What are Reference Resources?aristotle handbook.jpgencyclopedia of bioethics.jpg

Reference resources are works that provide general overviews of topics in a given area of study. They are written with the aim of orienting readers who are new to a topic by providing the most essential information in a concise and easily assimilated format. They frequently include a summary of important literature as well as suggestions for further reading. 

Reference works may include specialized dictionaries and encyclopedias, as well as handbooks, manuals and “companion” volumes. The term “reference” may also extend to works that provide quick access to technical or statistical information in some fields.

How can I find Reference Resources?

Method 1: via a custom search of our Articles & More tool

Falvey Library provides access to many reference resources electronically. One way to find them is to search for your keywords in the library’s “Articles and More” search tool. This custom search will look for your terms in the articles and chapters of various online reference works that are available via Falvey






After you enter your search and click Find, view the results on the next screen. If you don't find enough useful results, come back to this screen and re-run your search with new words, or by clicking the "Also search within the full text of the articles." 

Method 2: via Subject Guides

To find reference works in a specific discipline, consult the Subject Guide for that field. Falvey librarians have assembled lists of specialized reference tools in their subject areas, many of which can be accessed electronically through those pages. Look for a navigation tab on the left-hand side that says “Reference” or something similar (e.g., “Encyclopedias, Handbooks, and Companions”).

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What about Reference Works in Print?

The library has many reference materials in print format, although these are distributed throughout the main stacks print collection. The best way to find reference works in print is to search the “Books and More” portion of the catalog, or else contact your subject librarian for assistance.