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Reference Materials

Here are a number of links to Internet sites which contain information and/or other links related to Reference Materials. Please read our disclaimer.

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.

Language Dictionaries and Translators
This site has dictionaries in over 60 foreign languages, with most featuring a translation to and/or from English.

Maps and References
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.).

Martindale's: The Reference Desk
Space doesn't permit us to even begin to list all the reference resources to which this site links.

Pedro's Dictionaries
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.

Pictures Theme Page
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.

[The] 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.

Virtual Reference Desk
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.

[A] 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 dictionaries.

[A] 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
American Sign Language

Ask an Expert
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
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.

Bartlett's Familiar Quotations
A searchable on-line version of this classic reference tool.

Biographical Dictionary
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.

CIA 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.

Creative Quotations
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.

Dave's Math Tables
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.

Dictionary of Occupational Titles Index
An alphabetical index to the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), Revised Fourth Edition.

Direct Search
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, and Infoseek."

Encyclopedia Britannica
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.

English 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.

English-French/French-English Dictionary
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.

Eric's 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.

[The] Etymology of First Names
Find the meaning of hundreds of first names, organized alphabetically.

Geneology Toolbox
The Toolbox contains a search engine with links to genealogical databases on the Internet.

Good Quotations by Famous People
An extensive list of great, clever quotations.

How 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 Map Server.

Measure 4 Measure
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 published periodical.

Online 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.

Quote Search
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 by Women.

Roget's Thesaurus
The site to access when you are feeling ambitious about increasing your vocabulary.

Semantic Rhyming Dictionary
A searchable database.

Tech Encyclopedia
More than 11,000 definitions to technology terms and concepts.

Wordsymth English Dictionary-Thesaurus
Precise definitions and clear examples written in natural and straightforward English. Included is an integrated thesaurus within the main body of the dictionary.

World Wide Web Acronym and Abbreviation Server
A searchable database.

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