The Internet makes it possible to access a wide variety of high-quality reference works that previously were only available in conventional libraries and difficult for the blind or visually impaired teacher or student to access. Below are some of our favorites among these sites.
Encyclopedias and Reference Libraries
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Browsable or searchable, the site provides information to the lives of individual philosophers, their work, philosophic traditions, and more. While flash movies are featured, the site is quite accessible.
Judaism 101 is an online encyclopedia of Judaism, covering Jewish beliefs, people, places, things, language, scripture, holidays, practices and customs. Its goal is to make freely available a wide variety of basic, general information about Judaism, written from a traditional perspective in plain English. Searchable and quite accessible.
An annotated listing of subject-oriented encyclopedias available on the Web. Major headings include medicine, investing, search engines, dictionaries, live news, and more. Much of the site is cluttered with ads and there are aspects of the site that are annoying for the screen-reader user; however, there is enough here to be worth the effort.
The Wise Guide
The Library of Congress introduces "the many fascinating, educational and useful resources available from the nation's library and one of the most popular Web sites of the federal government. The Wise Guide will be refreshed monthly, much like a magazine, offering links to the best of the Library's online materials. Each of these 'articles' is based on items contained in a collection, database, reading room or other area" of the site. Includes an archive.
Provides a browsable and searchable guide to scientific and engineering terms, calculations, and conversions.
The Literary Encyclopedia
Reviewed by an editorial board, this site offers descriptive profiles on thousands of English Language writers, works, and topics. It features an especially sophisticated search engine.
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors and Their Families
This is an on-line encyclopedia on the rulers of the Roman Empire from Augustus (27 BC-AD 14) to Constantine XI Palaeologus (1449-1453). The encyclopedia consists of an index of all the emperors who ruled during the Empire, a growing number of biographical essays on the individual emperors, family trees of important imperial dynasties, an index of significant battles in the empire's history, a growing number of capsule descriptions and maps of these battles, and maps of the empire at different times. Wherever possible, these materials are cross-referenced by live links and supplemented with recommended links to related sites. The contents of DIR have been prepared by scholars but are meant to be accessible to non-specialists as well. They have been peer- reviewed for quality and accuracy before publication on this site.
The Catholic Encyclopedia
"The Catholic Encyclopedia, as its name implies, seeks to give its readers full and authoritative information on Catholic doctrine; Church history; and Catholic contributions to science, literature and art. It is not limited to the ecclesiastical sciences and the doings of churchmen. It records all that Catholics have done, not only in behalf of charity and morals, but also for the intellectual and artistic development of mankind." Searchable.
Encyclopedia of Educational Technology
The Encyclopedia of Educational Technology (EET), from San Diego State University, is a collection of short multimedia articles on a variety of topics related to the fields of instructional design and education and training. The primary audiences for the EET are students and novices to intermediate practitioners in these fields, who need a brief overview as a starting point to further research on specific topics. Authors are graduate students, professors, and others who contribute voluntarily. The site is probably most appropriate for the visitor with useable vision. Articles are short and use multimedia to enrich learning rather than merely decorate the pages.
Eric Weisstein hosts several excellent encyclopedia-like electronic sites on science and math. All are searchable and, except when material is inherently visual, generally accessible. You can find a plethora of well-organized links on
including information on fluid mechanics, astrophysics, electromagnetism, experimental physics, optics, thermodynamics, and much more. At the
site, you will find extensive links to information on atmospheres, calendars, galactic astronomy, observational astronomy, solar systems, stars, and much more. The site on
offers the visitor information on chemical reactions, experimental chemistry, geology, mineralogy, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, petrology, and quantum chemistry. Finally, the
site features links to information on algebra, applied mathematics, calculus, discrete mathematics, foundations of mathematics, geometry, number theory, probability and statistics, and more. All sites are searchable.
