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Electronic References


This page includes a large number of general reference links which are often more up-to-date than those found in printed reference works and directories. They complement and expand the reference sections held in the Library. Look here for quick answers to questions that relate to established data, facts, people, places or similar information. This online electronic reference section has links to information resources grouped as:



General Reference Sources


Handbooks and Guidebooks





Gazetteer and Geography

Time and Date




Almanacs & Facts Books

Fast Facts

Find fast facts on a wide variety of topics.

The World Factbook

Provides information on the history, people and society, government, economy, energy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.

CIA Online Directory

 Lists chiefs of state and cabinet members of foreign governments.


Contains: dictionaries, encyclopedias, quotations, complete fiction and nonfiction books, inaugural speeches, language and style guides, and many other helpful links. Bartleby can be searched or browsed

Information Please Almanac
Find answers to your questions in this wide ranging reference work, which includes an almanac, encyclopedia, and dictionary-- plus lots more. See also their Fact Monster for kids.

The Living Almanac of Disasters
Find out which disasters occurred on a given date, with brief descriptions and some graphics.

Old Farmer's Almanac
One of the first almanacs published in the U.S. is now online.

On This Day
The New York Times provides a look at the front page and news stories about important events from different years. Includes recognition of important birthdays, plus other information related to that day in history. 

Today In History
A feature of the American Memory collections of the Library of Congress. A special historical, primary source feature for each day of the year.

The Writer's Almanac
Web page and resources from Keillor's daily program of poetry and history, heard each day on public radio stations throughout the country. Read and hear the program, including full-text poetry.


Biographical Dictionary
Very brief descriptions of over 18,000 people who have helped shape our earth.

4000 Years of Women in Science Biographies of women in the sciences.  

Biography.com Contains over 25,000 biographies

Celebrities (Mr. ShowBiz)
Find out about famous people here! Articles and pictures on the celebrities we all know and want to know about.

Conversations With History
Distinguished men and women from all over the world talk about their lives and their work.

Classical Composer Biographies
Selected classical composers' lives are documented here.

Distinguished Women of Past and Present
"This site has biographies of women who contributed to our culture in many different ways. There are writers, educators, scientists, heads of state, politicians, civil rights crusaders, artists, entertainers, and others. Some were alive hundreds of years ago and some are living today."

Lives, the Biography Resource
Links to thousands of biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, diaries, letters, narratives, oral histories and more."

Outline of American History Biographies
The biographies included in the hypertext book about American History.

WIC Biography Index
Links to biographical information about various "women of accomlishment". Created by the Women's International Center.

The World Biographical Index Searcher
"This database is based on the 5th edition of the World Biographical Index containing about 2,4 million short biographical entries for eminent individuals who lived in North and South America, Western and Central Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania. This edition is also a compiled index to many biographical archives."


Useful site which allows to view calendar for the present year, as well as past and future years.

Calendar and Date

Interfaith Calendar

Provides detail of sacred days and holidays of different religions including, Islam, Christianity, Jewish, Hinduism, Sikhism etc.

Islamic Calendar

Time and Date

Dictionaries, thesauruses 

See these sub-sections:

General Dictionaries | Specialized Dictionaries  |   Foreign Languages 

  Latin Language | Urdu Dictionaries

General Dictionaries 

Cambridge Dictionaries online ©
Three different Cambridge dictionaries may be searched from this site:  International Dictionary of English, Dictionary of American English, and the Learner's Dictionary.

Dictionaries and Thesauruses
A handy collection of online dictionaries and thesauruses to aid you in your research and writing! Included dictionaries for foreign languages as well! (From the University of Texas at Austin.)

Specialized Dictionaries

A.K.A. (Author Pseudonyms)
Here is where you go to find out the real name of an author who is using an alias (pseudonym). As of 9/26/01 there were 10,982 entries (3,924 'real' + 7,058 'pseudo') listed.

The American Heritage® Book of English Usage
A source of information on "grammar, style, diction, word formation, gender, social groups and scientific forms."

