Bookmarks for Ready Reference 2010



INFOMINE: Scholarly Internet Resource Collections

A multi-disciplined, annotated directory of tens of thousands of links to "university level research and educational tools on the Internet." Includes "databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, mailing lists, online library card catalogs, articles ... [and] other types of information." Tens of thousands of records, some created by librarians, others generated by robot-crawlers. Searchable and browsable. From the University of California, Riverside. LII


This is the merged site that combined the venerable Librarians Internet Index and Internet Public Library. Recently re-designed and revised.  Searchable, browsable website of information resources selected and evaluated by librarians for their usefulness to public librarians and the general public. All entries are carefully reviewed and evaluated before entry into the  database and then maintained throughout their life cycle. The motto of  IPL2: "Information You Can Trust."

Ready Reference displays quick answers for factual queries.  With one search, will search content from over 100 encyclopedias, dictionaries, glossaries, and atlases and display results from matching entries.

Biographies Polysearch Engine

"Access biographical information, sketches, and full biographies of famous and infamous historical figures, politicians, scientists, authors, artists & athletes." Designed by library school professor and reference reviewer Peter Jacso.

Free Public Record Sites

Links to national, state, county, and city public record sites as well as Canadian and U.S. territories.  & day free trial – requires credit card!!!!

OneLook Dictionaries, The Faster Finder

Search hundreds of general and specialized English dictionaries simultaneously, or select the ones you want to search. Millions of words indexed.

Online Searchable Death Indexes & Records: A Genealogy Guide

This site "gathers together links to online death indexes by state and county. Included are death indexes, obituaries, probate indexes and cemetery and burial indexes." Browsable by state.

Reference -

This site has a combined database of more than twenty respected reference works and several anthologies and individual works of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. In addition to out-of-copyright editions of classic works such as Bartlett's, Bulfinch, and the Cambridge History of English and American Literature the collection also includes recent editions of the Columbia Encyclopedia, The World Factbook, Roget's II: the New Thesaurus, the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Gray’s Anatomy, and much more. Fully searchable. LII

Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia

"Wikipedia is a free content encyclopedia that is being written collaboratively by contributors from all around the world. The site is a WikiWiki, meaning that anyone ... can edit any article. ..." Without editorial oversight, the quality of the content on this site varies, but it is worth exploring. The English version has over 3,496,000 entries. Spanish, French, and Esperanto are among the dozens of other languages offered. LII





Federal website for consumers, developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies, with links to information and websites from over 1,500 health-related organizations.  Advanced search allows you to limit by audience (teens, men, etc.).  Also available in Spanish.  LII


This directory site is designed to lead the user to resources containing information that will help with researching their health questions. It includes information from MEDLINE, links to self-help groups, the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) drug database, medical dictionaries, directories of doctors and hospitals, access to National Institute of Health consumer-related organizations, clearinghouses, health-related organizations, and a search databases section with dozens of databases on topics such as clinical trials, nutrition, AIDS, cancer, etc. Also available in Spanish. LII

PubMed Central

Free full-text articles from biomedical and life sciences journals.  The database is managed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information in the National Library of Medicine.  LII



FindLaw: Internet Legal Resources

FindLaw is the best place to start consumer-level legal research. Run by a private company, the site provides intuitive and easy access points to relevant information for the public, students, legal professionals, business, corporate counsel, and legal news sources. The site also features a lawyer search, legal forms, organizations, and other valuable legal information.  LII

Legal Information Institute

The best single starting point on the Web for doing research into all laws: case law, state and federal code, Supreme Court decisions, etc. Full-text, searchable database of all law reviews and journals on the Internet. Updated nightly. Another search interface, LawCrawler, helps you focus your search on legal issues on the Web. Also includes Legal News, legal forms, organizations, law firms and lawyers, judicial opinions and case law, consultants, and more. LII


Encyclopedia Mythica

An encyclopedia of mythology, folklore, and religion, divided to six geographical regions: Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, Middle East, and Oceania. Special interest areas (Arthurian legends, Greek heroic legends, bestiary, genealogical tables, etc.) will help your search. LII