Encyclopedia of World History and Prehistory
From pre-history to Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt, this site offers an excellent, well-organized coverage of archaeology, anthropology, ancient civilizations, ancient art history, and a great deal more. Also features a free archaeology newsletter.
As you might expect from Smithsonian, this is an excellent and quite accessible site. Major divisions include art and design, history and culture, and science and technology. Subjects run from advertising and aeronautics to volcanoes and zoology. Searchable and browsable.
This highly accessible site allows the visitor to easily search or browse its FREE online library of encyclopedias with reference works like Oxford Dictionaries, Britannica Concise Encyclopedia and millions of newspaper and magazine articles.
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
The SEP was designed from its inception (September 1995) as a dynamic reference work. In a dynamic reference work, each entry is maintained and kept up to date by an expert or group of experts in the field. All entries and updates are refereed by the members of a distinguished Editorial Board before they are made public. The site is unusually accessible. Searchable.
Information Please Almanac
This is the online version of the popular Information Please Almanac. It can be both browsed and searched.
The Bloomsbury Research Center
Bloomsbury Publishing makes available on this site a FREE database of some of its reference books. Over 17,000 entries are cross-referenced providing a wealth of information, all linked and all fully indexed. Literature, art, myth, human thought, quotations and a thesaurus may be searched as well as browsed.
This site features dictionary, thesaurus, and translation tools, as well as library, geographical, financial, and Internet search functions. It is designed to give the visitor quick access to the best Internet search tools.
Fact Monster is a reference site for kids that provides a dictionary, encyclopedia, almanac as well as homework help and a variety of daily features, including This Day in History, Today's Birthday, and a variety of educational games. From Information Please Almanac.
The Open Encyclopedia Project
As the name suggests, This site is run by volunteer editors and accepts content submissions from the public. There is an extensive array of subject areas, ranging from Africa and astronomy to soccer, software, and the United Kingdom. The content is available in over thirty languages.
Because anyone can submit or edit an article on Wikipedia, there is an extremely large number of entries to choose from. While this can be a useful site to begin research, because there is no editorial vetting of material, it should not be used in papers or reports. Information found here should be verified with other trusted sources. Nonetheless, if the visitor is conscious of how the site functions, there are some excellent, readable entries of use.
A free encyclopedia providing access to numerous other excellent sources such as the Columbia Encyclopedia,The Oxford World Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of World Biography. You can find definitions of thousands of words, ranging from general terms in The Oxford Pocket Dictionary to more specialized social science terminology in a psychology dictionary to health-related nutritional concepts in A Dictionary of Food Nutrition. There are also millions of free articles, pictures, facts, and biographies. There is also a specific section of the site devoted to information in the news. The arrangement of the site takes some getting used to, although it is accessible; however, it is definitely worth the effort.
This site is "an open wiki project aimed at creating an enormous, free, and reliable encyclopedia. The project, started by a founder of Wikipedia, aims to improve on the Wikipedia model by adding 'gentle expert oversight' and requiring contributors to use their real names." According to the site, "most of our contributors are 'authors,' not editors, and most lack PhDs. Many lack any degrees at all." Special sections are devoted to natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, arts, and applied arts and sciences.
Southern Oral History Project
"The Southern Oral History Program performs the vital task of recording and preserving research interviews for future generations." Its website features audio and some transcripts of selected interviews with people such as Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Albert Gore, Sr., although some of the audio formats are not as accessible as on some other sites. Also includes descriptions of recent projects. The SOHP is a component of the University of North Carolina (UNC) Center for the Study of the American South.
Wisconsin Bibliographies in Women's Studies
Collection of bibliographies on a variety of topics related to women's studies, such as women novelists and mystery writers, women in the performing and visual arts, ecofeminism, Jewish women, "the glass ceiling," women in higher education, and "Brave, Active & Resourceful Females in Picture Books." From the Women's Studies Librarian's Office, University of Wisconsin.
