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Note: Your favorite library probably has access to Ex Libris Primo or a similar system.



General Reference, Foundations


Portal, Dictionary, Thesaurus, Glossary, Encyclopedia, Introduction, Outline, Search


Locating Fair and Balanced Sources (Internet Public Library)

These are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma. More…



Library of Congress Research and Reference Services
Library of Congress Reference Shelf
Library of Congress Alcove 9: An Annotated List of Reference Websites

Refdesk Reference Shelves on the Net
Refdesk Essential Reference Tools
Refdesk Quick Reference
Refdesk Indispensable Links

Wolfram Alpha

Project Gutenberg

Wikipedia’s Reference Desk
Wikipedia’s Reference Works Category
Wikipedia’s General Reference Portal


reference : something (as a sign or indication) that refers a reader or consulter to another source of information (as a book or passage) — Webster See also OneLook, Free Dictionary, Wiktionary


Roget’s II (, Merriam-Webster Thesaurus, Visuwords


Reference work A reference work is a compendium of information, usually of a specific type, compiled in a book for ease of reference.Reference work. — Wikipedia

Ready reference are reference materials used in answering reference questions that can be answered by a reference librarian in one or two minutes by providing a fact or piece of information found in a single source shelved for convenience in a separate location near the reference desk rather than in the reference stacks Reference work. — Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science



WorldCat, Library of Congress, UPenn Online Books, Open Library



Great Sites for Kids (ALA)


OER Commons: Open Educational Resources


Reference Librarian (US Occupational Outlook Handbook)


General Reference Works (David Nordloh, American Literary Scholarship)
Google Scholar




Library of Congress Research and Reference Services
Library of Congress Reference Shelf
Library of Congress Alcove 9: An Annotated List of Reference Websites




Reference Librarianship in Star Wars
Jedi Master ‘Madame’ Jocasta Nu



Latest News - Recent Updates Latest News - Recent Updates

  • Latest News: New Crime Classics Book Series
    on September 18, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Classic American crime novels will see new life in a new publishing collaboration between the Library of Congress and Poisoned Pen Press, an imprint of Sourcebooks. The Library of Congress Crime Classics series will feature a rich and diverse selection of books originally published between the 1860s and the 1960s, the Library announced today. Titles are drawn from the Library’s collection of hard-to-find and out-of-print books, with cover designs inspired by images from the […]

  • New Website Allows Deep Dives into Constitution
    on September 17, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    In celebration of Constitution Day, the Library of Congress is launching a new website – – for the Constitution Annotated, the authoritative source for how the Supreme Court has interpreted the nation’s governing document over the years. With advanced search tools and a modern user-friendly interface, the new website makes the 3,000 pages of the Constitution Annotated fully searchable and accessible for the first time to online audiences – […]

  • Exhibtion on Comic Art Opens Sept. 12
    on September 12, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    A new exhibition at the Library of Congress explores the fascinating evolution of visual storytelling styles in comic art – from panels in early newspapers to contemporary images of some of the most famous and funny characters in print. “Comic Art: 120 Years of Panels and Pages” opens Sept. 12 and will be on view for a year in the Graphic Arts Galleries of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building. The exhibition draws from the Library’s extensive collection of […]

  • Latest News: Teacher Fellows Arrive at Library
    on September 9, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    The Library of Congress kicked off the 2019-20 school year by welcoming two teachers to its Capitol Hill campus who will work closely with the Library’s learning and innovation team to help make primary sources from the Library’s collections more accessible for teachers throughout the United States. Click here for more information.

  • Latest News: Lomax Transcription Effort Announced
    on September 5, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    From hot summer days in Mississippi to windy nights in the Caribbean, the Library of Congress’ latest crowdsourcing campaign, launched today, challenges virtual volunteers to explore folk and music traditions through the eyes and writings of one of America’s most famous 20th century folklorists, musicologists and oral historians: Alan Lomax. The new campaign — “The Man who Recorded the World: On the Road with Alan Lomax” on the Library’s crowdsourcing […]