• Reference Materials

    Reference materials such as dictionaries, thesauri, almanacs, encyclopedias, atlases, provide credible information on a variety of topics for a multitude of purposes. Many of these resources are now found online; subscription databases for these sources will have the complete text version plus multimedia sources. Online reference materials from the free web are often concise versions. Below are credible reference materials good to use for research. For the subscription sites, check the Darnell LLC for usernames and passwords.
    Gale Virtual Reference Library
    Reference materials such as encyclopedias for the following subjects: arts, business, education, environment, history, law, medicine, multicultural studies, science, and social studies. Password is required.


    Encyclopedia Britannica Online
    This is the complete on-line encyclopedia, not the concise version. Students can search level-appropriate reference articles, journals, magazines, links to the Web's best sites, multimedia, and curriculum content. Click the logo to the left to access the encyclopedia. Username and password are required.
    Enciclopedia Moderna
    Explore Enciclopedia Moderna, una fuente de conocimiento autorizada y confiable, con miles de articulos sobre un amplio rango de temas.
    Encyclopedia of Life

    Our knowledge of the many life-forms on Earth - of animals, plants, fungi, protists and bacteria - is scattered around the world in books, journals, databases, websites, specimen collections, and in the minds of people everywhere. Imagine what it would mean if this information could be gathered together and made available to everyone – anywhere – at a moment’s notice.

    This dream is becoming a reality through the Encyclopedia of Life.

    EOL is supported by  the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the following institutions:

    • Atlas of Living Australia
    • Biodiversity Heritage Library
    • Chinese Academy of Sciences
    • La Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad (CONABIO)
    • Field Museum of Natural History
    • Harvard University
    • El Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio)
    • Marine Biological Laboratory
    • Missouri Botanical Garden
    • NCB Naturalis -  the Netherlands Centre for Biodiversity
    • New Library of Alexandria
    • Smithsonian Institution
    • South African National Biodiversity Institution (SANBI)

    Use is free, but you must register an account.
    Encyclopedia Mythica
    The award-winning internet encyclopedia of mythology, folklore, and religion, where you will find everything from A-gskw to Zveda Vechanyaya, with plenty in between
    Encyclopedia Smithsonian
    Explore by category or topic all the resources from the Smithsonian museums.


    Confusing Words
    A collection of 3210 words that are troublesome to readers and writers. Words are grouped according to the way they are most often confused or misused.
    Dictionary of Symbolism
    From the University of Michigan, this symbolism dictionary endeavors to provide some possible cultural significances of various symbols, and suggest ways in which those symbols may have been used in context.
    An interactive dictionary tool that color codes parts of speech, meanings, and relationships of words in a web format
    "The coolest dictionary know to hombre." Enter a website URL to make all the words on the site clickable, then click on words you don't know! 8 million translations in 11 different languages.
    Mnemonic Dictionary
    mne·mon·ic /nəˈmänik/
    Noun: A device such as a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations that assists in remembering something.
    Adjective: Aiding or designed to aid the memory.
    Rhyming Dictionary
    Type in a word you need to rhyme, or narrow your search by five types of rhymes.
    Shahi is a visual dictionary that combines Wiktionary content with Flickr images, and more!
    Urban Dictionary
    "The dictionary 
    An online graphical dictionary- look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. Produce diagrams reminiscent of a neural net. Learn how words associate.
    Visual Dictionary Online (Miriam Webster)
    From the image to the word and its definition, the Visual Dictionary Online is an all-in-one reference. Search the themes to quickly locate words, or find the meaning of a word by viewing the image it represents.


    Tip of My Tongue
    An interactive tool to help you find the word that is "right on the tip of my tongue!" Find the word that you have been thinking about all day, but just can't seem to remember.
    Roget's International Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases
    Peter Roget’s classic structure coupled with Mawson’s modernization becomes even more user-friendly on Bartleby.com with 85,000 hyperlinked cross-references—thus fulfilling their goal of “each word being related to its neighbors and each part to the whole.” Additionally, over 2,900 proverbs and quotations from classic and modern authors illustrate the 1,000-plus entries.
    Visual Thesaurus
    An interactive tool that allows you to discover the connections between words in a visually captivating display. Word maps let you search for just the right word and then explore related concepts, revealing the way words and meanings relate to each other.

    Atlas and Maps

    CIA World Factbook
    The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities. Our Reference tab includes: maps of the major world regions, as well as Flags of the World, a Physical Map of the World, a Political Map of the World, and a Standard Time Zones of the World map
    Google Earth
    Get the world’s geographic information at your fingertips Take a virtual journey to any location in the world. Explore 3D buildings, imagery, and terrain. Find cities, places and local businesses. 
    Maps of America are what you'll find and make on nationalatlas.gov™. Maps of innovation and vision that illustrate our changing Nation. Maps that capture and depict the patterns, conditions, and trends of American life. Maps that supplement interesting articles. Maps that tell their own stories. Maps that cover all of the United States or just your area of interest. Maps that are accurate and reliable from more than 20 Federal organizations. Maps about America's people, heritage, and resources. Maps that will help you, your children, your colleagues, and your friends understand the United States and its place in the world.
    National Geographic Map Maker
    An interactive map builder to explore your world with map themes, data, and tools for customizing your map
    A massive central data source and a handy way to graphically compare nations, NationMaster is a vast compilation of data from such sources as the CIA World Factbook, UN, and OECD. Using the form above, you can generate maps and graphs on all kinds of statistics with ease
    Leading provider of premium-quality digital map data and content.
    Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection
    Historical maps from the University of Texas at Austin library
    Rand McNally
    Complete online atlas, it contains more than 1,800+ reference, special topic, and history maps from the world down to your very own community, which can be printed, viewed, and saved. The reference content has been developed exclusively by Rand McNally editors and cartographers to ensure accuracy, and the site is free from advertisements. Username and password required (get from Library Learning Commons).
    United Nations Cartographic Section
    The Map Collection houses over 80,000 maps, some 3,000 atlases, gazetteers, travel guides, cartographic and geographic reference works as well as digital cartographic products. Explore general maps, thematic maps, and mission maps


    American Fact Finder
    A source for for population, housing, economic, and geographic information from the US Census Bureau
    FedStats, which has been available to the public since 1997, provides access to the full range of official statistical information produced by the Federal Government without having to know in advance which Federal agency produces which particular statistic. With convenient searching and linking capabillties to more than 100 agencies that provide data and trend information on such topics as economic and population trends, crime, education, health care, aviation safety, energy use, farm production and more, FedStats is your one location for access to the full breadth of Federal statistical information.
    Information Please Almanac
    Search for data by section or alphabetically
    Old Farmer's Almanac
    "Useful, with a pleasant degree of humor."
    Statistical Abstract
    Published since 1878, this is the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. Use the Abstract as a convenient volume for statistical reference, and as a guide to sources of more information both in print and on the Web.
    Sources of data include the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and many other Federal agencies and private organizations.


    Searchable by quote, people, subject, or emotion
    Quotations Page
    Over 27,000 quotations online from over 3,100 authors, and more are added daily
    Searchable by topic, resources, and user groups

    Searchable alphabetically, by author, by topic, by movie

    Online compendium of sourced quotations from notable sources in many languages


    Know Play
    Search dictionary, rhyming dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, quotations, atlas, fine artists, and acronym all from one page
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