The Stone Center Library for Black Culture and History Guide to the Web
Compilation of annotated links to hundreds of websites about "African, African American, and African Diaspora history and culture. . . . The topics covered range from the underground railroad to hip hop music." Other subjects include civil rights, education, health, literature, military, religion, slavery, sports, and women. From the Sonja Haynes Stone Center at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill.
"Allexperts, created in early 1998, was the very first large-scale question and answer service on the net. [It has] thousands of volunteers, including top lawyers, doctors, engineers, and scientists, waiting to answer your questions. All answers are free and most come within a day." Major topic areas include arts and humanities; business; computing and technology; culture; education; homework help; music and performing arts; news, politics, and law; and science.
Dictionaries and Thesauri
Use this global dictionary to search in 275 dictionaries on the Internet. Translate from 69 source languages into 73 target languages - 400 language combinations.
Drawing from over 700 online dictionaries, the OneLook dictionary gives definitions to over 4 million words. You can search all dictionaries simultaneously, browse individual dictionaries, or search under specific topics.
This site contains over 1800 dictionaries covering 350 languages. It is possible to search for individual words, definitions, as well as browse lesson plans. Numerous specialized dictionaries, such as law, finance, medicine, telecommunications, business, and idioms, are also featured.
Search the Compact Oxford English Dictionary online; get answers to questions on English, language, grammar, spelling, quotations, and usage; find out about Oxford University Press dictionaries; improve your writing skills; try word games, crosswords, and puzzles; learn French, German, Spanish, Russian, Greek, Japanese, and Italian.
Glossary of Financial and Business Terms
Features a glossary of more than 2,500 terms related to business and finance. Find definitions for terms such as "bull market," "J-curve," "kiretsu," and "Pac-Man strategy." Compiled by a business professor for The New York Times.
This site is an online version of the thesaurus of English words and phrases. To use the thesaurus, simply type a word in the search box and click the 'Look it up' button. A list of synonyms and antonyms will be returned.
Webopedia: Online Computer Dictionary for Computer and Internet Terms
This may be the only online dictionary and search engine you need for locating those hard to understand computer and Internet terms. Appropriate for either the hobbyist or the technology professional.
Online Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus.
Contains English, Medical, Legal, and Computer Dictionaries, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, a Literature Reference Library, and a Search Engine all in one. The search feature permits more sophisticated and narrowly targeted searching than at some other similar sites. Boasts more than 1 billion visitors. Available in numerous languages other than English.
In addition to a standard English dictionary, the site also contains a thesaurus, encyclopedia, almanac, as well as French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Latin dictionaries. You can also find legal and medical dictionaries, features frequently absent from other similar sites.
Online Etymology Dictionary
This fascinating and useful site bills itself as "the "map of the wheel-ruts of modern English." Etymologies are not definitions; they're explanations of what our words meant and how they sounded 600 or 2,000 years ago. You can trace how the meaning of a word evolved over time. Dates indicate the earliest year for which there is a surviving written record of that word (in English." Extremely interesting and useable.
The meanings and origins of sayings and phrases | List of sayings | English sayings | Idiom definitions | Idiom examples | Idiom origins | List of idioms
Find the meanings and origins of over 1,200 English sayings, phrases, and idioms. There is also a discussion forum where you can ask experts for help on items not already contained on the site.
Need to find a definition that you can't locate in a conventional dictionary? This site may well be the answer. It is a searchable directory of glossaries and topical dictionaries. Specialized glossaries include: arts & culture, dance, music, theatre, business, communications, and management.
Glossary of Legal Terms
Although featuring a great deal of advertising that makes the use of a screen-reader more difficult than on some other sites, you can, nonetheless, find readable definitions of a number of legal terms.
Abbreviations and acronyms dictionary
Acronym Finder contains more than 4 million acronyms, abbreviations, initialisms, and meanings.
