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  1. Exploring the Reference Department

  2. Reference Sources • Reference Collection • specific portion of a library’s collection • Generally non-circulating [can’t check items out] • Usually much smaller than the circulating collection • Different scope of information • Overview • Facts/Statistics • Not read from cover to cover

  3. Reference Sources • Reference books are useful for: • The first steps in researching a topic • Leading you to more complete information on your topic (e.g. subject bibliographies, encyclopedias). • Supplementing your research or term paper, with factual/statistical information

  4. Almanac Bibliography Chronology Concordance Dictionary Encyclopedia Handbook Quotation Book Biographical Sources Who’s Who Biography Index Geographical Sources Atlases Gazeteers Statistical Sources Types of Reference Sources

  5. Dictionaries • Dictionaries (general) • Abridged: 130,000-180,000 entries Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary • Unabridged: over 265,000 entries Webster’s Third New International Dictionary

  6. Dictionaries • Etymological dictionary: gives history of words from date they were introduced into a language • Oxford English Dictionary (OED)30 volumes! • Bilingual dictionary: definitions of words in one language given in another. • Cassells French English English French Dictionary

  7. Dictionaries • Subject Dictionaries: • These give definitions of terms used in a particular subject area: • Dictionary of Personality and Social Psychology • Dictionary of Marketing Terms • Search the Library Catalog to find subject dictionaries: • biochemistry dictionaries as a LC Subject • nursing and dictionaries as a keyword search

  8. Dictionaries • Other types: • Abbreviations & Acronyms • Rhyming • Synonym • Slang • Usage

  9. Encyclopedias • General Encyclopedias • Informational articles covering every field of knowledge • Useful for early stages of research • Many also available online • Foreign Encyclopedias • Useful for language practice, another viewpoint • Brockhaus Enzyklopadie (in German)

  10. Encyclopedias • Subject Encyclopedias • Coverage is limited to a specific subject area • Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology • Search the Library Catalog • anthropology and encyclopedias • economics and encyclopedias

  11. Finding subject dictionaries and encyclopedias • Do keyword searches in the Library Catalog. • "topic" AND dictionaries            botany AND dictionaries • "topic" AND encyclopedias        civil rights AND encyclopedias • The Library of Congress uses the plural of dictionary and encyclopedia in the subject heading for each of these types of sources. • For example, The encyclopedia of civil Rights in America has the following subject headings: • African Americans -- Civilrights -- History -- Encyclopedias. • Civilrights movements -- United States -- History -- Encyclopedias. • Civilrights -- United States -- History -- Encyclopedias.

  12. Electronic Reference Sources • Reference collection is comprised of both print and electronic sources • Periodical databases • Online Encyclopedias • LexisNexis-Reference • Online Almanacs & Directories • Use the Find It List on the Library’s home page—Click “Reference Sources”