This section covers free resources available at libraries and other institutions, as well as helpful free websites. It doesn't cover database services such as GenealogyBank, which charge individual subscribers for access.
Below is a list of some BPL databases and their means of access, followed by a description each of the databases and of two online names dictionaries, the Dictionary of American Family Names, and the Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland.
There are several types of websites for family history research. Some, like Familysearch.org and FindMyPast, serve a purpose similar to online databases--they organize many types of records into searchable collections.
Other websites, such as Cyndi's List, are portals which guide you to information available elsewhere on the web.
Another category includes such sites as Internet Archive and Hathitrust, which are repositories of published histories and genealogies (but which don't contain vital records or other genealogical resources).
Historical societies, libraries, archives, and other institutions have useful information and some records on their sites. These are covered in other parts of this guide.
The following online resources that provide access to material held by the BPL are freely available to all online:
The below are just a few other websites useful for genealogy research: