NEW 2015 RESOURCES
Here are a number of links to Internet sites which contain information and/or
other links related to Reference Materials. Please read our
If you need to check quickly your spelling, find a synonym, conclude a debate about punctuation rules, or memorize facts and figures about a certain country, check out the following compilation of reference materials. The links are divided into two sections. The first set consists of collections of general reference materials - sites which contain a multitude of different reference tools. The latter section features several of the more specific reference tools (e.g. CIA World Fact Book, Roget's Thesaurus).
Reference Material Collections
- Internet Public Library
- The Internet Public Library offers a reference desk with a wide variety
of materials including some that will be of particular interest to teacher-librarians.
You will find curriculum topics, technology for libraries, professional development
information, cataloging and acquisitions resource and discussions of copyright
and freedom of information.
Dictionaries and Translators
- This site has dictionaries in over 60 foreign languages, with most featuring
a translation to and/or from English.
- There are hundreds of maps at this site. A large number are of the United
States, but there are also plenty of world maps, maps of other countries,
interactive maps, links to libraries of maps, tutorials on maps, and on-line
atlases. The site also contains other standard reference works (e.g., dictionaries,
telephone directories, etc.).
The Reference Desk
- Space doesn't permit us to even begin to list all the reference resources
to which this site links.
- There are over a dozen Generic/English dictionaries at this site including
specialized topics such as acronyms, biographies, cell biology, climbing,
computing, hackers, NASA, as well as various thesauri. The collection contains
more than a dozen foreign language on-line dictionaries as well.
- A set of links to web sites that have their own searchable collections
of pictures, offer a search engine for finding pictures, or provide a metalist
of links to photographs of a particular type.
- Here's a search engine which allows you to submit a query to a variety
of different reference collections - all from a single page. For example,
you can search dictionaries, thesauri, translators, library tools, geographical
tools, financial tools, shipping and mailing tools, and more.
University at Albany Libraries: Reference
- This reference site has organized their links into categories, such as:
Acronyms & Abbreviations, Auto Prices, Biography, Calculators, Dictionaries,
Thesauri & Grammars, Films, International Facts & Locations, Internet Addresses,
News, Phone Books, Quotations, Recipes, Style Guides, Time, Date & Calendars,
Weather, and Weights & Measures.
- Here's a very inclusive collection from Purdue University. Resources range
from writing tools such as dictionaries (of several different languages),
periodic tables, and maps and travel directories.
Web of On-line Dictionaries
- Here's a meta-list of links to on-line dictionaries. Included are links
to other indexes of dictionaries, as well as to over 100 foreign language
Web of On-line Grammars
- Here's a meta-list of links to on-line reference, learning and historical
grammars in 22 different languages (as of January, 97). Students may find
these grammars useful for learning a foreign language, for example French,
German, Italian, Korean, Russian, Spanish.
Specific Reference Tools
- CLN's "Ask an Expert" page has about 100 links to specialists in the field
who can serve as a valuable source of curricular expertise for both students
and teachers. Questions/answers on most subjects may be found in our "All
Subjects" section at the top of the page, specific Subject Area sections,
as well as the general "Reference" section.
- Atlapedia Online contains profiles of every country of the world, organized
alphabetically. Information includes facts and data on geography, climate,
people, religion, language, history and economy.
- A searchable on-line version of this classic reference tool.
- A biographical dictionary with information on over 18,000 people from ancient
times to the present day.
- Arts and Entertainment's searchable database of 15,000 of the greatest
names, past and present. Information is from the Cambridge Biographical Encyclopedia.
World Fact Book 1998
- This is the on-line copy of the CIA World Fact Book. This fact book, which
is produced annually, provides information about each nation in the world.
For example, you can learn about a country's geography, its national holidays,
its literacy rate, or whether it has universal suffrage.
- This database of famous quotations can be searched by key word, author,
theme, nationality of the author, profession of the author, or by date (e.g.,
a quotation on your birthday). Indexes are also available for browsing and
there are special collections from famous authors (e.g., Thoreau, King, Twain,
Ghandi. If you can't find the quotation you want, the site also has links
to 100 similar web resources.
- Can't remember a mathematical formula or reference? You may find it here
in this collection of mathematical reference tables, for example: trig identities,
geometric formulas, algebraic basic identities, and more.
of Occupational Titles Index
- An alphabetical index to the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), Revised
- A metalist of links to hundreds of "search interfaces of resources that
are not easily searchable from general search tools such as Alta Vista, Hotbot,
- Here's the complete Encyclopedia Britannica online, and for free! The articles
themselves are similar to those of the print version except, of course, they're
digital and accessible through an online search function. Once you've found
the information you're looking for, you can print it or email it to yourself,
view image(s) associated with the item, access associated articles in the
encyclopedia, and see a list of links to Internet sites on the same topic.
(Caution: this last feature worked very poorly for me in my test runs as the
links that were provided had little relevance to my search.) In addition to
the Encyclopedia, the site offers a directory of web links organized under
15 topics. Each topic gives access to hierarchical subdirectories as well
as news stories from leading magazines.
Grammar and Style Theme Page
- This CLN Theme Page has links to information about English Grammar and
Style. Students and teachers will find curricular resources (information,
content...) and reference materials (e.g., style books) to help them learn
about this topic. In addition, there are also links to instructional materials
(lesson plans) which will help teachers provide instruction in this theme.
- Searches can be done in either language. With appropriate software, you
can hear the word pronounced. Search results include related words and the
opportunity to explore further.
Treasure Troves of Science
- Extensive on-line encyclopedias of math and science covering the following
subjects: Astronomy, Scientific Biography, Scientific Books, Chemistry, Life,
Math, Music, Physics and Rocketry. Each section is browsable alphabetically
or searchable by keyword. Entries have a concise explanation as well as cross
links which can be quite extensive.
Etymology of First Names
- Find the meaning of hundreds of first names, organized alphabetically.
- The Toolbox contains a search engine with links to genealogical databases
on the Internet.
Quotations by Famous People
- An extensive list of great, clever quotations.
Far Is It?
- This service uses the University of Michigan Geographic Name Server and
a supplementary database of world cities to find the latitude and longitude
of two places, and then calculates the distance between them (as the crow
flies). It also provides a map showing the two places, using the Xerox PARC
- This is a meta-list of about 100 links to site which will perform calculations/estimates
for you. Categories include: Science/Math (e.g., measurement conversions);
Health (e.g., calorie counter); Finance (e.g., compound interest); and Miscellaneous.
[The] Old Farmer's Almanac
- The online version of this classic - North America's oldest continually
Directories: Email Addresses and Telephone Numbers
- This CLN page has links to online "directory pages". These are primarily
searchable databases of email addresses, but you can also find telephone numbers,
area codes, yellow pages, etc.
- Search for words or phrases in up to 11 different quotation databases,
including: Michael Moncur's Collection of Quotations; Cole's Quotables; USENET
fortune file; alt.quotations archives; The Devil's Dictionary; Steven Wright
quotations; Dave Barry Quotations; 20th Century Quotations; and Quotations
- The site to access when you are feeling ambitious about increasing your
- A searchable database.
- More than 11,000 definitions to technology terms and concepts.
- Precise definitions and clear examples written in natural and straightforward
English. Included is an integrated thesaurus within the main body of the dictionary.
Wide Web Acronym and Abbreviation Server
- A searchable database.