The English language is vast, flexible, fascinating, frustrating, challenging, inspiring and endlessly changing. To take it for granted is to miss much of its richness and complexity. Find a timeline covering the development of the English language back to the Celtic period, historical examples of written English, and thematic material on English such as cutting edge (slang and jargon) and inflections. From the British Library.
Foreign Language Online Dictionaries and Free Translation Links
"There are over 6,800 known languages spoken in the 200 countries of the world. 2,261 have writing systems (the others are only spoken) and about 300 are represented by on-line dictionaries as of May 11, 2004. This site by yourDictionary.com presents its currently list. New languages and dictionaries are constantly being added to yourDictionary.com; as a result, this site contains one of the widest and deepest set of dictionaries, grammars, and other language resources on the web."
This is Roget's New Millennium Thesaurus. All you need to do is type a word in the search box to receive a list of synonyms and Antonyms. You may also be interested in
How to Use a Thesaurus.
Bartlett's Familiar Quotations
This 1919 edition of Bartlett's contains over 11,000 quotations from ancient and modern times, browsable by subject, author, or topic. The corpus may also be searched by key word.
"This site attempts to collect the largest sources of quotations and related items (proverbs, sayings, maxims, amorphisms, slogans, clichés, etc.). Many of the websites included here also include things such as full text of speeches, author biographies, and quotes of the day. All search tools and links on this page have longer descriptions." Most of the search tools search within quotations and authors, however some only search in one or the other. Of special interest may be the link to
Audio and Music Finder
This is a search engine "designed to provide quick access to passages from Shakespeare's plays and sonnets." Search results can be viewed by topic (such as love or death), work, and character. Includes options to view surrounding text of the passages and citations.
Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations
"The 2,100 entries in this eminently researched collection form the constellation of collected wisdom in American political debate. In fulfilling decades of requests from Members of Congress for citation of quotations, the Library of Congress compiled the most frequently asked questions of the legislature for the edification of every citizen." Browse by author, topic, or key word or use the easy to use search capacity.
This page of the Internet Public Library provides links to a wide variety of online sources containing biographical information, ranging from brief biographies to more detailed works. Many biographies are classified by subject making it easier to locate information.
This online biographical dictionary covers over 33,000 individuals from ancient to modern times. The dictionary can be searched by birth years, death years, positions held, professions, literary and artistic works, achievements, and other keywords. The site "is a Wikipedia type system and everyone can edit biographies or even create [their own entry]."
Searching for Electronic Sources
Infomine-Social Sciences and Humanities
Large annotated collection of Internet resources related to humanities and the social sciences, business, and general reference. Resources have been determined to be "'of use' as a scholarly information resource in research or educational activities at the university level." Collection can be searched or browsed by subject, keyword or title. Part of The Library of the University of California, Riverside's."
The Internet Scout Report
The Internet Scout Report provides a fast, convenient way to stay informed about valuable resources on the Internet. Hundreds of announcements are filtered weekly for the most valuable and authoritative resources online. The results are then summarized and posted on this site. In addition, a free e-mail is available three times weekly on science & engineering, social sciences & humanities, or business & economics. Excellent search feature provided. For the advanced user.
Library Research Guides by Subject
This page, hosted by the University of Waterloo, gives an excellent list of ideas of where to go for information when researching. What makes it especially helpful is that the suggestions are subject specific. This premier Canadian university’s site is similar to the
Internet Public Library
The Internet Directory of Publications
If you struggle to access reference sources that describe publications, who publishes them, how often, etc., this source can help. It is probably the most definitive source on the Web for information on over 150,000 publications and 8,000 magazines, journals, newsletters, and newspapers around the world. You can browse by title, publisher, or subject; search by title, description, or publisher.
Research Resources for the Social Sciences
This is a research hub that lists internet resources for the social sciences. Psychology, sociology and anthropology, demography, law and law enforcement, political science, economics, geography, and women's studies are among the included subjects. The news and journalism link has an extensive collection of sites, and the reference resources collection contains a variety of general social sciences research links.
