Comments or Suggestions Library Databases : 02 Reference
Use these online reference sources to find background information on your topic. These sources include encyclopedias, dictionaries, directories, and more. General works are listed first, followed by works on specific subjects, grouped by Library of Congress Classification.

Top Resources

Oxford Reference Online (ORO) consists of more than 175 full-text Oxford Reference titles and provides wide coverage of topics in the arts and sciences. This collection includes language and subject dictionaries, thesauri, companions and encyclopedias.
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words— past and present—from across the English-speaking world.
A collection of reference material including encyclopedias and dictionaries that cover a wide range of subject areas in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Business, Education, and Sciences.
Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) is a collection of subject-specific encyclopedias, ranging in topics from global warming to urban studies.
Canadian Reference Centre contains international and Canadian magazines, newspapers and newswires, reference books, and company information. It provides full-text coverage of over 150 Canadian periodicals and over 400 international periodicals, containing over 30 Canadian and international newspapers including the Toronto Star and the Canadian Press.
The premiere encyclopedia for general Canadian topics, CE provides keyword and advanced searches, offers hyperlinks to names and subjects within entries, and includes pathfinders under certain subjects. In addition, one can select related articles from Maclean's magazine here. Also search the Historica Foundation from this site to view Heritage Minutes films and related items of interest.
Short reviews of books and academic web sites. This database includes reviews since September 1988.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) is a continuously updated Open Access online encyclopedia containing thousands of entries on the lives and works of philosophers.
This online encyclopedia contains the complete and unedited contents of the 12-volume Jewish Encyclopedia, which was originally published between 1901 and 1906. Subjects are often treated in greater depth here than in later scholarship, and the work is particularly noteworthy for its extensive biographical content. includes over 15,000 articles and illustrations.
An online edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia, originally published in 15 volumes in 1913. Despite being somewhat out-of-date, "the set continues to be useful ... for many questions on subjects of medieval literature, history, philosophy, art, etc., as well as for questions of Catholic doctrine, history, [and] biography." -- A.L.A. Guide to Reference Books
This site is based on the former Canadian Mennonite Encyclopedia Online from the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada, a projected conversion of the print publicationThe Mennonite Encyclopedia, in 4 vols. with Supplement (1955-59, 1990). With the participation of two new partners -- the Mennonite Brethren Historical Commission and the Mennonite Church USA Historical Committee -- the scope of the project is expanding to include new content from North America and around the world.
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The Encyclopaedia Iranica is a multi-disciplinary reference work and research tool designed to record the facts of Iranian history and civilization. It focuses on the land, life, culture and history of all Iranian peoples and their interaction with other societies.
The New Pauly Online is a dual-language (English and German) reference database, that includes all the volumes of Brill's Der Neue Pauly. This encyclopedia is a standard work for the study of the ancient world, and is interdisciplinary in nature.
An online version, in progress, of the five-volume Encyclopedia of Ukraine (University of Toronto Press, 1984-93).
The Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online documents persons who died between the years 1000 and 1930 (covering volumes I-XV of the ongoing print version) or whose last known date of activity falls within these years. The biographies are fully searchable by keyword; volumes 2, 4-8, and 11-15 are accessible by identity/profession, and volumes 2, 5-8, and 11-15 are accessible by geographic region.
This site includes digitizations of every edition of The Atlas of Canada, starting in 1906 and continuing through an ongoing revision of the latest edition, known since 1974 as The National Atlas of Canada.
The Historical Atlas of Canada was published in English and French versions, and was a three-volume collaborative publishing project, finished in 1993. In 1998, the Concise Historical Atlas of Canada was published, a selection of plates from the original volumes, with new essays connecting them. Both of these atlases are available in the University of Winnipeg Library in print as well.
Listings of reviews in anthropology.
The Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence provides chronological indexes, case studies, analytical contributions on socio-political violence in a given country, a glossary of the terms most often used in genocide studies, as well as theoretical papers written by the most representative authors in the field.
The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd edition, was published in 2008. While some classic articles from the 1987 edition were retained, around 80% of the text was either entirely new or substantially rewritten to reflect the depth of change within the discipline between the editions. This new edition retains the inspiring tradition of bringing together the world's most influential economists writing in their own voice on their areas of expertise. The online version contains the full text of the eight print volumes, in addition to a dynamic and regularly updated resource.