Artlex Dictionary of Visual Terms
Find out about terms and words used in the art world, including "definitions of more than 3,100 terms here, along with numerous illustrations, pronunciation notes, great quotations, and links to other resources on the Web."

Virtual Reference Desk
Here are a few American Sign Language terms to help those of you who are trying to communicate with a person who signs, but does not hear. Also included is the basic alphabet and numbers 1-10.

Connected Thesaurus (Lexical FreeNet)
"Allows you to search for relationships between words, concepts, and people. It is a combination thesaurus, rhyming dictionary, pun generator, and concept navigator." Fun to play with: Includes related word browsing links.

A Dictionary of Units of Measurement
Helpful for converting units of measurement.

Dictionary Links (Specialized-- Human-Languages Page)
Dictionaries dealing with specific subjects and areas of interest are listed and linked here, as well as general dictionaries.

The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (Hypertext Ed)
"This classic work of reference - described as a browser's joy - has been in popular demand since 1870. The Dictionary is extensively cross referenced, lending itself ideally, to the hypertext environment. This First Hypertext Edition is taken from Dr. Brewer's substantially revised and extended edition of 1894."

The Nonverbal Dictionary
defines the meanings of gestures, signs and body language cues. Explains how people communicate with their body movements and expressions. "From Adam's-Apple-Jump to Zygomatic Smile"

OneLook Dictionaries
Searches various specialized dictionaries, and then organizes their results, so that the user can choose the context in which the word is to be defined.

Online Ballet Dictionary
Explains "170 terms from the Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet."

Online Dictionary of the Social Sciences
"This social science dictionary has 1000 entries covering the disciplines of sociology, criminology, political science and women's study with a commitment to Canadian examples and events and names.... a product of Athabasca University and ICAAP." 

The Oxford English Dictionary: Browse
Check on the historical development and uses of a defined word in the English language.

A Web of Online Dictionaries
Hosts an English language dictionary and links to numerous dictionaries for languages of thre world. Scroll down the page to access the many links.

Roget's Thesaurus Search Form
An online, searchable version of Roget's Thesaurus, a recently updated version, which will find synonyms very quickly, and allow you to link to different major sections with ease.

Word-Online General Language Dictionaries
WORD-ONLINE contains links to general language dictionaries that available free in the WWW or the Gopher. In WORD-ONLINE You will find monolingual dictionaries like the Webster's or bilingual like Finnish - English Dictionary or even multilingual dictionaries.

The Wordsmyth English Dictionary-Thesaurus (WEDT)
A full dictionary and a complete thesaurus, integrated into one work; you only need to look up a word once, with hyperlinks to synonyms, and similar or related words available where appropriate.

WWWebster Dictionary
An excellent hypertext, online dictionary, offered by the Merriam-Webster Company, a well known publisher of reference books.

Specialized dictionary on Information Technology, and explains the meaning of words, but also includes concepts and phrases.

Foreign Language Dictionaries

Chinese-English Dictionary
"Provides a searchable interface.... by Chinese (using either the Big5, or GB encodings), pinyin, or English."

Dictionary of Spanish
Translate words to-and-from English and Spanish.

Hmong-English Dictionary
An online dictionary which translates common Hmong words to English. Arranged alphabetically, by the Hmong word. Click on the word, and have it translated to English.

Spanish-English On-line Dictionary
Translate (with definitions provided) from English to Spanish. This is part of Travlang's Translating Dictionaries, which has dictionaries for many languages.

WordReference.com Online German, Spanish, French and Italian Dictionaries
A dictionary publisher provides dictionaries from several of the world's languages. Translates both directions.  

Latin Dictionary Resources

English-Latin Word Search
Search for Latin words and their meanings in this searcher from Project Perseus, which specializes in classical languages and texts.

Latin Dictionary and Grammar Aid
See the "Latin Wordlist and Grammar Aid" section, down near the middle of the page, for help in translating from Latin. 

