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Selected Ready Reference Resources

These are a few of the many sites which contain ready reference resources such as calendars, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and telephone books. Check the Internet Search Tools section of the Internet Bibliographies for more sources.

Links on this page go to external web sites.

Almanacs and Yearbooks | Calendars and Chronologies | Consumer Information | Dictionaries, Thesauri and Writing Guides | Encyclopedias | Internet Directories | Opinion Polls | Sign Language | Statistics | Time | Weights and Measures

Algunos sitos están disponibles en español. Para verlos oprima el botón marcado "en español".

Almanacs and Yearbooks
This web site provides extensive information about the fifty states and capitals of the USA.

CIA World Factbook
This U.S. government resource provides detailed information on countries and non-self-governing territories around the world. The online edition of the World Factbook provides detailed information on a country's economy, government, people, and geography. It also provides information on abbreviations, selected international environmental agreements, international organizations, weights and measures and more.

Farmers' Almanac
The Farmer's Almanac is one of America's oldest online publications. It provides extensive information on gardening, weather and astronomy, including long-range weather forecasts. There are also links to many related weather sites.

This web site provides a wide range of information on many subjects, such as government, education, health, history, science, business, sports, entertainment, biography and much more. Also includes links to many other topics. Sources include almanacs, atlas, dictionary, and an encyclopedia (Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition).

Calendars and Chronologies

This web site provides information about historic events and birth dates that occurred on a selected day of the year. provides extensive information about events from automotive history, entertainment history, Cold War, Civil War, Vietnam and World War II history, Wall Street history, Old West history, technology history, and much more.

The History Net
This web site includes a detailed list of events that occurred on the current day's date.

Today in History
The Library of Congress site which provides information about events that happened on today's date throughout history.

Consumer Information
Bestplaces gives city profiles for 1,000 U.S. cities and comparisons for any two cities using the following categories: crime, housing, economy, education, health, and climate; crime rates for 2,500 U.S. cities based on FBI Uniform Crime reports; climate profiles for 320 U.S. cities and 1,700 world cities; education statistics on 87,000 U.S. public schools; and cost-of-living and salary calculator in order to compare two cities.
Edmunds provides a variety of information on cars. It offers auto reviews, advice on evaluating and appraising cars, information on road tests, suggestions for buying, selling, and leasing. The web site includes information on finance, insurance, warranties, and many other topics of interest to automotive customers.
Insure provides insurance information on home, life, business, auto, health, etc and is updated weekly.

Kelley Blue Book
The Kelley Blue Book guide for car and motorcycle buyers includes information on trade-ins, used car retail, new car preview, financing, insurance, lemon check, warranties, etc.
A guide to finance and business forecasting information. The site offers information on saving and investing, taxes, credit, home ownership, paying for college, retirement planning, car buying, and other personal finance topics.

Dictionaries, Thesauri and Writing Guides

For foreign language dictionaries, see Language and Literature.

Acronym Finder
This site tells the meaning of common acronyms with a focus on computers, technology, telecommunications, and the military.

Cambridge Dictionaries Online
Search the Cambridge International Dictionary of English, Cambridge Learner's Dictionary, Cambridge Dictionary of American English, Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms, Cambridge International Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. offers a word of the day, a quote of the day, a daily crossword, full-text translation, word games and apps for mobile devices. It also contains the American Heritage Medical Dictionary, which contains over 45,000 definitions.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary and Thesaurus
Based on Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th edition, this website offers more than 160,000 entries. Each entry includes definition, pronunciation, grammatical function, brief etymology, and hypertext cross references. The thesaurus can be queried for similar words. Misspellings return suggested spellings.

Online Dictionary of the Social Sciences
The dictionary includes concise definitions of terms from sociology, criminology, political science, and women's study with a particular focus on Canadian examples.

Phrase Finder
This website provides phrases, sayings, and clichés with their meanings and origins. Type in a word and it returns a list of related phrases/sayings.

Roget's International Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases
Online publication of Roget's International Thesaurus, 2000 edition.
This web site includes a thesaurus and a dictionary of English words and phrases, as well as writing resources and other useful links.

William Strunk, Jr.: Elements of Style
A standard manual of proper English language usage in writing, often recommended by teachers of English. Its focus is on the rules and principles of composition most commonly violated.

The WorldWideWeb Acronym and Abbreviation Finder
A database providing searches for both acronyms and words used in acronyms.
Includes a number of useful tools such as interactive text translator, Web page translator, grammars for many languages, specialty dictionaries, foreign language dictionaries, etc.

More than 50,000 articles taken from the Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia , 6th edition (The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia 2000). There are links to 170,000+ web sites as well as links to 3,000,000 additional premium articles via Electric Library.

Encyclopedia Mythica
An encyclopedia of myth, folklore, and legend.

