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Links to Reference Works
For quick access to each section, click its title in the following table.
|Dictionaries and Thesauri||Encyclopedias||Almanacs|
|Quotations||Atlases and Maps||Reference Links - Mother Lode|
|Citation Formats||Automatic Translation sites|
As of this writing (January 27, 2005), this link accesses the complete Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, Eleventh Edition.
If you are looking for an online dictionary for younger students, look no further. Take time to explore this site. You'll find a treasure trove of word games and tools in addition to the dictionary.
The dictionary is one of a fine collection of reference works at Bartleby.com.
While not giving access to the complete Oxford English Dictionary (that requires a $30 per month or $295 per year registration), this site displays a different word from the OED each day. Viewing it will give you a taste of the magnificence that is the OED. Who knows, maybe it will inspire you to seek out the complete dictionary in your library's reference room.
This site is a portal to online dictionaries, thesauri, grammars, etc. for a variety of human languages. For dictionaries, just click on the language of your choice to see what is available. Scroll to the bottom of the home page for access to other language aids. If it is a language resource and you can't get to it from here, it is probably unavailable online.
This site is much more than "just a dictionary". In addition to an online standard dictionary and thesaurus, it provides computing, medical, legal and financial dictionaries; dictionaries of acronyms and idiom; and access to the Columbia and Wikipedia encyclopedias. Prepare to browse.
If you are looking for activities to give your students practice with dictionaries and words, see
In addition to access to the complete encyclopedia, this site features current news, useful links on a multitude of topics and much, much more.
Funk and Wagnalls
This site was actually a reference suite built around the Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia. It also provided access to the Random House Webster's College Dictionary, the Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, a world atlas, an animal encyclopedia and more. Full access to the site and its articles required a free registration, but sometime in 2001 it joined the statistics of dot.com failures.
This is a link to the concise, free version. The complete deluxe version is available for a free trial period, then for a fee.
Mark Twain is often credited with saying, "A lie can make it halfway around the world before the truth gets its boots on." In our mass-mediated age, that would have to become around the world several times. Given our oft-demonstrated inability to identify such lies, works such as Randi's Encyclopedia are must reads for those of us hoping to stay grounded in reality.
This is the web site that accompanies Henry Louis Gates' PBS television documentary.
A free, user-written Internet encyclopedia, Wikipedia is widely used and quite controversial. Here are some links to help you explore the controversy.
Wikipedia: See 'Information,' 'Amazing,' 'Anarchy'
A false Wikipedia 'biography' By John Seigenthaler
A response to Seigenthaler's story
Two interesting pieces from the Boston Globe
The Wiki Effect by Matthew Battles
A free, but fair, Web
The Faith-Based Encyclopedia by Robert McHenry (former Editor-in-Chief, Encyclopedia Britannica)
Wikipedia, Open Source and the Future of the Web - Talk of the Nation 11-2-05
This site gives you access to the 1919, tenth edition.
This site must be seen and experienced to be believed. Try it, you'll like it.
Here you'll find facts and maps for all the nations of the earth.
See the world in new and unusual ways. If you want to see the book based on this site, it is titled The Atlas of the Real World.
This is the finest collection of statistics on the 20th century that I've found.
Here you'll find a fascinating collection of information about the nations of the world.
Refdesk.com is the "Mother Lode" of links to reference materials on the web. If you are unable to find it here, it probably does not exist online.
The first two sites listed below allow you to enter text, then to specify the languages from which and to which you want it translated. Beware though, complicated phrases may not come out quite as you'd expect. Here is an interesting experiment. Type in an English phrase, then use the site to translate it to a language of your choice. Take the result and translate it back to English. Chances are that you won't end up with your original phrase. I think you'll find that automatic translation still has a ways to go.
Alta Vista Connections: Translations with Systran
Google Language Tools
The following links are for those who want to know how to properly cite information found in reference works like those above.
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original web posting: Wednesday, November 10, 1999
last modified: Monday, July 20, 2009