Latin Phrases Used In English
Phrases in latin, with translations into English, filed alphabetically.

Search for Latin dictionary entries in Latin!
Search for Latin words and their meanings in another searcher from Project Perseus, which specializes in classical languages and texts.

Urdu Dictionaries

www.urduword.com English Urdu Dictionaries

www.urduseek.com   Online English Urdu Dictionary

http://www.ijunoon.net/urdudic/mean.asp Urdu Dictionary 




Roget's thesaurus online

Schools online thesaurus



Encyclopedias, General and Specialized



Columbia Encyclopedia
Contains "nearly 51,000 entries (marshalling six and one-half million words on a vast range of topics), and with more than 80,000 hypertext cross-references."

Encyclopedia Britannica

Explore art, history, science, and other topics with Encyclopedia Britannica's

Funk and Wagnalls
In addition to the encyclopedia, this reference site includes a dictionary, thesaurus, world atlas, animal book, media gallery (with images, speeches, sound bites), and news sections.

Infoplease Encyclopedia and Dictionary
A combined small encyclopedia and dictionary.

L1 Kids Encyclopaedia (Homework Helper)
If the other encyclopedias are over your head, you may want to give this one a try, designed for the younger student.


Specialized Encyclopedias 

Art  | History, Law & Social Science  | Religion & Mythology  |  Science  | Technology


Offers "a comprehensive index of every artist represented at hundreds of museum sites, image archives....have now indexed 700 leading arts sites, and offer more than 24,000 links directly to an estimated 80,000 works by 7,000 different artists." Search  or browse by movement, medium, name of artist, nationality, etc.

Encyclopedia of Graphic Symbols
"Symbols.Com contains more than 2,500 Western signs, arranged into 54 groups according to their graphic characteristics. In 1,600 articles their histories, uses, and meanings are thoroughly discussed. The signs range from ideograms carved in mammoth teeth by Cro-Magnon men, to hobo signs and subway graffiti."

History, Law & Social Science 

Encyclopedia of British History
A wonderful historical encyclopedia created in Great Britain, and made freely available on the Web by Spartacus Publishing Company.

Encyclopedia of the Celts
The goal of this work is to "give the reader access to a fragment of the contents of some of the greater and lesser know works of Celtic Literature; including works of mythology, legend, fiction and history." 

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
"Articles ... are currently from three sources (1)adaptations from public domain sources, (2) adaptations of material written by the editor for classroom purposes, and (3)original contributions by professional philosophers around the Internet." Includes timeline, table of contents, and keyword searching.

Legal Encyclopedia
Nolo Press offers this collection of articles on a wide variety of legal topics. "Plain-English articles on the legal topics that affect you most."

Religion & Mythology


The detailed information about Islam involving all sects.

Catholic Encyclopedia
An encyclopedia related to matters involving the Catholic religion. This is a broad area, with much historical and biographical information about many, many related things.

Encyclopedia Mythica
An on-line encyclopedia about mythology, folklore, legends, and more...


The PLANTS Database
Encyclopedic in scope, includes names, checklists, automated tools, identification information, species abstracts, distributional data, crop information, plant symbols, plant growth data, plant materials information, plant links, references, and other plant information.

Technology (Mostly Computer-related)

An online encyclopedia that covers technology and all things related to computer technology and the Web. Very thorough and complete, with links back and forth between many concepts and topics.

Acronym Search - The ultimate acronym tool
When you hear people use strings of letters (acronyms) when referring to something, such as "CIA", do you wonder what they stand for? This page tells you some of the possible meanings.

Asia Reference
Explains terms used with the study of Asia. "Features a growing general glossary of terms covering Economics, Business, Politics, Arts, and Religion... currently lists more than a thousand terms with a particular strength in the Arts and Religion."

Financial Terms Glossary (Yahoo!)
Find out the meaning of terms related to investing, such as stocks, bonds and commodities. At the top of the page, click on the first letter of the term you want explained.