This site, which is completely in Spanish, is maintained by artists and journalists in Latin America, Europe, and the United States. It contains links to many of the best Spanish Web sites in addition to links to sites on news and education of interest to the Spanish speaking population. Browsable but not searchable.
State Digital Resources: Memory Projects, Online Encyclopedias, Historical and Cultural Materials Collections
This page provides a convenient set of annotated links to digital initiatives related to the history and culture of specific U.S. states. Included in the list are links to several multi-state collaborations. The digital materials, especially primary documents, will, of course, not be accessible to a screen-reader; however, the online encyclopedias are excellent and generally accessible. Compiled by a digital librarian at the Library of Congress.
Research Beyond Google: 119 Authoritative, Invisible, and Comprehensive Resources
Google has billions of pages indexed. But it's nothing compared to what else is out there. Google can only index the visible web, or searchable web. But the invisible web, or deep web, is estimated to be 500 times bigger than the searchable web. The invisible web comprises databases and results of specialty search engines that the popular search engines simply are not able to index. In order to start researching like a librarian, you'll need to explore more authoritative resources, many of which are invisible and which this site makes available.
"FedStats is the new window on the full range of official statistical information available to the public from the Federal Government. Use the Internet's powerful linking and searching capabilities to track economic and population trends, education, health care costs, aviation safety, foreign trade, energy use, farm production, and more. Access official statistics collected and published by more than 100 Federal agencies without having to know in advance which agency produces them."
U.S. Government RSS Directory
"This site provides access to government sites with RSS feeds. Topics include agriculture, business, education, health, international relations, and science. Also includes a link for downloading RSS readers. RSS has several meanings: Really Simple Syndication, Rich Site Summary, and RDF Site Summary, where RDF stands for Resource Data Framework. In any case, it's a method of summarizing the latest news and information from a website, that can be easily read by many news readers or news aggregators.
The 2011 Statistical Abstract of the United States
"The Statistical Abstract of the United States, published since 1878, is the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. Use the Abstract as a convenient volume for statistical reference, and as a guide to sources of more information both in print and on the Web. Sources of data include the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and many other Federal agencies and private organizations.
American Fact Finder: U.S. Census Bureau
"American FactFinder is your source for population, housing, economic and geographic data from Census 2000, the 1990 Decennial Census, the 1997 and 2002 Economic Censuses, the American Community Survey, and the Population Estimates Program."
Alcove 9: An Annotated List of Reference Websites
This virtual alcove of the Library of Congress "is a collection of websites selected and annotated by Humanities and Social Sciences Division subject specialists. All of these websites have components that are free and available to the public; some might require user registration, or may have links to fee-based services." The material is outstanding and highly accessible. The following areas may be of particular interest:
The Best of the Humanities on the Web
Some of the sources on the site are highly visual; however, there is a great deal of excellent material on art and culture, foreign languages, history and social studies, and literature and language arts. You can also find links to lesson plans, reading lists, student resources, and more. From the National Endowment for the Humanities in partnership with the National Trust for the Humanities, and the MCI Foundation.
Countries of the World
"Each Country Profile provides information on: geography, flag, history, current ruler, area, population, capital, largest cities, languages, ethnicity/race, religion, literacy rate, economy, and government."
Newspapers and Magazines
Newspapers of the World
This is an outstanding compendium of over 3,000 online sites for newspapers, magazines, and broadcasts. Designed for professional journalists, it offers numerous links that would be valuable to any researcher.
Arts and Letters Daily
If the popular online news outlets just aren't meeting your standards, there is Arts & Letters Daily, a service of The Chronicle Of Higher Education. This Web site includes some of the most prestigious publications in the world, with one thing in common—great writing. The content includes magazine articles, book excerpts and review, newspaper articles, and Web logs. The writing includes information and editorials on both current and historical events. While the site is accessible, the staggering number of links (over 1,000) on the home page with very few headings, makes using a screen-reader annoying.
