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Reference and Resource Websites

Updated on April 14, 2010

First Came the Library

I used to spend hours at my local library. Overwhelmed with delight, I'd look at every book within a section, if the topic interested me. Somehow, it always did. Whenever I heard or read something interesting, I would always want to know more and then for no other reason than I wanted to, I'd research it almost to death. I'd check out a giant stacks of book and have trouble deciding which one to dive into first when I got home. It was a pleasant yet excruciating problem.

I'm the world's biggest fan of libraries. I always inhale deeply when entering their muted depths, I love that smell. Libraries smell like books and I love books - the texture of their covers and the strong look of their spines as they stand aside other elegant tomes. They all put out a siren call to be read.

Yes, the library is a wondrous place. The only thing complaint I have is the disappearance of the card catalogue. I love flipping through card catalogues and I miss them dearly.

Libraries smell like...books!  The internet does not.
Libraries smell like...books! The internet does not.

Then Came the Internet

Although I adore libraries and believe they will always endure, there are times when a trip to the library is impractical. We live in a fast paced, online society and we need to be able to access information quickly, 24 hours a day. That's where the following links come in handy.

Writers, students and well, anyone who needs to find information or satisfy a curiosity can make fine use of these reference and resource websites. If one doesn't have what you're looking for, some of the others are bound to.

The really neat thing is that all the links are together, here in one place. You may want to bookmark the page, to make it easier to return.

Reference and Resource Websites You'll Find Here

  • General Reference
  • Law Library
  • Drug Index
  • Bible Resource and Reference
  • Biographies
  • Telephone, Address and Zip Code
  • I.R.S.
  • Maps
  • Currency Converters
  • Cost of Living Calculator

More References & Resources Than You Can Shake a Stick At!

iTools - You may not need to go any further than this first link. This site has everything - search, language, research, currency conversion, maps and people locator.

Library Spot - This one has an absolute TON of reference information! Just like a real library but without the great smell. There is way too much to list here, I strongly urge you to check it out, it's pretty amazing. You can find zip codes here, as well.

One Look Dictionary Search - It's a dictionary and search engine in one. Plunk in a word or phrase and it will find the definition and translation, if you ask.

Encyclopedia Britannica - Everyone knows who this is! I read that it now costs you if you want to read a full article. *** Update - Web authors are being given free access to Encyclopedia Britannica. You can sign up at Hub profile URLs are accepted. A huge thank-you to Uninvited Writer for this information. - This site promotes itself as a fact checker. There are lots of different search engines, daily facts, sites, thoughts, etc. Pretty much any fact you want to look up is available via Refdesk.

Answers - I think this is a Wiki site. It boasts being, "The World's Leading Q & A Site." Type in a phrase or question to find or elicit an answer.

Wikipedia - Most internet searches have at least some familiarity with Wiki. Although some people claim that there are inaccuracies in some of the content, it can be a good resource.

Roget's Thesaurus - For anyone who loves thesauruses as much as I do, you'll likely want to take this one for a test drive. It works just like the book, only you type in your word instead of looking in the index.

Information Please Almanac - Another feature rich site, here. There's a dictionary, thesaurus, atlas, encyclopedia, biographies and more.

Bio - Bio devotes itself to biographies of celebrities. You can also watch episodes of Biography on this site.

Travlang - The Travlang site is a pretty cool concept. It is actually a website of translating dictionaries.

Babel Fish - Another cool site. You can get translations for web pages and text files in 75 different languages. - You get unlimited access to books and information on, including (are you listening up, writers?) The Elements of Style. This one is a reader's delight, showcasing fiction from Harvard, The Bible, Gray's Anatomy and various famous authors and titles.

C.I.A. - The World Factbook - The Central Intelligence Agency gives you access to everything you'd want to find out about 266 different countries, including the country's history, population, economy, etc. Flags and maps can be viewed, as well. This is probably a great site for kids' to get info for their projects.