Glossary of Grammatical Terms
Concise chart of common grammar terms, with Latin meanings as well. 

Glossary of Internet Terms
Find out the meaning of words and phrases related to the Internet. Provided by Matisse Enzer, Internet expert. 

Hypertextual Finance Glossary
"Over 6,000 Entries, More than 16,000 Hyperlinks, The largest financial glossary on the Internet. Developed as a result of teaching Global Financial Management at both Duke University and the University of Chicago."

Sports Glossaries
Use glossaries to four popular sports: soccer, ice hocky, football and basketball. Simply click on a name of the sport for definitions of terms and phrases.

Twists, Slugs and Roscoes: A Glossary of Hardboiled Slang
Explains the slang used in hard-boiled detective novels and films.

The World Wide Web Acronym and Abbreviation Server
This is a list of (mostly) acronyms (abbreviations constructed from the first letters of the words of a phrase), not a dictionary or encyclopedia. For example, if you want to know that ALANON stands for, you can find out by searching here.

Handbooks and Guidebooks

All Music Guide
Explains the different styles of popular music, from bluegrass and country to gospel and rock. Includes essays and background information on the styles, performers and other aspects of popular music. Includes a glossary, discographies, and "music maps" which trace the development of various styles, with a nice "decades" listing section.

American & English Poetry: 1250-1920
This superb poetry site (at Bartleby.Com) contains five separate collections of poetry: 1)The Oxford Book of English Verse; 2) Yale Book of American Verse; 3) Modern British Poetry; Modern American Poetry; 4) Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the 17th C.; and 5) The Golden Treasury. The collections may be searched by keyword, and browsed via: Indexes to Poems: Chronologic, Author, Title, First Line. 
American Verse Project- Texts
The American Verse Project is a collaborative project between the University of Michigan Humanities Text Initiative (HTI) and the University of Michigan Press, is assembling an electronic archive of volumes of American verse prior to 1920.

The Aria Database
"Information about opera and operatic arias. Besides providing basic information about each aria, the Database includes translations for many arias and aria texts for those that are not affected by copyright restrictions."

AwardWeb: Collections of Literary Award Information
Lists of science fiction literary award winners. "The emphasis is science fiction awards, but you'll find other literary awards as well."

"A site dedicated to reading, which offers fiction reading lists, book reviews, forthcoming titles, author information and much more."

The CIA World Factbook
Wide variety of information about countries of the world, including maps, prepared by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

CNN Travel Guide
Maps, city guides, travel directions and much more travel information is offered here by CNN.

Cagle's Professional Cartoonists Index
A very large, well-organized and indexed collection of editorial cartoons. 

Calendar Conversions
There are many different calendars in use. This converter converts one into another.

Chiefs of State and Cabinet Members of Foreign Governments
If you want to know who the top government officials are in any country of the world, please look at this page. It is offered by the CIA!

Cliché Finder
Looking for a "well worn phrase"? "Over 3,300 clichés indexed!"

Ethnologue: Languages of the World
Find information about the 6,800 main languages plus 41,000 alternate names and dialects languages by the many peoples of the world, organized by maps and charts, with descriptions and other helpful data.

Free E-Mail Providers Guide
This seevice "allows you to quickly search our extensive listings of over 1400 free email providers in more than 85 countries to easily find the Free Email Provider that has all of the features you want and is perfect for you."

A Glossary of Literary Terms and A Handbook of Rhetorical Devices
"This book contains definitions and examples of more than sixty traditional rhetorical devices, all of which can still be useful today to improve the effectiveness, clarity, and enjoyment of your writing."

The Greatest Films
Offers  interpretive, descriptive review commentary and historical background, a wealth of film reference material (including a complete Academy Awards History and Film History - by decade), and hundreds of colorful, vintage film poster reproductions for some of the best Hollywood and American classic films in the last century.

How Stuff Works
Explains in detail what makes a wide variety of things function, from air conditioners to jake brakes to tattoos.

