Reference Sources

Reference works are an excellent source to use to get basic, background facts about a topic. Reference sources include:

  • Almanacs - A book of statistics and specific facts.
  • Atlases - A book of maps and geographical information.
  • Biographies - A compilation of sources of information; provides information about the literature on a specific subject or by a specific author.
  • Biographical Dictionaries - A collection of short entries about the lives of people.
  • Chronologies - A listing of events in the order of the date on which they occurred.
  • Concordances - An alphabetical listing of keywords or phrases found in the work of an author.
  • Dictionaries - Defines words and terms, conforms spelling, definition and pronunciation.
  • Encyclopedias - Written by specialists, these are comprehensive summaries of specific subjects or branches of knowledge.
  • Gazetteers - A dictionary of geographical places.
  • Guidebooks - Provides detailed descriptions of places; includes geographical facts and maps. Intended for travelers.
  • Handbooks - Covers one broad subject briefly.
  • Indexes - Lists citations of: articles, books and proceedings; tells where they can be found.
  • Manuals - A book that tells how to do something or how something works, or which describes the inner workings of an organization.
  • Yearbooks - Covers the trends and events of the previous year. May be general, or can be limited to one subject or geographical area.

When searching OneSearch, if your topic is a basic term, OneSearch may supply a topic introduction at the top of your search results which is an introduction to your topic much like you would find in a specialized encyclopedia.

Another place to find Reference Information is Credo Reference, a collection of more than 800 electronic reference books.

  • Go to the Databases page.
  • Type "credo" in the search box at the top of the database list.
  • Choose the Credo eReference database to search.