Reference Book

Quick background reading material, such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, directories, etc.

Oxford Digital Reference Shelf

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Resource Type: 
Description: 

Oxford Reference Library offers over 300,000 "Overview" pages, providing a quick definition for every unique topic;  270 "Timelines"; a new online-only Quotations title; and regularly published topical theme articles.  Reference books are also included.

Many book titles are locked (you'll see a lock icon) because our Library has not purchased access. To see only available works, click "Show full text results only".

The titles available to Trent are listed below, with a direct link. To search within a book, use the "Search within work" box instead of the main search box (to avoid links to unavailable works).

Notes: 

Each title in this collection is also entered in TOPCAT.

Previously called Oxford Digital Reference Shelf, this database changed name, platform and location in September 2012.  Now there's a search engine to search all books at once, however it includes titles unavailable to Trent, so you'll find locked content. If you are asked to purchase access or to recommend a title to your Library for purchase, it's because we don't have access to that title.  Look for links that don't have a lock icon beside them.

Coverage: 
Varies by title; all recent
Stable URL: 

A stable url (or persistent link) is a link that connects a user to a particular item in a database or on the web.

In Oxford Reference, the url in the address bar of your browser should work as a stable url.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

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Description: 

56,000 biographies of people who shaped the history of the British Isles and beyond, from the earliest times to the year 2009.

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, in association with the British Academy is the first point of reference for anyone interested in the lives of the peoples of the British Isles and their connections overseas, from the earliest times to the end of the year 2009. It is the product of research instituted at the University of Oxford and funded by the British Academy—Britain's national academy for the humanities and the social sciences—and by Oxford University Press. It is the achievement of 10,000 contributors and advisers, a worldwide community co-ordinated by project staff in Oxford.

The Oxford DNB aims to provide full, accurate, concise, and readable articles on noteworthy people in all walks of life, which present current scholarship in a form accessible to all. No living person is included: the Dictionary's articles are confined to people who died before 31 December 2009. It covers people who were born and lived in the British Isles, people from the British Isles who achieved recognition in other countries, people who lived in territories formerly connected to the British Isles at a time when they were in contact with British rule, and people born elsewhere who settled in the British Isles for significant periods or whose visits enabled them to leave a mark on British life.

Notes: 

Access is limited to 1 simultaneous user.

Coverage: 
Up to 2009 (date of death).
Update Frequency: 
3 times a year
Stable URL: 

A stable url (or persistent link) is a link that connects a user to a particular item in a database or on the web. At the bottom of each entry you'll find persistent links.

In the DNB, the url of the entry is provided, including the date it was accessed, for entry into a bibliography. The information before the comma and date is a persistent link.

Example: [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/16119, accessed 4 March 2008]
The persistent link is: http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/16119

To ensure off-campus access, include the proxy prefix:
http://web2.trentu.ca:2048/login?url=http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/16119

 

The DNB also uses the doi system to create a stable link.

To link to a particular article, look for the line that says:
doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/xxxxx

To ensure off-campus access, include the proxy prefix and the doi website:
http://web2.trentu.ca:2048/login?url=http://dx.doi.org/

Example: http://web2.trentu.ca:2048/login?url=http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/16119

OED Online

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Resource Type: 
Description: 

The Oxford English Dictionary is the accepted authority on the evolution of the English language over the last millennium. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of over half a million words, both present and past. It traces the usage of words through 2.5 million quotations from a wide range of international English language sources, from classic literature and specialist periodicals to film scripts and cookery books.

The OED covers words from across the English-speaking world, from North America to South Africa, from Australia and New Zealand to the Caribbean. It also offers the best in etymological analysis and in listing of variant spellings, and it shows pronunciation using the International Phonetic Alphabet.

As the OED is a historical dictionary, its entry structure is very different from that of a dictionary of current English, in which only present-day senses are covered, and in which the most common meanings or senses are described first. For each word in the OED, the various groupings of senses are dealt with in chronological order according to the quotation evidence, i.e. the senses with the earliest quotations appear first, and the senses which have developed more recently appear further down the entry. In a complex entry with many strands, the development over time can be seen in a structure with several 'branches'.

(from the website - see more)

Update Frequency: 
Ongoing. This is the 2nd edition.

Merck Index

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Resource Type: 
Description: 

The Merck Index is an encyclopedia of chemicals, drugs, and biologicals that contains more than 10,000 monographs. It consists of searchable databases for compound structures and properites, organic name reactions, and includes several tables (e.g. atomic weights, amino acids found in proteins, etc.)

Trent Library no longer subscribes to this index online. It is available in print at RS 51 .M4 2001 REF.

Notes: 

This index allows for only 3 concurrent users.

Coverage: 
2007 ed.

Mental Measurements Yearbook

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Resource Type: 
Description: 

The Mental Measurements Yearbook contains fulltext information about and reviews of all English-language standardized tests covering educational skills, personality, vocational aptitude, psychology, and related areas as included in the printed Mental Measurements Yearbooks. This database product contains data from Yearbooks 9 through 17.