The world's largest website for the search and delivery of research articles, ingenta.com offers access to article summaries from over 25,000 publications and the ability to search over 20 million articles, chapters, reports and more. Although the complete text versions may not always be available for free, typically individual subscribers, or individuals within institutions that subscribe, can access the full text of their publications for free. Subject areas include: agriculture, arts and humanities, biology and life sciences, chemistry, computer and information sciences, earth and environmental sciences, economics and business, engineering and technology, mathematics and statistics, medicine, philosophy and linguistics, physics and astronomy, psychology and psychiatry, and social sciences.
Magportal is a directory of online magazine articles that are updated daily. Topics include: Business, education, health, the Internet and communication, biology, chemistry, politics, psychology, and women. The top of the start page emphasizes the site’s relevance for business customers, but it can also be extremely useful for the teacher or student.
Metagrid: Newspapers and Magazines
Features 8,000 newspapers and magazines from around the world in either English or German. Browsable and searchable. Magazines are organized by topic and newspapers are organized by region.
All You Can Read
Billing itself as "the world’s largest online newsstand," it provides access to over 28,000 world newspapers (many that are the same as in sources described above) and magazines. Some of the links to magazines, such as Sports Illustrated, simply take you to a site which is affiliated with the magazine but will not permit you to read the publication. Nonetheless, you may be surprised how many publications can be read. For the privilege, however, you will have to put up with annoying pop up ads and pages cluttered with advertising.
New York Times Obituaries
"This site is the online version of the New York Times obituaries. Find newspaper obituaries and online obituaries. Read an historical obituary or a celebrity obituary. NOTE: you must register (free) with the paper before you can read the articles.
United Press International
"UPI delivers the latest headlines from around the world: Top News, Entertainment, Health, Business, Science and Sports News." Site is somewhat cluttered for a screen-reader, however, you are getting the latest up-to-the-minute news.
This site is "a nonpartisan, nonprofit 'consumer advocate' for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. [It] monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. [Its] goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding." From the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
Snopes.com: Urban Legends Reference Pages
Wonder if what you've heard from a friend or read about on the Internet is really true? Snopes bills itself, probably correctly, as the "the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation." You can either search or browse to verify if what you've read or heard is true.
The Labyrinth, from Georgetown University, offers a staggering profusion of information, primary as well as secondary, on medieval studies. Information may be found in French, Iberian, Italian, Latin, and Middle English and Old English. Monographs, journals, and bibliographies are also available. Topics range from archaeology to science. The site may be browsed or searched. It is a high-quality one-stop shop on the subject.
EpistemeLinks.com includes thousands of sorted links to philosophy resources on the internet as well as a free newsletter. The major divisions are philosophers and topics. The site also provides extensive links to electronic versions of philosophical works.
An excellent series of sources for primary historical documents are available in the
Halsall/Fordham University: Internet History Sourcebooks
The project represents an effort to make a series of sourcebooks
available from public domain and copy-permitted texts. They are an exceptionally high quality store of information, organized in an easy to locate fashion. They include the
Making of America
The Making of America is a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through Reconstruction. The collection focuses on education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. The collection currently contains approximately 8,500 books and 50,000 journal articles with nineteenth century imprints. Because the materials have been scanned, they are inaccessible to screen readers, but, if you are using a CCTV or are otherwise able to read the screen, this is an excellent source.
Voice of the Shuttle
is a lengthy and varied list of historical resources. While there are some excellent entries, a number are in foreign languages and there is considerable repetition in the organizational scheme. For the high-school teacher or college student or professor, however, there are some sources here that are worth noting. They include:
Rhetorica: Press-Politics Journal
"Offers analysis and commentary about the rhetoric, propaganda, and spin of journalism and politics, including analysis of presidential speeches and election campaigns." In addition to a blog, this site has background information on rhetorics ("Rhetorics Primer") and explanations of critical terms and techniques ("Critical Meter"). From a rhetoric scholar and former journalist.