The Internet Movie Database
Find out about the different movies, actors, directors and other interesting background on films. Huge! See their Oscar Awards section! 

The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy (17th ed.)
The Merck Manual - Home Edition
Two highly used and acclaimed sources of medical information are available. Use each according to your information needs.

Periodic Table of the Elements
Find information about the elelemnts that make up our physical world. Very basic and simple.

The PLANTS Database
Includes names, checklists, automated tools, identification information, species abstracts, distributional data, crop information, plant symbols, plant growth data, plant materials information, plant links, references, and other plant information.

Representative Poetry Online
Excellent collection of the great poets of the English language, courtesy of Ian Lancashire. Poetry has been selected with editorial comments by members of the Department of English at the University of Toronto from 1912 to 1996. Included is an extensive collection of criticism, both in verse and prose forms. The works are indexed by poet, title, date, keyword and first line. 

Robert's Rules of Order Revised
The copyright on the original 1915 version has expired. However, the modifications and enhancements to this work are Copyright © 1996 Constitution Society.

Telephone Directories
An index of online phone books, with links to Yellow Pages, White Pages, Business Directories, Email Addresses and Fax Listings from over 150  countries all around the world.

Toll Free: The Internet 800 Directory
Search this database for toll-free phone numbers according to the subject or service that you are interested in. Allows you to narrow down to a single state.

World Flag Database
In addition to flags, "There are over 260 pages on countries and international organizations. Each page contains basic information on the country, including its formal name, capital city, area, population, currency, languages, and religions."

Gazetteers  and geography

Altapedia Online
"Contains full color physical and political maps as well as key facts and statistics on countries of the world."

Atlas Maps - The National Atlas of the United States of America
The National Atlas of the United StatesTM is intended to provide a comprehensive, map-like view into the enormous wealth of data collected by the Federal Government. 

Historical Map Web Sites
Collection of links to maps of places in earlier times. Provided by The Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection.

How far is it?
"Finds the latitude and longitude of two places, and then calculates the distance between them (as the crow flies). It also provides a map showing the two places."

HRW World Atlas

A comprehensive world atlas provide information about the different countries of world

LookSmart - Interactive Maps
Collection of maps that allow the viewer to specify travel or destination information desired, and then get a map and information back.

Map Collection at Perry-Castaneda
Many maps from countries around the world are available here, at this excellent online map collection. Maps are organized by continent, and then by country. World maps are also available, and this one is very detailed and expandable.

Map Machine (National Geographic)
Some maps from the world famous National Geographic organization.

U.S. Geological Survey
Geographical information for the United States is offered here. See and browse their new section: USGS Information by State for information on Earthquakes, Floods, Maps, Public Health, Volcanoes and other similar/related topics.

There are many types of gazetteers, and a number of the various types are linked below. Take a look at them!

U.S. Gazetteer
Find geographic facts about places in the U.S.

The World Gazetteer
Offers current population figures for cities, towns and places of all countries.

Other Typical Gazetteers
Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names(Research at the Getty)

The Global Gazetteer: 4 million places on file

World Gazetteer: population figures for cities, towns and places

Bill Thayer's Gazetteer of Europe


Astronomical Gazetteers
The Galactic Gazetteer

Planetary Nomenclature Introduction


Historical Gazetteers
A Roman Gazetteer
Gazetteer to Locations in The Political Graveyard


Mythology Gazetteers
A Gazetteer of Arthurian Sites

The Gazetteer of Mysterious Britain

Fantasy Gazetteers
The Mystara Gazetteer

Geography Learning Resources
National Mapping Program Teaching Packets


Conversations With History
Choose your own quotations from these interviews and conversations with famous people of our times.

Quotations for Creative Thinking

Search 50,000 quotations from more than 3,000 famous people. Creative Quotations is a great resource for students, teachers and quote lovers.

Quotations About Libraries and Librarians
A subject guide to topical quotations about libraries and librarians.


