engine that indexes the full text or metadata of scholarly literature across an array of publishing formats and disciplines and includes most peer-reviewed online academic journals and books, conference papers,  theses  and dissertations, preprints, abstracts, technical reports, and other scholarly literature, including court opinions and patents. It is estimated contain roughly 389 million documents.) Full access to some other content. Abstracts and citations for commercial journals. See Google Scholar: the ultimate guide for a succinct overview of its features and use.

Google Books

Google Books allow users to search the full text of books and magazines (over 40,000,000) that Google has scanned, converted to text and stored in its digital database. Out of copyright books can be read in full. Books still in copyright provide varying levels of Preview access to the contents, but often substantial sections of the work are available to enable determining whether to borrow or buy a complete copy. More info on how to use Google Books.

Google Arts & Culture

Google Arts & Culture is an online platform of high-resolution images and videos of artworks and cultural artifacts from hundreds of partner cultural organizations throughout the world. It utilizes high-resolution image technology that enables the viewer to tour partner organization collections and galleries and explore the artworks’ physical and contextual information. The platform includes advanced search capabilities and educational tools.

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg is a an online digitized archive of cultural works available for free to download in multiple open formats (plain text, HTML, PDF, EPUB, MOBI) that can be used on almost any computer. Most of the items in its collection (over 60,000) are the full texts of books in the public domain.

Google Ngram

The Google Ngram Viewer is an online search engine that charts the frequencies of any set of search strings (words, phrases, including misspellings or gibberish) found in sources printed between 1500 and 2019 in Google’s text corpora in English, Chinese (simplified), French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Russian, or Spanish. The n-grams are matched with the text within the selected corpus, optionally using case-sensitive spelling and, if found in 40 or more books, are then displayed as a graph.

Bookfinder (Search 100,000 booksellers worldwide)

Bookfinder is the place to find used books, rare books, textbooks, new and out-of-print books from over 100,000 booksellers worldwide. Whether you want the cheapest reading copy or a specific collectible edition you’ll find just the right book. You can compare book prices, including shipping. To find original editions, please select “Show more options” to refine your search by publication year. You can also choose to limit your search to first editions, signed editions, or hardcover. Search by ISBN to ensure that you find the exact edition, or you can search by author, title and publication year

Wikimedia Commons (Search 80,844,259 freely usable media files)

Wikimedia Commons is a media file repository making available public domain and freely licensed educational media content (images, sound and video clips) to everyone, in their own language. It acts as a common repository for the various projects of the Wikimedia Foundation, but you do not need to belong to one of those projects to use media hosted here. The repository is created and maintained not by paid archivists, but by volunteers.

Some of the other Wikimedia Foundation projects:

Wikimedia Foundation
  • Wikipedia: The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. There are 6,464,242 articles in the English Wikipedia and Wikipedias in over 300 other languages.
  • Wikisource: Free libraries of texts in more than 70 different languages, organized by language, author and subject. There are 544,771 texts in the English library;  118 674 textos en español; and so on.
  • Wikibooks: The open-content textbooks collection with 3,442 books.
  • Wikiquote: A free online compendium of sourced quotations from notable people and creative works in every language, translations of non-English quotes, and links to Wikipedia for further information. 42,221 articles in English.
  • Wikiversity: A collection of 29,222 learning resources and growing.learning resources, learning projects, and research for use in all levels, types, and styles of education from pre-school to university, including professional training and informal learning. 
  • Wikivoyage: A free collection of 31,252 travel articles, covering destinations, sightseeing, activities, cuisine and accommodations around the world.
  • Wiktionary: The English-language Wiktionary with 6,982,243 entries with English definitions from over 4,200 languages using definitions and descriptions and includes etymologies, pronunciations, sample quotations, synonyms, antonyms and translations. There are dozens of Wiktionaries in other languages.
  • Wikispecies: The free species directory covering Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Bacteria, Archaea, Protista and all other forms of life with 793,948 articles.
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