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.

Location

Print reference books are no longer a separate collection in the Wahlstrom Library; they are inter-filed within our print collection on the 3rd floor of the library, and can be borrowed like any other print book. Please note that these works are no longer up to date. For more current reference information, please consult our eReference Collection.

Search for print reference books with OneSearch

  • Go to the library's home page to search the OneSearch box.
  • Type your search terms into the search box (example: you can search for 'encyclopedia' to see the print encyclopedias we have) and click 'Search'.
  • Select the 'Books' tab.
  • 'Available in your library' appears under physical items such as print books, print journals, and audio/visual which you can find in the Library.
  • To narrow your search to only physical items in the Library, click 'Available in the library' under 'Availability' on the left side of the screen. Now your search results will show only print books that you can find in the library.
  • To find the location of the book in the library and check its availability, click 'Holdings list' under the item.
  • 'Status: Not Charged' indicated that the book is checked-in. 'Status: Charged' indicates that the book is checked out and shows the date it is due. 'Status: Lost' indicates that the book has been lost.
  • Write down the full call number of the book to locate it on the 3rd floor. Find the shelf on the third floor where it is located.

Browse by subject

  • The print book collection is organized by Library of Congress Classification meaning books on a particular subject are located next to each other on the shelves.
  • Find the location of a subject by looking up its call number range. Find call number range for your subject by going to the Library of Congress Classification Outline page.

Find books on shelves using a call number

  • Write the call number down.
    Write down call number
  • Find the shelf on the 3rd floor where the call number for this books would be located. First look for the one or two letter combination at the beginning of the call number. Then find the shelf which contains the numbers after the letter combination.
    Find the correct shelf
  • Now located the book using the rest of the call number. They are organized alphabetically first, and numerically second.
    Find the correct shelf

Check out your book

  • Take the book you wish to check out to the self-check out machines on the 3rd floor, near the elevators.

    Picture of one of the the two 3rd floor self checkout machines.
    Self Checkout Machine
  • Scan the top barcode on the back of your UB student ID card.
    Back of student ID
  • Follow the prompts and print your receipt.
  • Feel free to ask at the Information Desk if you have any difficulties.
  • Learn about borrowing periods, renewal, and late fees.

Our eReference collection consists of eBooks - some are single eBooks, some are collections of eBooks gathered into databases - and some are databases which, while not in 'book' form, contain basic facts. All of these sources can be read online anytime.

The best place to start 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.

Search eBook Databases

  • Go to the Databases page.
  • Type "ebook" in the search box at the top of the database list.
  • Choose and ebook database to search.
  • You can use search terms like 'encyclopedia' in order to specify the type of reference ebook you would like to find.

Our Databases that Include Reference Information

Databases that contain basic information and facts (these databases may also contain other types of information, such as articles, but do have some reference materials in them):

NameCategoriesVideo Tutorial
WGSNDesign Management, Fashion, Graphic Design, ReferenceVideo Tutorial
UpToDateBiomedical Engineering, eBooks, Health Sciences, hs-mono, Naturopathic Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Physician Assistant, ReferenceVideo Tutorial
Referencia Latina*International Studies, ReferenceVideo Tutorial
R2 Digital LibraryChiropractic, eBooks, Exercise, Health Sciences, Nursing, Physician Assistant, ReferenceVideo Tutorial
Ovid BookseBooks, Nursing, ReferenceVideo Tutorial
Opposing Viewpoints In ContextEast Asia, ESL, News, Reference, Social IssuesVideo Tutorial
Open LibraryeBooks, Literature, Reference
Natural MedicinesAcupuncture, Botanical Medicine, Chinese Medicine, Chiropractic, eBooks, Health Sciences, hs-mono, Naturopathic Medicine, Nursing, Nutrition, Physician Assistant, ReferenceVideo Tutorial
Material Connexion Materials DatabaseDesign Management, Fashion, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Interior Design, Reference
MasterFILE Premier*Audio Visual, Reference
mainFile*Reference
Library, Information Science & Technology AbstractsGrey Literature, Knowledge Management, Reference
Nexis Uni (formerly Lexis-Nexis)Accounting, Business, Business English, Communication, Criminal Justice, East Asia, Education, Global Development, Health Sciences, Human Resources, Industrial Relations, International Business, International Studies, Law, Management, Marketing, News, Reference, Technology ManagementVideo Tutorial
Legal Information Reference Center*Business, Business English, Criminal Justice, eBooks, Human Resources, Industrial Relations, International Business, Law, Management, Marketing, Reference, Technology ManagementVideo Tutorial
Business Market Research Collection*Business, Business English, Industrial Relations, International Business, Knowledge Management, Management, Marketing, Reference, Technology Management
History Reference Center*Audio Visual, History, Political Science, ReferenceVideo Tutorial
HerbMedProAcupuncture, Botanical Medicine, Chinese Medicine, eBooks, hs-mono, Naturopathic Medicine, Physician Assistant, ReferenceVideo Tutorial
Hathi Trust Digital LibraryeBooks, Reference
FAITS – Faulkner Advisory for IT StudiesBiomedical Engineering, Business, Business English, Computer Science, Engineering, Grey Literature, Industrial Relations, International Business, Knowledge Management, Management, Marketing, Reference, Technology Management
Ebook Central (formerly ebrary)Creative Writing, eBooks, Education, Literature, ReferenceVideo Tutorial
eBook CollectionCreative Writing, eBooks, Literature, Reference
Directory of Open Access BooksCommunication, eBooks, Literature, ReferenceVideo Tutorial
Dentistry & Oral Sciences SourceDental Hygiene, ReferenceVideo Tutorial
Credo eReference CollectionReference
Communication & Mass Media CompleteCommunication, Reference
The Cochrane LibraryAcupuncture, Biomedical Engineering, Botanical Medicine, Chinese Medicine, Chiropractic, Dental Hygiene, Exercise, Grey Literature, Health Sciences, Naturopathic Medicine, Nursing, Nutrition, Pharmacy, Physician Assistant, ReferenceVideo Tutorial
Biography Reference Center*Creative Writing, Literature, ReferenceVideo Tutorial
Biography Reference Bank*Creative Writing, Literature, ReferenceVideo Tutorial
Access MedicineAcupuncture, Audio Visual, Biomedical Engineering, Botanical Medicine, Chinese Medicine, Chiropractic, Dental Hygiene, eBooks, Exercise, Health Sciences, hs-mono, Medical Laboratory Science, Naturopathic Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Physician Assistant, ReferenceVideo Tutorial
ABI/INFORM*Accounting, Audio Visual, Business, Business English, Communication, Criminal Justice, Design Management, East Asia, Fashion, Global Development, Health Sciences, Human Resources, Industrial Relations, International Business, International Studies, Knowledge Management, Law, Management, Marketing, News, Political Science, Reference, Technology ManagementVideo Tutorial
NameCategoriesVideo Tutorial