Internet Sacred Text Archive

This site consists of "significant primary texts relating to religion and mythology." There are Ancient texts including neolithic, Australian, Pacific, African, Ancient Near East, Greek and Roman, Northern European, Egyptian, Native American, and Modern Pagan. Eastern contains Shinto, Hinduism, I Ching, Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism. Western has a hypertext Bible and other Christian texts, Judaism, Mormonism, Bahai'i, Islam, Zoroastrianism, esoteric, occult, and fringe religions. There are also writings by freethinkers Charles Darwin, Thomas Paine, Mark Twain, Clarence Darrow, and Albert Einstein. LII

Religion -- BBC World Service

Each of the six religions covered -- Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, and Sikhism -- includes the basic tenets of faith, history, and useful links.  Some also include contemporary issues, glossaries, or biographies of major figures.  LII






BigCharts offers, among other things, historical stock prices dating from January 2, 1970 to present. 


Hoover’s offers extensive information about companies, industries, people, and products.  It covers public and private companies, both nationally and internationally.  Many libraries pay to upgrade so their patrons can access more in-depth information on the site. 

Small Business Resource Network

A research center for all things related to small business.  The most relevant part of the site is the “Business Resources” – useful link section, offering recommended websites for doing business with the government, demographics and market research, laws and requirements, start-ups, and more.  The site also offers a Spanish version.





All Nations Expatriates & Travelers Telephone Search Engine

"It gives you the calling code instructions from each of the world's nations to any other nation. In addition this engine allows you to search every online telephone directory in the world. (Over 700 directories)  Plus it gives you an instant link to all of the embassies of the nation you are calling, the lowest international rates for your call, and a link to that countries voltage for those who are planning on traveling or relocating to that nation." They also provide a great compilation of maps of the world.  LII

The Ultimates

White Pages, Yellow Pages, as well as a trip planner and an e-mail directory.  Search six separate directories from one page.  Includes reverse look-ups and map look-ups.  LII



Government and History
CIA World Factbook

Country profiles, flags, and reference maps for the popular print version. LII


USGov is the official U.S. gateway to all government information.  It provides a search engine and topical links to millions of webpages from federal and state governments, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. also provides a Spanish-language web portal.  LII

HyperHistory Online
Short biographical sketches of famous people in history (browsable by time period or alphabetical index), timelines for world civilizations (browsable by time period), key historical events by year, and a decent collection of historical world maps.  A lot of things are cross hyperlinked, so you can get more information and move from one section of the site to another.  LII

A central source for graphically comparing nations by data from the CIA World Factbook, United Nations, World Health Organization, World Bank, World Resources Institute, UNESCO, UNICEF, and OECD.  Also includes data for individual countries, including maps and flags.  LII


Bureau of Labor Statistics   we have already used this one!
Easy entry into the full range of economic data and analysis produced by BLS. Here is where you'll find the statistics and reports on employment and unemployment, price (such as the Consumer Price Index), living conditions, compensation, productivity, and more.  LII

Population Reference Bureau
The Population Reference Bureau (PRB) website provides a comprehensive virtual gateway to data and reports on population trends. Most useful to first-time users is the access by topic, available from the left sidebar menu, which includes 16 subjects ranging from education to gender to income and race. Also found here are menu options for the six major regions of the world, and links for quick access to PRB's main focus areas of health, environment, and population trends. Other features of interest on this site are the "DataFinder," which offers searching by 95 demographic variables for 220 nations of the world, as well as for the United States and individual states. Also useful is the extensive "Glossary of Population Terms," which includes dozens of definitions related to the study of demographics.  LII

Sports Statistics

 How do TV commentators know that Barry Bonds' batting performance in the first two weeks of May was the worst ever by a player who had hit over .400 in April? The web offers an embarrassment of riches in sports statistics, and the American Statistical Association, which normally concerns itself with weightier matters, offers a portal with links to a couple dozen statistical sites covering sports, major and minor.