For each test, the database provides the name of the test author, publication information, scoring information, and the number of the Mental Measurements Yearbook in which the test was described originally. The full text for each record includes an overview of the test, a description of the test materials and time needed, and one or more reviews of the test.

The actual test is not provided.

The database can be searched by keyword or thesaurus or browsed with the Table of Contents.

Notes: 

 Limited to one user at a time.

Coverage: 
Guide last updated October 26, 2005.

Literature Resource Centre

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Resource Type: 
Description: 

The Literature Resource Center is a complete literature reference database designed for both the undergraduate and graduate student. Find biographical, bibliographical, and critical content on literary figures from all time periods.

Includes three hallmark author databases:

  • Contemporary Authors Online, offering biographical coverage of more than 130,000 writers;
  • Contemporary Literary Criticism Select, featuring entries on all authors appearing in CLC since vol. 95 of the print series and complete profiles of 266 most studied authors from editions prior to vol. 95; and
  • Dictionary of Literary Biography Online, containing more than 13,000 biocritical essays on authors and their works written by academic scholars.

 

Includes full text journals as well as reference materials.

Searchable simultaneously with the MLA International Bibliography. See the information page on Artemis Literary Sources for more information on searching and limiting.

Notes: 

A mobile app for all Gale databases is available.

Citations in MLA style are provided at the bottom of each document.

Coverage: 
Contemporary Literary Criticism is covered only since vol. 95.
Update Frequency: 
Irregular.
Stable URL: 

A stable url (or persistent link) is a link that connects a user to a particular item in a database or on the web.

At the bottom of a full record, find a link that says, "Document URL". This will link you back to this item.

To ensure off-campus access, be sure the proxy address is included. You should see "lib.trentu.ca" embedded in the url.

If not, add the proxy prefix to the front of the url:
http://web2.trentu.ca:2048/login?url=

It would then look like:
http://web2.trentu.ca:2048/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CN2812731999&v=2.1&u=ocul_thomas&it=r&p=LitRG&sw=w&asid=7de0906588dfeee5d314f0cfb836ff91

Chicago Manual of Style Online

Availability: 
Description: 

The complete style manual, along with a Q&A section and a Quick Guide. This is the ultimate source on the footnoting method of documentation and should be consulted for any difficult or complex situations.

Use the tabs at the top to select the browse the full Manual, Q&A, or Tools (for authors).

For documentation:

  • Click "CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE" at the top.
  • Under "Part Three: Documentation", click "Documentation I: Notes and Bibliography".
  • Under 14.14, see "Notes and bibliography - an overview".
  • Under 14.18. see examples.
Coverage: 
Includes the full contents of the 15th and 16th editions.
Update Frequency: 
When new editions are released.
Stable URL: 

The URL in the address bar of your browser should work as a permanent link to a section of the guide. 

Britannica Online

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Resource Type: 
Description: 

An online encyclopedia consisting of articles from authoritative sources. 

  • Great for background reading on a topic.
  • Links to other books & articles.
  • Includes video, images, sound files, maps, statistics.

This is a public website; Trent no longer subscribes to the academic edition.

Coverage: 
N/A
Update Frequency: 
Irregular
Stable URL: 

Click on "Share" to find a link to the article. 

Birds of North America

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Resource Type: 
Description: 

Detailed scientific information for each of the 716 species of birds nesting in the USA and Canada.The print version of BNA (18 volumes, 18,000 pages in total) was completed in 2002, a joint 10 year project of the American Ornithologists' Union, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and the Academy of Natural Sciences.  We have this set on our shelves.

Now as an online project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, BNA is a living resource. Contents are updated frequently, with online-coordinated contributions from researchers, citizen scientists, and designated reviewers and editors. In addition, BNA Online contains image and video galleries showing behaviors, habitat, nests, eggs and nestlings, and more. Each online species account contains recordings of that bird's songs and calls, selected from the extensive collection in Cornell's Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds. (From the website.)

Coverage: 
N/A
Update Frequency: 
Irregular
Stable URL: 

Look at the bottom of each page for a link to the article.
 

The Johns Hopkins Online Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism

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Resource Type: 
Description: 

Now expanded and updated, The Johns Hopkins Online Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism is an indispensable resource for scholars and students of literary theory and discourse. Revised extensively to reflect a decade of rapidly changing scholarship, the Online Guide features 48 new entries and subentries.

Compiled by 275 specialists from around the world, the Online Guide presents a comprehensive historical survey of the field's most important figures, schools, and movements. It includes more than 240 alphabetically arranged entries on critics and theorists, critical schools and movements, and the critical and theoretical innovations of specific countries and historical periods

Notes: 

Earlier edition available in print, in the library at the call number Z 6514 .C97 J64 1994 REF.

Coverage: 
N/A
Update Frequency: 
N/A

Pages

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