Find reference materials including online encyclopedias, general interest databases, background resources, and more!
Last Updated: Apr 11, 2011
The Reference Collection is located on the First Floor to the right of the Reference/Information Desk as you come down the stairs
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This service is staffed by librarians from New York State, as well as other parts of the country. You will not necessarily be chatting with a librarian from Purchase College.
Use these general interest databases, e-books, online encyclopedias, and other reference resources to find background or overview information about your research topic.
- Credo Reference
Contains the full text of hundreds of reference books covering every major topic, including art, medicine, history, technology, social sciences, literature, music and geography; along with images, customizable data, visual concept maps of results, sound, maps, and more.
- Oxford Reference Online
Collects language and subject dictionaries and other reference works. Topical coverage includes general reference, language, science, humanities, social sciences, business and professional.
- Gale Virtual Reference Library
A plethora of encyclopedias, almanacs, and specialized reference sources for multi-disciplinary research. Contains full text.
- Funk and Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia
Encyclopedic entries spanning all subject areas.
- Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center
Covers social issues and current event topics. Presents the facts, as well as the arguments, of a topic's proponents and detractors. Includes viewpoint articles, contextual topic overviews, government and organizational statistics, biographies of social activists, court cases, profiles of government agencies and special interest groups, newspaper and magazines articles. Contains full text.
- Oxford English Dictionary
A complete online version of the OED's 20 volume Second Edition and 3 volume Additions Series. Provides a guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of over 500,000 words and traces their usage through 2.5 million quotations from a wide range of international English language sources.
- Oxford Music Online
Access Grove Music Online, The Oxford Dictionary of Music, and The Oxford Companion to Music. Search funcationality includes subject and historical period filters tailored to suit the content of each work.
- African American Music Reference
Brings together reference texts, biographies, chronologies, sheet music, images, lyrics, liner notes, and discographies which chronicle the diverse history and culture of the African American experience through music. The database includes comprehensive coverage of blues, jazz, spirituals, civil rights songs, slave songs, minstrelsy, rhythm and blues, gospel, and more.
- The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online
Each of the 10 volumes contains an overview of the region, a survey of its musical heritage, traditions and themes; and a description of specific musical genres, practices, and performances. Articles include detailed photographs that show musicians, musical instrument, and the cultural context of dances, rituals, and ceremonies. Other images include drawings, maps, and musical examples for further study.
- Oxford Art Online
Access Grove Art Online, The Oxford Companion to Western Art, Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms. Includes more than 5,000 images from the texts, and from places such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), Art Images for College Teaching (AICT), and the Artists Rights Society.
- Dictionary of Art Historians
From Duke University, this is a free online biographical dictionary of historic scholars, museum professionals and academic historians of Art. Intended as a beginning point to learning the background of major art historians of western art history.
- Thames and Hudson Encyclopedia of the Italian Renaissance
Ebook/online encyclopedia about art during the Italian Renaissance.
- Encyclopedia of American Folk Art
Includes 600 articles with bibliographies concerning American folk art. Written by 92 specialists in association with the American Folk Art Museum.
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