Internet Directories
An online directory with people, business, reverse phone, reverse address, area code and zip code searches powered by White Pages, Inc.

This is AT&T's directory service database taken from approximately 90 million White page listings and 10 million Yellow page listings. Use the reverse lookup directory to match a telephone number with a name and address. Maps and directions for an address are available via MapQuest.
Infobel is an international business and residential phone, fax, and e-mail directory, including the United States which searches White and Yellow pages and includes maps.

InfoSpace provides access to millions of U.S. and Canadian people, government offices and businesses. Search for a listing by name, address, business category or do a reverse lookup by phone number. Embassy information is under the Government section. The site also includes listings for several European countries and the World Directories section lists available phone books for the rest of the world.

Internet 800 Directory Internet 800 Directory En español
This is a directory of business toll free numbers which can be searched by company name, product or service.

ZIP Code Search
USPS provides free ZIP Code Look-Up and City/State/ZIP Code Association to assist the public with their addressing needs.

Opinion Polls
Results of new polls in politics and policy, business and economy, and the American scene compiled by the independent organization Polling Report, Inc. Browse indexed content and search by keyword.

Sign Language

Basic Guide to ASL
Combines text and graphics to provide American Sign Language word definitions. Includes the numbers 1-10 and the alphabet.


Census 2000 Gateway
This site contains the results of the 2000 Census on such topics as race and group quotes. It includes links to other census sites and American Fact Finder.

Consumer Price Index
Published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, this web site provides the Consumer Price Index.

Economy at a Glance
This site from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides figures for unemployment, employment, average hourly earnings, productivity, the consumer price index, and the producer price index at the regional, state, and metropolitan levels.

New York State Statistics
This site includes periodic statistical briefs and an on-line version of multiple years of the New York State Statistical Yearbook, published by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government. It includes statistics on population, education, employment, transportation, agriculture and much more.

Population Reference Bureau
This website provides data and analysis on a variety of topics for areas and regions of the world. Topics include aging, crime, education, environment, HIV/AIDS, and many more. It includes a Quick Facts Search option. This site is maintained by the independent organization Population Reference Bureau.

Statistical Abstract of the United States
The Statistical Abstract of the United States provides extensive statistical facts on broad topics, such as health, education, employment, prices, income, and science. This site includes the statistics from 1878 to 2012.

Transportation Trends, Surveys and Statistics (New York)
This website contains aviation, census, highway, transit and freight transportation data.

United Nations Statistics Division
This site provides economic, environmental, demographic and social statistics, and information on UNSD publications. Links to national and international statistics, references for international statistics, national publications, and statistical yearbooks and current statistics sites are available.

US Data and Statistics
Statistical information from more than 70 government agencies is organized in a subject based A-Z index or searchable by keyword. It is also organized by agencies and programs. It includes regional statistics for state, county, and local area data. Mapstats for state and county data are available through a graphical interface.

World Trade Organization Statistics
The WTO gives statistics on merchandise and commercial services (world and regional) and historical trade by country, region and economic grouping.


Earth View
Earth View shows an up-to-the-minute picture of time around the globe.

A Walk Through Time
A Walk Through Time presents a historic view of the evolution of time measurement. The series begins with ancient calendars and ends with the atomic age. It includes information on and pictures of sun clocks and water clocks, mechanical clocks, quartz clocks, and atomic beam clocks. The site also has information on Greenwich Mean Time and world time zones. It is produced by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Physics Laboratory.

World Time Zone Map
This website offers the H.M. Nautical Almanac Office map of standard time zones, corrected to June 2000, with legend for universal time. There are three formats to print (PDF, html and Post Script). It is part of the Astronomical Applications Department of the U.S. Naval Observatory site, which provides extensive data services including sunrise/sunset/moonrise/moonset/twilight and dates, products information, U.S. time zone, and Universal Time and Greenwich Mean Time.

Weights and Measures

Convert It
Convert It is a very easy-to use measurement conversion calculator. Use the 'Measurements Recognized' page to choose any combination of approximately 800 SI, metric, American, English, historical, and ancient measures.

Convert Me
This site has interactive calculators for many common and exotic measurement systems, including metric, Ancient Greek, Roman, and old Russian. Measurements include weight and mass, distance and length, capacity and volume, area, speed, temperature, time, pressure, energy and work, circular measure, and computer storage. It is also available in Russian (Cyrillic font).

Measure Converter
This site offers conversion tables for area, mass and weight, distance and length, speed, money, percentage, power, pressure, radioactivity, and many other types of measurement units. Tables are available by unit name or category. The site offers a two-way converter.

Online Conversions
This website converts just about every possible measurement, every possible way. Just a few of the possibilities are: acceleration, area, clothing sizes, cooking, density, luminance, mass, power, pressure, velocity, voltage, and volume.

Last Updated: August 4, 2021