United States Census   and we have explored this before

Census 2000 statistics in the following categories: people, business, geography, newsroom, and special topics.  The site includes complete access to the Statistical Abstract of the United States and quick access to information by location using the American FactFinder.  LII



Home Town News

Links to more than 2,600 daily and weekly U.S. newspapers. Many of these newspapers don't have archives on the commercial databases but will have small date range archives on their own website.  LII

Weather Underground

Weather conditions and forecasts from around the globe, as well as hard to find daily historic weather records from airport weather stations. Use FastForecast to "enter a city, state, country, zip code, or station code for the current National Weather Service forecast." Includes links to hundreds of weather sites; weather cams with live pictures of current weather conditions in hundreds of locations; tropical storm-related sites; ski reports; radar and satellite imagery; and temperature, jet-stream, and upper-air maps. LII. World Newspapers, Magazines, and News Sites in English

A searchable directory of online world newspapers, magazines, and news sites in English, from the customary to the bizarre, including alternative online publications. In addition, the news is searchable by magazine, newspaper, news, and television photo galleries. LII





Online index to exhibits searchable by artist, and browsable by movement, medium, subject, nationality of artist, or women artists.  Painting and sculpture are most heavily represented, but other media are also included.  LII





The free content available on this site (which also contains for-pay content) includes directories of artists, dealers, auction houses, galleries, and museums in the U.S.  Basic information about artists is also available: birth, death, museum holdings, etc.  LII



All Music Guide

From the publishers of the standard print reference by the same name, provides ratings and reviews of over 700,000 albums.  Searchable by artist, album, label, song, or style.  There are music maps that track the evolution of music genres, articles, and an extensive glossary.  Artist entries are exhaustive—complete discographies, history, influences, reviews, and more.  LII

A directory of links to sheet music for dozens of instruments—wind, string, keyboard, voice, and other.  Currently boasts over 2,300 fully free pieces of sheet music.  LII



Fantastic Fiction

Searchable by author or book title, this free site gives biographical, bibliographical, and award information for authors and excellent information about various print editions, as well as links to purchase the books from retailers or second-hand. 


Gnooks is a reader’s community that helps you discover new writers you will like based on the books and authors you already like.  Their ever-changing “Map of Literature” is the chief attraction—pointing you to new authors based on authors you already know and enjoy.

Juvenile Series and Sequels

From the Mid-Continent Public Library in Missouri, the most comprehensive list of books in a series that I’ve found.  Covers children’s and YA titles, and is arranged and accessible by series title, series subject, book title, and book author.

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg is the longest existing producer of free eBooks.  Their collection totals over 33,000 eBooks produced by volunteers.  Most of the Project Gutenberg eBooks are works that are in the public domain, at least in the United States. All may be freely downloaded and read, and redistributed for non-commercial use.  LII




Internet Movie Database

The most complete collection of movie and film information you’re going to find—search for movie titles, characters, quotes, plots, people working together,  and more. Now includes television.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Reading Room

Access to approximately 2/3 of the LOC’s prints and photographs, approximately one million digital images.  The site warns fairly obviously that “not all images displayed in this catalog are in the public domain.”  LII

NPR Audio Archives

Search audio archives of NPR radio programs from 1996 to date.  LII


“A search engine for pictures and images with a relevancy ranking they claimed is unrivalled among other web image search engines.  Picsearch also claims to be 100% family friendly due to its filtering of  “offensive material.”
Once called "Singingfish’ it  offers the “world’s largest index”of streaming media, treams, mp3s, and downloads, and 200,000 to 300,000 files added monthly." Streaming media is content delivered over a network that can be played on a receiving computer prior to the delivery of the entire file. Offers more than just video but not as large as




Consumer Resources


Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau provides consumer and business tips, information on non-profits, e-commerce, and consumer ratings of various websites.  LII

California Department of Consumer Affairs

Look up a company or individual in an occupation licensed by the CDCA (accountants, acupuncturists, architects, chiropractors, dentists, doctors, veterinarians, and much more).  Also check out the Bureau of Automotive Repair, that registers and regulates over 30,000 California automotive repair facilities, and licenses smog check, lamp and brake inspection stations.  LII


Product reviews in over 800 categories, both browsable and searchable.  Their reviewers include "former writers for Consumer Reports, PC Magazine, & The New York Times."LII