Online Databases and Trustworthy Sites

The databases below are provided through the Tennessee Electronic Library.  Some that are specific to grade levels have been identified for your convenience.

 Don't forget that the Chattanooga Public Library now has over $100,000 in subscription databases for Hamilton County students! Use your Hamilton County Public Library Card ID for access to these great resources! (Click on "Research Help," and "Other Libraries" to get there!)

General Research
TEL Logo.jpg

For Middle School

Find ALL databases, test prep material and other resources. 

For High School

For grades 6-12

The National Archives hosts over two million digitized historical documents, photographs, and images; it is curated by the US govt. with primary sources of items such as geneological information, legislative archives, federal records, transcripts, presidential libraries, military records, and online exhibits.

InstaGrok is an innovative educational search engine that combines sophisticated semantic technology with an interactive user interface to make learning more engaging, personalized and fun for everyone. (Seriously, I would use THIS before going to Google!) 

Your Dictionary offers a lot more than definitions (though it does offer those with an audio button to listen to it's pronunciation)!  It has a thesaurus, rules of grammar, sentence structure, and ​miscellanous lists like literary terms, abbreviations, and root words.  It also has a Shakespeare translator, Spanish helper, a plethora of tools for other languages, examples of literary devices, a word finder (great for poetry writing), and a HUGE collection of images.  

ipl2 is a site that many reference librarians use to help their patrons find trustworthy sites.  You can find information here on just about anything, and it's really easy to use!  I don't see why it needs to be a secret though; go ahead and try it!  Maybe it will help you find something you really need.  Good luck!  

Internet Archive was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format.  

Science, Health and Wellness Research

APS Physics (the American Physical Society) works on behalf of the physics community to improve physics education, inform the public and policy leaders about the importance and excitement of physics, increase the diversity of the field, and reach out to physicists around the world. This site contains over a dozen separate academic journals in the field of physics.

History, Government, and Social Studies

State and Local Government on the Net is a place where you can find info on ANY state.  It's all in one place; it breaks down state offices, legislative, executive, and judicial branches, boards and commissions, plus county and city authorities. This directory can lead you to places where you will find reliable statistics and current information about out communities around the country. is a directory site to government services and agencies. It's easy to navigate and leads you to other reliable sources that will allow you to research your topic. It covers anything and everything, from finding gas prices in a particular area to calculating your grade point average. You can learn where the nearest farmer's market is and you can learn how to incorporate your business. If you're doing research, this is a great place to explore! 

The U.S. Census Bureau offers so much! You can find out where the most babies are being born, where the most construction is happening, how many people died in your state last year, what's the current status on marriage and divorce, how many veterans are there, and more.  There is relevant information for potential business owners, people thinking of relocating to new areas, those looking for jobs, and more.  This statistical playground is a minefield of evidence for any well-supported research!

The Bureau of Labor Statistics not only provides students with statistical information on current job market trends in the US but includes articles on such topics as well.  Not only can teachers use this real-world information for current, relevant lessons, but students can use it for their own career planning. There are articles on healthcare, retirement, minimum wage, workplace education and more. Students can even learn about how the U.S. compares to contries around the globe.

Project Muse is a leading provider of digital humanities and social sciences content; since 1995, its electronic journal collections have supported a wide array of research needs at academic, public, special, and school libraries worldwide. MUSE books and journals, from leading university presses and scholarly societies, are fully integrated for search and discovery.


American Rhetoric is an incredible speech bank with the most popular speeches in American history.  It is a great way to use primary sources because many times you get to see or hear the speech when it was originally given.  Most of the speeches also include written transcripts.  There are also links to other useful primary sources, including news sources, political party home pages, even pop culture.  It's definitely worth checking into!

Bartleby's just about has something for everyone.  It has an enormous collection of works ranging from the poems of Emily Dickenson and Robert Frost to complete works, like Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, and all of Shakespeare's plays.  It even has Bartlett's quotes, a great source for students when writing speeches or essays, and Strunk's Elements of Style. But it doesn't just focus on literature and writing!  It also boasts a complete version of Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body, the entire King James Bible, U.S. Inaugural Speeches, and The World Factboook, to name a few.   

Encyclopedia Mythica is a one-stop shopping source for all types of mythology.  It has articles and background on stories from all over the world - from Greek/Roman to Japanese to Aztec and Mesopotamian.  It even offers insight on the Arthurian legends and other folklore.  Additionally, this site offers an image gallery, genealogical tables, and a bestiary where you can look up articles on whatever type of creatures you might be interested in.  

National Institue of Health, part of the US Dept of Health and Human Services, is the nation's medical research agency.Their research focuses primarily on diseases and body systems. There are many articles on how different medicines affect the body, and they provide free access to medical journals like Pub Med and MeSH and a host of video tutorials on topics which range from how to use their databases to understanding genetics.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, has focused studies and published articles, photos, & videos of the latest information in aeronautics, space technology, human exploration and operations, and science with a focus on the earth, the universe, international space stations, the Journey to Mars, the solar system, & robotics. Plus the site features a handly list of A-Z topics for student research, and a link for educational resources. is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's web site. This is the go-to site to find out the major environmental issues of the United States. Find out specifics about different regions of the U.S., what types of solutions there may be, and how we are handling these issues - specific inquiries on pestisides, toxins, pollutants, and waste are addressed as well as how climate change, ecosystems, air, and clean-up efforts have affected/are affecting our environment.

Web Elements is an online periodic table.  Researchers can click on the symbol for any element on the periodic table displayed on the home page. The site provides info on that element like the name (provided in several languages), essentials (like name, symbol, atomic weight, etc...), description, and isolation. Sidebars provide well-known compounds that contain the element and more detailed information on the element’s properties and history. 

The Arts


The IMSLP Petrucci Music Library currently includes music from over 20,000 works from 3,000 composers with new works added every month. It has the complete works of Johann Sebastian Bach in the Bach-Gesellschaft Ausgabe (1851–99), Ludwig van Beethoven, Frédéric Chopin, Johannes Brahms, Corelli, Faure, Sibelius, Schumann, and a large percentage of Franz Liszt, among others. General keyword and composer name searching is available, as well as browsing by time period, genre, instrumentation and nationality. If you need music such as Ave Maria, piano solos by Erik Satie, pieces featuring the tuba.... This digital repository will have them along with many other goodies!​

Artcyclopedia has over 80,000 works by 7000 different artists on 700 leading arts sites. In order to be part of this site's inclusion of works, the artist must have work that is included in an arts museum collection somewhere in the world. You can search by artist, artworks, art museums, or browse by movement or medium.

Teachers: Need me to create a box specifically for your class? Just let me know, and I will set up a place for your students to look up information specific to your class!