Core Collection of Electronic Reference Tools

Looking for a dictionary, thesaurus, atlas, encyclopedia or other reference materials online? This page provides links to a variety of online reference tools. The "Collections" listed below will lead to a vast array of resources; both general and specialized. For other specialized databases please see our online "E-Resources" page here


The Columbia Encyclopedia ( Containing nearly 51,000 entries (marshalling six and one-half million words on a vast range of topics), and with more than 80,000 hypertext cross-references.

3 (Gale) Provides credible answers from published reference works, including 49 encyclopedias and 73 dictionaries and thesauruses. A free online resource, offering millions of articles, pictures, facts and biographies in a large variety of subject areas including the arts, science, sports, medicine, accounting and management.

4 Encyclopedias "Since 1995, refdesk indexes quality, credible and timely resources that are free and family-friendly."  Different sections like: Fast facts.



Wikipedia Because Wikipedia is an ongoing work to which in principle anybody can contribute, it differs from a paper-based reference source in some very important ways. In particular, older articles tend to be more comprehensive and balanced, while newer articles may still contain significant misinformation, unencyclopedic content, or vandalism. Users need to be aware of this in order to obtain valid information and avoid misinformation which has been recently added and not yet removed.



The Canadian Encyclopedia 7 The full text of The Canadian Encyclopedia and its related resources has been made available online by the Historica Foundation as a public service since 1999. Since its publication in book form in 1985, The Canadian Encyclopedia has provided the most comprehensive, objective and accurate source of information on Canada for students, readers and scholars across Canada and throughout the world. As a first source for information on all Canadian topics The Canadian Encyclopedia has continued to grow through several iterations in print and on CD-ROM, culminating in this online version

11 online and mobile properties are destinations for learning. Our goal: to empower word discovery and learning. We provide resources that create success for users in their schoolwork, careers, relationships, and life.


One Look Dictionary Search  Think of this web site as a search engine for words and phrases: If you have a word for which you'd like a definition or translation, we'll quickly shuttle you to the web-based dictionaries that define or translate that word. If you don't know the right word to use, we'll help you find it. No word is too obscure: More than 5 million words in more than 1000 online dictionaries are indexed by the OneLook® search engine.


Visual Dictionary Online (Merriam-Webster) When you know what something looks like but not what it’s called, or when you know the word but can’t picture the object, The Visual Dictionary has the answer. In a quick look, you can match the word to the image.



 InformationPlease Almanac A comprehensive reference source that combines the contents of an encyclopedia, a dictionary, an atlas, and several almanacs loaded with statistics, facts, and historical records. A single search engine allows you to search all these sources at once.


Service Ontario INFOGO Telephone Directory: provides information on Government of Ontario employees, their office locations, telephone numbers and email addresses.
Offices Directory: provides information on Government of Ontario offices: office names and descriptions, postal addresses, telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail and Website addresses.


Atlas of Canada 8 The Atlas of Canada provides authoritative, current and accessible geographic information products at a national level. Working with partners, the Atlas facilitates the integration and analysis of diverse data in order to increase overall knowledge about Canada.


The Canadian Atlas Online 9 from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.  This is a mapping tool with great geography-related features, such as weather and Canada's natural regions. 



Countries of the World ( Each country profile provides information on: Geography, Maps, Flag, History, Current ruler, Area, Population, Capital, Largest cities, Languages, Ethnicity/race, Religion, Literacy rate, Economy, Government


Roget's Thesauri at Peter Roget’s classic structure coupled with Mawson’s modernization becomes even more user-friendly on with 85,000 hyperlinked cross-references—thus fulfilling their goal of “each word being related to its neighbors and each part to the whole.” Additionally, over 2,900 proverbs and quotations from classic and modern authors illustrate the 1,000-plus entries.

27   Every month more than 50 million users across the globe visit our online English dictionary and thesaurus, making us the world’s largest and most authoritative free online dictionary and mobile reference resource. Our selection of online and mobile products are an interactive and reliable source for word meaning and usage. Take our products everywhere and access them any time; we serve academic, business, social and recreational needs, irrespective of age or education level.

quote Quotations Including over 11,000 quotations, the first new edition of John Bartlett’s corpus to be published after his death in 1905 keeps most of his original work intact.


The Quotation Page  The oldest quotation site on the Web, established 1994. We have over 26,000 quotations online from over 3,100 authors, and more are added daily. Don't forget to stop by our Forums for answers to your questions about quotations.