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Research and Information - East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure Trust

Research and Information

If you need help with homework, are interested in family or local history or need to check an encyclopaedia, you can access a range of online reference material from any East Renfrewshire Library and in some cases from home using your library membership number.

Access to Research

Access to Research gives free, walk-in access to a wide range of academic articles and research in public libraries across the UK. Subjects include art, architecture, business, engineering, history, languages, politics, philosophy, mathematics and the sciences. All content provided is digital and can be accessed from library computers or via the library WiFi service. Please note this service cannot be accessed from home.

Encyclopaedia Britannica 

Encyclopaedia Britannica, one of the most trusted resources on the web, offers easy access to reliable information on most topics enriched by magazine articles, images and video clips. Pitched at three different levels this resource is ideal for homework and study.

Driving Test Theory

Theory Test Pro is a realistic online simulation of the UK's car, HGV, PCV and motorcycle driving theory tests.

Local and Family History

Why not step into the past with East Renfrewshire Libraries' Heritage Service. There are two heritage centres, at Giffnock Library and at the Library within Barrhead Foundry. Both contain a wealth of information to give you a picture of 'old' East Renfrewshire or to help you trace that elusive ancestor! Delve into a book from the local studies collection, pour over our extensive collection of old photographs and maps or read all about the lives of our early residents in local newspapers going back as far as 1898.
You will also find information available online through:

For hints and tips on getting started on your family tree why not sign-up for a introductory course at your local library.

Heritage Classes

Class Description

An Introduction to Ancestry
Ancestry Library Edition is a must for anyone looking into their family history. Access to this fabulous resources for free at your local library. This  informal session will help you master the basics and you'll soon be searching with ease through the millions of world wide records. 
Local and Family History Drop-in
Have you hit a family history brick wall? Do you need help with local history research or would you just like advice on using the heritage resources? There are regular drop-in sessions which allow you to pop in without an appointment. Should you prefer to make an appointment instead call 0141 577 3872 or e-mail

Online Family History for Fearties
Is your terror of technology stopping you accessing all the amazing family history resources that can now be found online? Over a series of five friendly sessions you will gain the skills and confidence that you need to use a computer and access the internet. Along the way, you will explore different family history sites and then progress to more detailed sessions on Ancestry Library Edition

Classes take place in various libraries at different times. For booking information and a full list of venues, dates and times visit Portal to the Past

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