This is an outstanding site for identifying either traditional print as well as electronic information on a long list of research topics. The sources have been selected by professional librarians and are of universally high quality. Using the IPL Pathfinders is like having your own personal librarian. Areas covered include: arts and humanities; business and consumers; computers and internet; education and libraries; entertainment; general; health; history; law and government; science and technology; as well as society and culture.
Ask A Librarian at the Library of Congress
This site by the Library of Congress allows you to ask questions and interact with real librarians on the Web through this online reference service from the Library of Congress. Chat service is available during designated times. Specialists are available to advise on business, humanities and social science, law, local history, newspapers and magazines, science and technology, African and Middle Eastern, Asian, and European topics.
Despite the author of this site claiming that "This site is no longer being maintained on a regular basis due to lack of time," Homework Ugh is still an extremely well-organized site with lots of high-quality resources. Its list of links is straight forward, complete, and easy to navigate. It does not attempt to answer questions but direct the visitor to where he/she might be expected to locate the best resources. You can find homework help for the following subjects: art; biography; computers; dictionaries and encyclopedias; government; grammar; health; history; languages; law; literature; math; music; mythology; newspapers; philosophy; politics; quotations; religion; science; statistics; and writing.
Digital Librarian: Electronic Texts and Primary Sources
Maintained by Margaret Vail Anderson, a librarian in Cortland, New York, this site bills itself as "a librarian's choice of the best of the Web.". It is a treasure trove of reference works, e-texts, and much more. Because over 1,000 links appear on the home page without any headings, navigation with a screen-reader is not as easy as it could be. Otherwise, the site is quite accessible.
The Educator's Reference Desk: Resource Guides
From the Information Institute of Syracuse, The Educator’s Reference Desk has 2,000+ lesson plans, 3,000+ links to online education information, and 200+ question archive responses. Designed for the K-12 teacher or administrator. Searchable.
The Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement
This collection consists of more than 100 oral histories with leaders of this movement from the 1960s onward and an extensive archive of personal papers of activists and records of key organizations. The site features the text and audio clips from oral histories, a timeline, and "some suggested themes and research topics with links to primary sources." From the Bancroft Library and its Regional Oral History Office, University of California, Berkeley.
American Museum of Natural History
Resources for Learning is a collection of activities, articles, evidence and analysis and more, for educators, families, students and anyone interested in teaching or learning about science. There are over 900 resources to choose from at this site.
You can ask a question and get answers from real people as well as browse previous answers for the same question. Of course, the quality of what you get is only as good as the knowledge of the person answering.
Guide to Law Online
The Guide to Law Online, prepared by the U.S. Law Library of Congress Public Services ivision, is an annotated guide to sources of information on government and law available online. It includes selected links to useful and reliable sites for legal information.
This site is a meta-index to statistical web sites and individual statistical publications arranged by broad subject categories from the University of Michigan Documents Center. You can find statistical information on topics from abortion to the world bank.
New York Times Guide to Useful Web Sites
Navigator is the home page used by the newsroom of The New York Times for forays into the Web." Designed for reporters and editors, this selective list provides briefly annotated links and is updated frequently. Covers areas such as search engines, sites with materials for journalists, reference sources, telephone directories, online publications, politics, New York, commerce, entertainment, and sports. Requires free registration.
National Science Digital Library
"NSDL provides educational resources for science, technology, engineering and mathematics education." The site features links to hundreds of digital resources for teaching and learning about science. Material is searchable or browsable by topic. Also includes news and highlights from the collection. Searchable. Includes a feature enabling screen enlargement.
Blue Web’n is a searchable library of 1800+ outstanding Internet learning sites categorized by subject area, audience, and type (lessons, activities, projects, resources, references, & tools). Blue Web'n does not attempt to catalog all educational sites, but only the most useful sites -- especially online activities targeted at learners.
