Reference Websites

Please see Databases by Subject at the left for subject-specific websites.

General Reference · Biographies · Country Facts · Dictionaries · Encyclopedias · Maps · Quotations · Statistics

General Reference

Gale Virtual Reference Library

Gale®, part of Cengage Learning, is a world leader in e-research and educational publishing for libraries, schools and businesses. Known for its accurate and authoritative reference content, the Virtual Reference Library provides online access to several reference e-books in a host of disciplines.


This website, developed by the A&E Television Network, includes information about historic figures and modern day celebrities and political figures.


Short biographies with links to more information. Includes fun lists, such as Celebrities Missing Fingers or Famous Apes.

Country Facts


This site calls itself "a massive central data source … the web’s one-stop resource for country statistics on everything from soldiers to wall plug voltages."

Department of State Background Notes

Government, politics, history and foreign relations.

CIA World Fact Book

Basic overview with statistics and a focus on international issues (illegal drug and human trafficking, current international disputes)


Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary
Visual Dictionary



A free encyclopedia from Pearson Education


Google Maps Distance Calculator


Eigen’s Political and Historical Quotations
Quotations at


Wolfram Alpha

Easy to look up facts in many different subject areas: geography, science, demographics, dates, socioeconomic data.

U.S. Census

The Census contains all kinds of information on population, professions, incomes, housing, and more.