U.S. Library of Congress and the World Digital Library - A place of rare and unique documents. A good place for history buffs or those doing projects.

World Wide Web Virtual Library - The oldest catalogue of the web and highest quality guides to specific sections of the web.

IngentaConnect - Their tagline reads, "The home of scholarly research." Type in what you're looking for and the IngentaConnect search engine will find it.

The Merck Manuals, Online Medical Library - If you're looking to do some medical research, this should be a big help. In addition to a lot of varied topics, you can access some really helpful resources.

RxList - As an internet drug index, RxList has it all - A-Z drugs, diseases, supplements, it's all here.

LawGuru - Need free legal advice, want to look up facts or find a lawyer? This is the place to go. - A seachable online bible in over 100 versions and 50 languages.

I.R.S. - All Americans know what this one is. Heck, I'm Canadian and I know what this is, it's famous. When you want to get forms or try to make sense of taxes or check the status of your return, click on this link.

C.R.A. - Just to make sure that my own country is represented, the C.R.A. is our version of the I.R.S., a site to get information for your income tax. The initials stand for Canada Revenue Agency.

National Geographic, MapMachine - Insert an address and it spits out a map and/or directions to any U.S. location only.

Rootsweb - Fill in the form to access the Social Security Death Index. If you are trying to look up someone who was a U.S. citizen, you may be able to trace them here.

Oanda - This is a Forex multilingual currency converter for over 164 currencies and 3 metals. - Touted as a Conversion & Calculation Center, this site offers you measurement conversions, exchange rates, time zones, calculators and more.

Cost-of-Living Calculator - This one's fun! It's offered by the American Institute for Economic Research and it lets you compare dollar figures from any two years.

InfoSpace - A one stop search engine, Infospace lets you browse through its Superpages for web information, people, businesses, videos, images and news.

The following is a list of directories for finding phone numbers, addresses, zip/area codes and for doing reverse searches:




United States Postal Service Zip Code Lookup

Canada Post Personal Find a Postal Code


Well, that's it for now, that's all I've got at this moment. If you know of any great reference or resource websites and want to share, just let me know in the comments and I'll add them to the list.

Happy hunting, I hope this helps. Even though you can get an abundance of information online, please try to show your local library a little love from time to time and pay it a visit. If you don't want to check out a book, why not just stand amid the stacks and inhale deeply....ahhh!

Share Your Research With the World

Become a Star Hubber

Since you're doing some research, why not write a hub or twenty on your findings and share what you learned with the world? You can make a ton of new friends from around the world and earn a little extra money, too. You can even use your hub links to show prospective writing clients the caliber of your work.

It's easy, just sign up for your very own HubPages account and start writing. If you need any help, just check in at the forum, give the FAQs page a read or email the HubPages team. There's always someone here to help.


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    • Shirley Anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Shirley Anderson 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Karen, thank-you for bookmarking! Wow, the rest of your writing career, I love the idea that this hub might help someone over a long period of time, I hadn't considered that aspect. May your career be long and fruitful!

      Hi, Skye! I thank you for the blessing and your comment. I'll be along a.s.a.p. :) {hugs back}

    • skye2day profile image


      9 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Thank You Shirley You are a Blessing at the Hubs. I am grateful for this information. Thank You Big times. I do hope you come and check out my hubs some day. I know you are very busy. I would be honored with a comment.

      Many Blessings to you sister. Hugs

    • Karen Banes profile image

      Karen Banes 

      9 years ago from Canada

      Thanks Shirley. Have bookmarked this and will no doubt spend the rest of my writing career referring to it!

    • Shirley Anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Shirley Anderson 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Angel Michelle, how wonderful to see your smiling face! Thanks for the bookmarking, comment, thumbs up and for brightening my day by coming by. :)

      I'm so glad that I was able to help a little.