Web Guide to U.S. Supreme Court Research
A selection of annotated links to the most reliable, substantive sites for U.S. Supreme Court research. The sites mentioned here focus predominantly on information that is freely, or inexpensively, available on the Internet." Created by an Associate Law Librarian at Pennsylvania State University.
U.S. Senate: Reference
If you are seeking general information on the Senate, the legislative branch and process, or on the federal government, this is a good place to begin. Links are arranged broadly by subject and may take you to PDF documents, useful sources on the Web, or other Senate Web pages.
This site is the gateway to Smithsonian Institution educational resources. Information is available for educators, families, and students.
Public Library of Science
PLoS is a nonprofit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource." PLoS offers its searchable and browsable PLoS Biology journal as an "open access" publication such that "everything is immediately available without cost to anyone, anywhere -- to read, download, redistribute, include in databases, and otherwise use."
This site provides thousands of free research tools for journalists including: search tools, government links, people finders, company and non-profit links, a tutorial on Web searching and much more. Although the links are no longer being updated, this is still a worthwhile resource.
A selective guide (lightly annotated) to Web sites about politics, government, political issues, and other political information. Includes parties, political media and commentary, public opinion, private organizations, state polls, and presidential candidates. A great place to start for political information. Site requires (free) registration. From the New York Times.
The WWW Virtual Library
The Virtual Library is the oldest catalog of the web, started by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of html and the web itself. Unlike commercial catalogs, it is run by a loose confederation of volunteers, who compile pages of key links for particular areas in which they are expert; even though it isn't the biggest index of the web, the VL pages are widely recognized as being amongst the highest-quality guides to particular sections of the web.
The Digital Book Index
The Digital Book Index provides access to more than 90,000 titles. It is the sole index that gathers both commercial and non-commercial eBooks from more than 1800 publishers and private publishing organizations. Titles range from the Ancient Agriculture to Space Flight- in most major disciplines-Literature, History, Science and the History of Science, Social Science, Medicine, the Arts, Religion, and various Area Studies, etc. An extensive Reference section includes more than 2000 Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Thesauri, Glossaries, Bibliographies, Timelines, Chronologies, Literary Histories, and includes, as well, a section on Writing & Style Guides that would be hard to surpass anywhere. More than 25,000 titles from public archives-all indexed here-are available free, while many others are available at very modest cost. Thousands more contemporary titles, ranging from the Nancy Drew mysteries to Star Trek, Ernest Hemingway or John Le Carré, are available from many leading publishers.
While not all of the links on this page will lead to virtual libraries, a number do. You will find links to libraries around the world as well as many virtual libraries sponsored by various states for their residents as part of the Library Services in Technology Act.
Internet Sacred Text Archive
This site is a freely available non-profit archive of electronic texts about religion, mythology, legends and folklore, and occult and esoteric topics. Texts are presented in English translation and, in some cases, in the original language. This site has no particular agenda other than promoting religious tolerance and scholarship. Searchable and browsable.
FREE -- Teaching Resources and Lesson Plans from the Federal Government
Sponsored by the Office of Communication of the Department of Education, "Free" makes it easier to find teaching and learning resources from the Federal Government. More than 1,500 Federally supported teaching and learning resources are included from dozens of Federal agencies. New sites are added regularly. You can sign up for a free RSS and you can get new resources delivered to you several times a week. Very accessible and easy to navigate. Searchable.
Best Blogs of 2010
"From the savvy to the satirical, the eye-opening to the jaw-dropping, TIME makes its annual picks of the blogs we can't live without." Includes essential blogs, overrated blogs, most read blogs, and more.
Collection of classroom materials focused on helping students learn how to research and examine messages and claims encountered in media and advertising. Provides lesson plans, websites recommended for research, answers to common questions about government and politics, a dictionary, and a discussion forum for teachers. From the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
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