The Quotations Page

Welcome to the web's most comprehensive site for famous quotes, since 1994. We have over 27,000 quotations online from over 3,100 authors, and more are added daily.

Quotations on many topics, by many authors, and in many possible fashions.

Speeches Quotes
Search for the texts of many famous speeches and addresses. Find quotations too.

WebElements Periodic Table
The Preiodic Tabel of the Elements includes basic information about the chemical elements of the scientic world.


A source for ever lasting words


World Population Dashboard
"...contains the latest population estimates, projections, and other key indicators for 200 countries, including births, deaths, natural increase, infant mortality, total fertility, life expectancy, urban population, HIV/AIDS prevalence, contraceptive use, GNI PPP per capita, land area, and population per square mile.

"A growing collection of over 40,000 adherent statistics and religious geography citations -- references to published membership/adherent statistics and congregation statistics for over 4,200 religions, churches, denominations, religious bodies, faith groups, tribes, cultures, movements, ultimate concerns, etc." 

Encyclopedia of ED Stats
"Brings together data from several NCES sources including: The Condition of Education (click here for 2001 edition), The Digest of Education Statistics, and Projections of Education Statistics... find information by searching documents through their table of contents."

Offers a "full range of official statistical information available to the public from the Federal Government; track economic and population trends, health care costs, aviation safety, foreign trade, energy use, farm production, and more; collected and published by more than 70 Federal agencies." Or, go directly to their: Statistical Reference Shelf: Published collections of statistics available online including the Statistical Abstract of the United States. 

This is "an easy-to-use, two-step database that allows you to view and compare the most up-to-date statistical data for the Member States of the United Nations.... Statistics and indicators are provided by the United Nations Statistics Division from the World Statistics Pocketbook, Statistical Yearbook and Demographic Yearbook 1995, except languages." 

Statistical Resources on the Web
A statistics "gateway" site that organizes the most useful Web sites according to the type of statistics offered there. Compiled by the University of Michigan Library.

Statistics Every Writer Should Know
Check this place out so that you will be able to tell if someone is "lying with statistics."

General References & Collections

Educator's Reference Desk 

you can access AskERIC's 2,000+ lesson plans, 3,000+ links to online education information, and 200+ question archive responses. 

Fast Facts: Almanacs/Factbooks/Statistical Reports & Related ....
A huge collection on non-annotated links to ready reference sources online.

Federal Agencies & Commissions
Various government agencies, listed alphabetically.

Find Articles.Com
This is a free database of magazine and news articles.

Finding Data On The Internet
How to find basic references and information to back up your research. Designed for reporters, but useful to many others seeking information on a wide range of subjects.

Guinness World Records

A source contains information about the records in every field.

HyperHistory Online
"HyperHistory presents 3,000 years of world history with a combination of colorful graphics, lifelines, timelines, and maps."

Pinchbeck - Reference Section
From the famous student's Homework Helper website. Collection of links to ready reference works.

Power Reporting: Resources and Training for Journalists
"Here are thousands of free research resources for journalists, annotated and updated daily: Find people and companies; Check facts; Find data for your beat; Try new search tools; Subscribe to news alerts; Plan newsroom training."

Reference. Bartleby.com
A number of high quality reference books are available here includes "contemporary and classic reference works."

Refdesk.com - Quick Reference / Research
Collection of links to ready reference works. Check out their main page too!

The Totally Trivia Search Engine (AbsoluteTrivia.com)
The title says it all!

A large, searchable collection of high quality reference sources which "contains encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri, books of quotations and reference works covering a wide range of subjects."



Lahore Weather

Lahore, Pakistan Forecast

BBC Weather
BBC weather information and five day forecasts for regions in the UK and worldwide

Weather Forecast
World wide weather forecasts from Yahoo

Met Office of Pakistan
Includes all sorts of weather and climate information in Pakistan

World Climate
Worldwide average temperatures and other weather information for each month of the year. Search by city or town

World Clock

Provides a comprehensive listing of time zones around the World.


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