      Please say 'hi!' to Daisy and give her a big hug for me.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Angel Shirley, I have definitely bookmarked this one because I too do not have much time on the internet; and we need time to wade through all the sites just looking for correct/proper information. Truly a helpful, wonderful hub! Thank you, thank you very much for this list! Thumbs up! :)

    • Shirley Anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Shirley Anderson 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks so much, everybody! Yes, it took a little time to put this together. :) Hope it saves you all a lot of hours, though.

      I appreciate all the compliments, thumbs up, Stumbles (Hypnodude!) and bookmarking.

      Hummingbird, I'd heard that about Wiki. I seldom use them for anything but I can understand why they aren't accepted as an accredited source.

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 

      9 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Rhis is fantastic for me as a law student I am always looking for alternative sources & this guide you give is really terrific ! :)

    • vox vocis profile image


      9 years ago

      Thumb up! This is a hub worth bookmarking. Sites that you have mentioned here will be of great help as I do research on a daily basis...

    • elqalatawy profile image


      9 years ago from Egypt

      Good job Shirley! How long did you spend to find all of these resources?!

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image


      9 years ago

      I have also always loved libraries. My mother used to take us every week from when we were very young and I have continued to go.

      The links are very interesting. Wikipedia is not accepted as a reference by universities in assignments. The reason is that anyone can make a page in Wikipedia and they are not accredited and there can be errors. I have found some very useful information on this site but for assignments I had to look elsewhere for an official reference.

      This is a very good hub and obviously required a lot of research.

    • sylvia13 profile image

      Sylvia Gadea de Beer 

      9 years ago from Shoal Bay, NSW, Australia

      I am very impressed, what a useful list!

    • hypnodude profile image


      9 years ago from Italy

      For an information addict like I am this is a pretty useful hub. Great job Shirley, rated, bookmarked and stumbled.:)

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Wow this is an awesome hub, I wished for this type of info when I was doing research during grad school last year. However, bookmarking cause I'm sure I can put it to use even today. Thanks for sharing and congrats on making this week's newsletter. :)

    • gramarye profile image


      9 years ago from Adelaide - Australia

      Fabulous hub, well worth the mention in HubPages Weekly. I'll have to bookmark this because I'm sure I'll use a lot of those links.

    • Shirley Anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Shirley Anderson 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Mquee, thank-you very much!

    • Shirley Anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Shirley Anderson 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I fall into that trap too, Lee. Using the same sites all the time, I mean. I have to remember to venture out, sometimes.

      Thanks for the comment and for bookmarking!

    • Shirley Anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Shirley Anderson 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I'm sorry to hear you didn't find what you were looking for, Tony. Nothing wrong with using Google. I do like the idea that some of the sites are topic specific, though.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • Shirley Anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Shirley Anderson 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks, Mentalist Acer!

    • mquee profile image


      9 years ago from Columbia, SC

      Hi, I imagine a great number of writers will bookmark this hub. Great and valuable information.


    • Lee B profile image

      Lee Barton 

      9 years ago from New Mexico

      Great information! I've found myself using the same types of references over and over--time to branch out! I'll be bookmarking this hub!

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      This is a fabulous list of on-line research resources. iTools looks like it could be a winner, though when I tried something a few minutes ago it could find nothing on the topic I asked for. So I guess there are certain skills in knowing which research tool to use for what.

      I must confess that good old Google does pretty well for me.

      Thanks for all the research you put into this - it is really a great resource in itself.

      Love and peace


    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 

      9 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      The most informative hub I've read since I discovered Hubpages!

    • Shirley Anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Shirley Anderson 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks, Borge! I'm always happy to help. :)

    • borge_009 profile image


      9 years ago from Philippines

      What a brilliant hub of your Shirley. It will be a helpful thing for all. Thanks for sharing this one to us.

    • Shirley Anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Shirley Anderson 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks, Blognation!

    • blognation profile image


      9 years ago from Australia

      Thankyou Shirley. A fantastic resource list. I am bookmarking it now.

    • Shirley Anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Shirley Anderson 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      *** Hello, Hello (may I call you, HH?) and PappaLopp, thank-you very much!

