Reference Resources

Internet Reference Resources
by Subject

General Art Biography Business
Government Health History Maps
Science Writing Misc

General Resources

  • Merriam-Webster Online
    A searchable index of online dictionaries, thesauri, and similar resources, including multilingual dictionaries.
  • Collins Dictionaries
    This site is built upon ten dictionaries and two thesauri.
  • iTools
    Provides easy access to a variety of basic reference tools, including dictionaries, thesauri, translators, currency converters, etc.
    Contains over 14,000 short articles from the Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
  • KnowPlay?
    Provides one-stop access to a variety of reference information services.
  • Memidex
    A free online dictionary and thesaurus with a simple interface, complete inflections, auto-suggest, adult-filtering, frequent updates, a browsable index, and support for handheld/mobile devices.
  • World Book
    Online version of World Book Encyclopedia.

Art Resource

  • ArtLex Visual Arts Dictionary
    Definitions for more than 3,100 terms used in visual culture, images, pronunciation notes, quotations and cross-references.
  • Union List of Artists' Names
    Search for the standard names of artists, either individuals, or groups involved in the production ofarchitecture or the visual arts of the type collected by museums. Citations of biographical sources are included in some entries.

Biographical Resources

    A searchable dictionary related to the A&E television program Biography,brief bios of over 25,000 famous people are available. The descriptions are brief, but make a good starting place for further research.
  • The Biographical Dictionary
    Biographical information regarding 27,000 notable men and women from ancient times to the present day.
  • The Faces of Science
    Biographical information of African Americans in the sciences. Intended for an academic audience.

Business/Economics Resources

  • Edgar
    Government database of corporate information.
  • Thomas' Register of American Manufacturers
    Registration is required, but free, for searching the database. Search options include products or subject categories by keyword, or by company name. Results include company name, address, phone number, and product categories, as well as product catalogs for some companies.
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook
    Searchable information on various careers, from the federal government's Bureau of Labor Statistics. The full-text of the print version.
  • Cost of Living Comparison
    Can be used to compare the cost of living in hundreds of U.S. and International cities.
  • FX Converter -- 164 Currency Converter
    Search exchange rates among 164 different currencies for any day since January 1, 1990 through the present. The currency converter is updated daily at 8:00 p.m. E.S.T.
  • FRED II: Federal Reserve Economic Data
    Searchable database of historical U.S. economic and financial data, including daily U.S. interest rates, GDP, CPI, PPI, monetary & business indicators, employment, exchange rates, balance of payments, and regional economic data for some states.

Government/Political Resources

  • FirstGov
    Official U.S. Government search engine -- searches 47 million State and Federal pages.
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics Data
    The Consumer Price Index, labor force statistics, compensation and working conditions, etc.
  • Thomas
    U.S. Government-maintained, searchable database of information regarding current and past federal legislation and other Congressional data.
  • FedStats
    Central, searchable site of statistical data collected by various government agencies.
  • InfoNation
    Searchable database of statistical data regarding United Nations member nations.

Health Resources

  • The HIV InSite Knowledge Base
    Comprehensive, on-line textbook of HIV disease from the University of California-San Francisco and San Francisco General Hospital. Includes medical, social, and educational information.
  • Healthfinder
    Searchable database of reliable online health publications, clearinghouses, web sites, etc. maintained by the US Government's Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

Historical Resources

Maps/Geographical Resources

Science Resources

  • Constants and Equations Page
    Contains lists of scientific constants and equations for astronomy, science, and mathematics.
  • EurekAlert!
    An electronic index of research advances in science, medicine, health and technology. Some information is password protected, and some is available only for a fee, but most is free.
  • The Faces of Science
    Biographical information of African Americans in the sciences. Intended for an academic audience.
  • Astronomy

  • The Nine Planets
    An introduction to the solar system.
  • Biology

  • All the Virology on the WWW
    Covers the field of virology. Includes the "Big Book of Viruses" with color pictures and information on virus families.
  • Botany

  • PLANTS Database
    Contains information on approximately 45,000 currently recognized plant taxa, vascular and nonvascular within the US and its territories. Searchable by common name, as well as scientific name, family or genus. Limiting and sorting features are available. Few photos.
  • Chemistry

  • Periodic Table of Elements
    Interactive web site based on the periodic table. Includes information on each element
  • WebElements
    Interactive web site based on the periodic table.  Includes information on each element

Writing Resources


  • Internet Movie Database
    Includes filmographies, plot summaries, character names, ratings, length, awards information and much more on more than 130,000 films.
    An online version of Carl Lingman's Thought Signs . The site includes alchemical glyphs, astrological signs, scientific ideograms, etc.
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