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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: Letters About Literature Winners
    on July 2, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    Letters About Literature, a Library of Congress national writing competition, has announced its winners for 2019. The national program asks students in grades 4 to 12 to write to an author about how his or her work affected their lives. More than 29,000 students from across the country participated in this year’s initiative. Click here for more information. […]

  • National Book Festival: Full Author Lineup
    on June 25, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    The 2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival will offer an outstanding lineup of authors for readers of all ages for the festival’s 19th year, with more than 140 nationally recognized authors, poets and illustrators, as well as the addition of stages devoted to science and international subjects. On Saturday, Aug. 31, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, doors will open at 8:30 a.m., with programs beginning at 9 a.m. and running until 8 p.m. The stellar lineup includes […]

  • Latest News: Joy Harjo Named Poet Laureate
    on June 19, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today announced the appointment of Joy Harjo as the nation’s 23rd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2019-2020. Harjo will take up her duties in the fall, opening the Library’s annual literary season on Sept. 19 with a reading of her work in the Coolidge Auditorium. Click here for more information. […]

  • Latest News: New Director of Special Collections
    on June 14, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    Michelle Light, formerly director of Special Collections and Archives at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, has been named director of the Library of Congress Special Collections Directorate. Click here for more information. […]

  • Latest News: Jane Sánchez Named to Senior Post
    on June 10, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today announced that Jane Sánchez, the law librarian of Congress, has been named the deputy librarian for Library Collections and Services, effective June 10. Click here for more information. […]