      *** Nemingha, I agree that there's nothing like scouring a book for what you need but such are the times we live in that online research is used by pretty much everybody. Thanks so much for bookmarking.

      *** Susan, thanks for the sign up info!!! As soon as I'm done replying to comments, I'm going to add it to the listing details.

      *** H P Roychoudhury and AARON99, thank-you, I appreciate you coming by to read and leave such lovely comments!

      *** Duchess, I'm thrilled to be able to play Santa for you! :) I'm blushing at your comparison of my hub to those beautiful books but I love it. Thanks for bookmarking, hope this hub makes your research a little easier.

      *** Dottie Angel! So wonderful to see you! I'm glad that I could provide a little somethin' to keep your girl loving her mom another day. :) Hope it helps her, at least a little. Re the research, almost but not quite to death. ;) Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for dropping in.

      *** StoryTeller, I feel so honoured that I'm able to help daughters with this hub! Hopefully, it will cut down on some of her research time. Thanks so much.

      *** Thank-you, Chin Chin! Hope it's useful for you.

    • Chin chin profile image

      Chin chin 

      9 years ago from Philippines

      Wonderful list of resources. I am bookmarking it to use on my hub writing. Thanks, Shirley.

    • Storytellersrus profile image


      9 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Shirley, I sent this to my daughter who is in graduate school at NYU and just happens to be working on a project listing resource sites. I, too, have bookmarked it. Thanks, Elite Hubster!

    • Dottie1 profile image


      9 years ago from MA, USA

      Outstanding work Shirley, thank you so much for this one. I found so much useful and time saving information in these links you left for us. I even e-mailed my daughter in medical school with the "Merck manuals-the online medical library" and I also found a prayer for her to say before she takes an exam. She'll love me again today, thanks to you, my angel friend. I'm willing to bet you researched this almost to death but sure it was a pleasant yet excrutiating problem, LOL, I know what you mean! Thanks again.

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 

      9 years ago

      I feel like a kid at Christmas, you have provided soooo many different types of reference sites. Thank you!.

      And Uninvited Writer ? THANK YOU TOO.

      Going there right now!

      Bookmarking this one. As usual Shirley, one for the books! If hubs had spines and covers, yours would be standing proudly in those libraries. :)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Another well informative hub it is. Well done. Enjoy.

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 

      9 years ago from Guwahati, India

      It is a great hub truly. I completely agree with you.

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 

      9 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      Oh, and I posted on the forum about web authors being given free access to Encyclopedia Britannica. They can sign up here...they accept Hub profile urls.

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 

      9 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      Great hub Shirley. This is definitely a keeper. I'm sad to say I haven't set foot in a library since I stopped working in one 7 years ago. I used to love finding quiet spots.

      Anyway, I will definitely check this out.

    • Nemingha profile image


      9 years ago

      As a member of an older generation, I'd much rather research a stack of books than even just a few web pages, but I'm bookmarking this one -- just in case!

    • papalopp profile image


      9 years ago from San Diego, CA

      Easy to read and great info. Glad I found your hub...thanks

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      9 years ago from London, UK

      You have really done your research there. Some I knew but most of them I didn't. Thank you very much for the good work.

    • Shirley Anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Shirley Anderson 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Why, thank-you, DrBJ. I hope it helps you a lot.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      9 years ago from south Florida

      Shirley - What a terrific assortment of resources invaluable for any writer or hubber. You've save us tons of time. Thank you.

    • Shirley Anderson profile imageAUTHOR

      Shirley Anderson 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks, RMR!

      Ohhhh, book stores, love them! I like to try and look at every one on the shelves.

    • rmr profile image


      9 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Wow! That's a big list! This hub looks like an invaluable resource. I'm bookmarking it.

      I'm the same way with libraries. Book stores, too. My wife knows better than to come with me if I'm headed to Barnes and Noble. She just says "See ya tomorrow."


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