INSPIRE Frequently Asked Questions

What is INSPIRE?
INSPIRE is Indiana's Virtual Library. INSPIRE is a collection of academic databases and other information resources that can be accessed by Indiana residents using any computer equipped with an Internet Protocol (IP) address located in Indiana and a Web browser such as Firefox or Internet Explorer.

INSPIRE began in January 1998 as a partnership between the Indiana State Library and the Indiana Cooperative Library Services Authority (INCOLSA), along with a one-time grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc. which funded the SiteSearch software and its subsequent development. Additionally, LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) funding is used for administration costs.

What kind of information is available on INSPIRE?
INSPIRE includes following content: magazine and journal articles, websites, pamphlets, images, almanacs, library catalogs, and more.

Who can access INSPIRE?
INSPIRE is accessible for Indiana residents who have Internet access at school, home, in their library or at their place of business. Other states may offer similar services to their own residents.

How much does INSPIRE cost to use?
INSPIRE is provided at no cost to all residents of Indiana.

Who is paying for INSPIRE?
INSPIRE is a service of the Indiana State Library. INSPIRE is supported by the Indiana General Assembly through Build Indiana Funds, the Institute of Museums and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act and in partnership with Academic Libraries of Indiana.

How do you know if an INSPIRE user is in Indiana?
Computers connected to the Internet can be identified by their unique Internet Protocol (IP) address. (The IP address is allocated by the server through which you connect to the Internet.) The IP address is used to authenticate that the users who connect to INSPIRE are within the State of Indiana.

I use America Online and I cannot access the INSPIRE site from my home computer. Why not?
If you use any Internet Service Provider (ISP) that serves areas outside Indiana (such as AOL, CompuServe and Prodigy), you will need to apply for an INSPIRE Password.

My local ISP is in Indiana and I still cannot get access to INSPIRE from home. Why not?
We may need to update our authorization files with details of your ISP. Please email the name, address and telephone number of your ISP to or apply for an INSPIRE Password.

How do I get support if I have a problem?
You can contact INSPIRE support staff in the following ways:

  • By Telephone at (317) 232-3720
    Telephone support is available Monday through Friday (except state holidays) from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Eastern Time).
  • By Email at
    Please include a detailed description of the problem and the exact wording of any error message you may have seen. Emails will be answered within one (1) business day of receipt.
  • By Fax at (317) 232-0002
    Please place the words INSPIRE SUPPORT clearly at the top of your fax. You should include a detailed description of the problem, the exact wording of any error message you may have seen, and a daytime telephone number at which you can be reached. Your enquiry will be answered within one (1) business day of receipt.
  • Vendor Support
    • EBSCOhost interface support
      Call (800) 758-5995 or email
      Technical Support Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (all times are Eastern).

    • Biography Resource Center, Informe! and Lit Finder support
      Call (800) 877-4253, email, or use their online form. Telephone support is available 24 Hours A Day, 7 Days A Week

    • WorldCat support
      Call (800) 848-5800 or email

How current is the information in INSPIRE?
Many databases are updated on a daily basis. The currency of data varies by journal, but some articles are actually available ahead of general publication.

What databases are available on INSPIRE?
Click here for a detailed description of the databases.

Do you provide access to ALL the contents of these journals?
INSPIRE provides cover-to-cover indexing and abstracts of all articles that appear in every periodical with the exception of some newspapers. Only letters to the editor, advertisements, and some images are excluded.

Will you offer access to more commercial products in the future?
The content of INSPIRE will be under review constantly and new products and services may be offered in the future.

Why is the INSPIRE site slow sometimes?
There are a number of reasons why INSPIRE may occasionally seem slow. At certain peak times during the day and early evening, the Internet itself may be running slowly due to the number of people online. If you are using a PC that has a slow modem connection or not enough system resources (memory, processor speed etc.), then this could also make INSPIRE appear sluggish.

Can I find genealogy material on INSPIRE?
The "Links" button above includes Internet resources that may help with genealogy research search, but the INSPIRE databases are not ideal resources for genealogy materials.

We are using a firewall [filter, etc.] to limit Internet access. What URLs do I need to allow in order to search the INSPIRE databases?
Below are the sites you will need to allow. The exact format you will use in entering them will depend on your firewall or filter.


How do I cite INSPIRE materials for the paper I am writing?
When a specific style of citation is not required for online references, the following styles may serve.

Additional sites for citation styles

Why do I get a "You are not authorized 403:Forbidden. We have been unable to validate the information provided" error or a login page at * when trying to search the INSPIRE databases?
These errors are related to our verification procedure for determining Indiana residency. You may be able to get around the errors by pointing your Web browser to to access the INSPIRE databases with your INSPIRE password. We have determined at least one program, Norton Personal Firewall(NPF)/Norton Internet Security(NIS), causes some of these errors. To fix this problem you can disable NPF/NIS long enough to select the database link that is causing the error and then re-enable NPF/NIS. This will set a cookie on your computer that should prevent the error in the future. If the error persists you can adjust the following settings:

If you are running version 8 of Norton Personal Firewall
1. Open Norton Personal Firewall
2. Under Privacy Control
3. Click on Configure
4. Click on Advanced
5. On the Global Settings tab under Scripts
6. Click on Permit

1. Follow steps 1-5 above
2. Click on Add Site in the Lower Left
3. Add
4. will appear in the list on the left
5. Click on it
6. Uncheck the Use Default Settings box on the right under Scripts
7. Check the Permit Radio Button
8. Repeat these steps for, and

If you are running Norton Internet Security you may need to use the following instructions:
1. Open Norton Internet Security 2005
2. Click on Privacy Control
3. Click on Configure
4. Click on Advanced
5. Click on Add Site
6. Enter in the name of the trusted site (
7. Click on OK
8. Click on the name of the trusted site in the panel on the left
9. On the right, uncheck all the boxes under the Global Settings tab
10. Choose Permit for all the radio buttons
11. Under the User Settings tab, uncheck all the boxes.
12. Choose Permit for all the radio buttons.
13. Click ok and log back into the resource you want to access via INSPIRE.
14. Repeat these steps for, and

If you encounter this error and are not running NPF please send an email to

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