Access to this resource is no longer available. For other reference works on similar topics see: Oxford Reference Online, Oxford Handbooks Online, Gale Virtual Reference Library, and Sage Knowledge.
The CICA Handbook contains guidelines and recommendations on general accounting, specific and specialized accounting, as well as not-for-profit accounting
The Statesman's Yearbook provides current and concise information on global affairs, with coverage of government, history, and social policy for more than 190 nations.
Access to this resource is no longer available. For other reference works on similar topics see: Oxford Reference Online, Oxford Handbooks Online, Gale Virtual Reference Library, and Sage Knowledge.
The PARLINE database (a derivative of parliaments on-Line) has been developed by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and is regularly updated on the basis of official information provided by national Parliaments. For all countries where a national legislature exists, the database provides: general information on each of the parliament's chambers; description of the electoral system; results of the most recent elections; archive of past elections results; information on the presidency of each chamber; information on the mandate and status of members of parliament.
Topics that can be found in this encyclopedia include: human learning and development, motivation, measurement and statistics, and curriculum and teaching. More specifically, topics cover such studies as: aggression, the relationship between poverty and achievement in schools, lifelong learning, quantitative methods, and emerging adulthood. The following are some of the major categories: classroom management; ethnicity, race, and culture; families; intelligence and intellectual development; learning and memory; and peers and peer influences. These represent only a few examples of the contributions within this work.
This online edition of The Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, 2nd edition (1992), is currently undergoing a revision process "projected to last until 2005 or longer." Its content can also be searched in conjunction with that of The Canadian Encyclopedia by going to the latter's advanced search screen.
An online edition, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, 15th edition (2005), this encyclopedic reference work catalogues all of the world's 6,900 known living languages.
The online edition, still in progress, of the Encyclopedie of Diderot and d'Alembert, 1st ed. (1751-72).
Counting on the prestige of its brand, the Encyclopedie Universelle Larousse Online edition provides, among other items, 7,000 historical events and 11,000 images freely accessible.
Le Petit Robert is an authoritative French dictionary that contains all content found in the print work of the same name, as well as additional content.
A consolidation of several historic French dictionary-encyclopaedias.
The Dictionary of Old English Corpus is the textual databank for the ongoing Dictionary of Old English, currently completed to the letter F [U of W microfiche PE 279 D53]. Covering the period 600-1150 A.D., the DOE complements the Middle English Dictionary (for 1100-1500 A.D.) and the Oxford English Dictionary.
A master index to biographical and critical essays on over 165,000 authors that appear in over 130 print literary series published by the Gale Group. The library subscribes to a number of these titles.
This database presents biographical and publication information for more than 470 women who lived in Canada or wrote about Canada, and authored an English-language book or pamphlet of fiction or poetry that was published before 1940.
Biographies and bibliographies of over 1,000 Quebecois authors.
An electronic edition of Bibliography of Theatre History in Canada: The Beginnings Through 1984 and its supplements, published by ECW Press.
World of Science contains budding encyclopedias of astronomy, chemistry, physics, and scientific biography. This resource has been assembled over more than a decade by Internet encyclopedist Eric W. Weisstein with assistance from the Internet community.

Mathworld is an expanded version of the print publication The CRC Concise Encyclopedia of Mathematics. The website is continuously updated to include new material and incorporate new discoveries.

Understanding and management of the water natural system is essential for life. There are increasing pressures on the availability and exploitation of fresh water resources through population increase, pollution and degradation of resources, and variations in distribution from regional and global change in the climate. The Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences is the definitive research-level treatment of these important fields. Written and edited by global authorities in the field and comprising approximately 200 substantial articles, the Encyclopedia provides detailed, expert coverage of the subject. Organized into 17 themed parts for the reader's convenience, it offers scientifically rigorous information on all key aspects of the subject, from sub-catchment to the global scale.
The International Plant Names Index (IPNI) is a database of the names and associated basic bibliographical details of seed plants, ferns and fern allies.
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A comprehensive and very intelligibly written health encyclopedia, with a medical atlas.
Book Review Index is a comprehensive source for finding book reviews from scholarly, professional and popular publications.
Index Translationum is a free online international bibliography of book translations. This resource contains more than 1,900,000 entries covering titles published in all disciplines such as biology, art, history, and politics.
UlrichsWeb is an online edition of Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory (Ref Z 6941 U5, held at Reference Desk). Ulrichs is one of the most authoritative sources available for obtaining publication data for serials and for determining whether they are online.

Other Resources (in alphabetical order)

The CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics is an accurate, reliable, and current resource for chemical and physical data.

As of April 30, 2016 access to this resource will no longer be available. For alternate resources please see the Print Copies; the latest printed publication will be added to the Reference Collection soon.
A comprehensive reference source on the theory, techniques, and applications of the various forensic sciences.
Le Grand & Collins is a bilingual (French and English) online dictionary.
International Encyclopedia of the First World War is an English-language virtual reference work on the First World War.
Free Resource
The Labour Studies Index offers 6534 citations of journal articles, books, book chapters, theses, and other literature
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Macaulay Library is a digital archive accessible to the public. The Library contains the largest collection of animal sounds as well as a video library of animal behavior.

Free Resource
OBO is an innovative resource designed to help students and scholars find reliable sources, and offers guidance to relevant introductory materials. It provides an introduction to the specialized literature on major and minor topics in different subject areas, and directs the user to the right chapter, book, website, archive, or data set they need for their research.