General reference links

General Reference Links
Carnegie Public Library of Steuben County

General | Address and Telephone Information | Awards | Calendars | Currency Converters | Dictionaries
Foreign Language | Word Trivia | Flags | Geography | Household Hints | Legal  
  Style and Grammar Methods | Time | Weather



All the Worlds Maps

Provides access to national maps and maps pinpointing major cities for countries ranging from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Also includes links to worldwide directories providing embassy locations, consulate locations, dialing codes, telephone directories, visa requirements, voltage requirements, and telephone rates. Searchable. 

American Fact Finder

This is the Census Bureau's quick-search web page.  Includes Industry and Business facts, community profiles, economic census reports, and geographic summary tables.  Searchable by industry and geographic area.

AutoSite - Maintenance - Troubleshooting Guide  Identify your car's symptoms -- by sight, smell, hearing, or function -- and get a list of possible causes and fixes (including a repair manual if you want to do it yourself). 

A database of over 20,000 names.  Information can include source, meaning, popularity, alternate spellings, teasing nicknames, and pronunciation.  Search by sex; popularity; notable names of famous and infamous people; meanings; and specialized lists from panelists.

Baseball Almanac
This easy-to-use site claims to offer "more baseball history, awards, records, feats, humor, lists, quotations, and stats than any other baseball site on the Internet," not to mention baseball poetry, songs (including RealPlayer audio clips), U.S. Presidential baseball trivia, rules, scoring, recommended reading, and a "year in review" section covering 1901-2000 for the American League and 1876-2000 for the National League.

The Best Information on the Net

Annotated links to resources compiled by librarians.  Organized topically.  Sections include  Hot Paper Topics; Search the entire web; Databases and How to use them; Sites on books, journals, scholarship, and teaching; Electronic Reading Room; News on politics, medicine, science, sports, weather, women, and more; Pictures Sources; Internet Resources; Surviving College; Other Indexes to the Web; Disability Resources; and Resources for Librarians.

Browse Topical Guides of the Library of Congress

Lists of annotated links arranged topically.

CensusScope CensusScope is a tool that makes US Census data freely accessible to the Internet community. Provides census data for states, counties, and metropolitan areas. Represented by charts, maps, and rankings, the data includes information such as multiracial and population growth, population by race, age structure, and family structure. The site is easily navigable, the charts and maps are concise and comprehensive, and the rankings are easy to follow. 

CIA World Factbook

The data cover 266 countries as well as the "world," a category that summarizes the data overall. For each country, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, the Factbook gives information on geography, populations, economies, communications infrastructures, and armed forces. New information subcategories include currency code, HIV/AIDS, Internet users, and Internet Country Code.

Concise Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia

Composed of high-quality articles, the site links more than 14,000 diverse articles to the resources available on Infonautics' popular online research service. Includes extensive cross-references. 

This site offers invaluable, unbiased consumer product information.

Consumer World

Site offers information on issues from the latest FTC scam to consumer banking to hospital rankings to tax cutting tips to cheap airline flights and more. Information is arranged in myriad, sometimes overlapping, ways. Some of the most useful consumer resources on the Web.

Consumer's Resource Handbook

Published by the US Government Consumer Information Center (CIC). Offers tips and advice on a wide swath of topics, including car repair, purchase, and leasing; spotting and avoiding fraud; home financing; consumer privacy; protecting your credit report; and more. Also includes a Consumer Assistance Directory, with a large collection of contact information for consumer organizations, better business bureaus, corporations, trade associations, state and local consumer protection offices, state agencies, and Federal agencies.

Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home By Emily Post  

The electronic edition includes all 627 pages, numerous illustrations of social cards and invitations, the original photographs, a helpful subject index, and select quotations.

Every Rule in the Universe  

Lots of rules for card games, board games, computer games, and sports, with a few oddball rules thrown in, such as etiquette for various occasions, and writing rules. Business culture, customs and etiquette Local customs and proper business manners around the world.  Choose your country and learn how to dress appropriately, entertain, choose gifts, carry on appropriate conversation, etc.

Family Law FAQ

Frequently asked questions on divorce, child support, domestic violence, and sources for more information.

Fast Facts: Almanacs, Factbooks, Handbooks, and Related Reference Tools

A very useful site for searching online reference materials.

This database of "hundreds of thousands of articles from more than 300 magazines and journals, dating back to 1998" can be searched by all magazines, magazines within categories, or specific magazine. A very few of the publications, including Scientific American, only have abstracts.

The Great Buildings Collection Not just an ordinary architecture site, The Great Buildings Collection is a wide gateway to architecture around the world. This collection documents approximately a thousand buildings, offering 3D models ranging in detail from very simple formal massing models of just a few cuboid blocks, to basic interior/exterior spatial walkthrough models, to detailed interior/exterior models complete with furnishings and landscaping. 

Homebuyers' Kit

HUD answers 100 common questions, advises homebuyers about their rights, and offers advice on choosing a realtor and deciding how big a mortgage they can afford.

How Stuff Works

The site is divided into ten categories covering topics such as electronics, public works, and digital technology. A special section provides an inside look at everyday devices like a TV remote control and digital cell phone.

How Things Work

Users email questions about how things work and he answers them. A browseable and searchable list of answered questions is arranged in nineteen major chapters, from The Laws of Motion to Resonance to Light).

Information Please Almanac

Includes Random House Websters College Dictionary and the Columbia Encyclopedia as well as
lots of other information.

Insect Identification Laboratory 

Pictures and description to help identify that bug.

Internet Public Library, Reference Division 

Offers annotated links to Internet reference sources.  Topics include General Reference, Arts & Humanities, Business & Economics, Computers & Internet, Education, Entertainment & Leisure, Health & Medical Sciences, Law, Government & Political Science, Sciences & Technology, Social Sciences, and Associations.

The Invisible Web Directory           A directory of some of the best resources of the "Invisible Web." This site was developed by reference librarian Gary Price and Chris Sherman, Associate Editor of, as a companion to their 2001 book The Invisible Web: Uncovering Hidden Internet Resources Search Engines Can't See.

Offers informative tutorials on a variety of topics.

Lives, the Biography Resource



Online maps and atlases.

The MSU Extension Information Management Program (IMP)

Includes a wide variety of information on topic such as plant growing, home maintenance, livestock, food safety, and others.  Searchable and browsable.

My Virtual Reference Desk

At the heart of the site is the AskA+ Locator, a metapage that links to interactive ready reference sites in 21 subjects including arts, health, language arts, sciences, social studies and math. Each site is similar in that it takes questions in its field of expertise and answers those questions. Each site annotation contains author, audience, and contact information, as well as a description of the service.

Parliamentary Procedure

This site simplifies the use of parliamentary procedures.  Provides answers to common questions and problems such as abstentions, quorums, invalid motions, and calling the question. It is followed by information on topics such as Making Meetings Work, Boards and Committees, and a Table of Rules related to Motions. 

Patriotic Customs

Clear guidance about patriotic practices in the United States. Describes flag protocol, including hoisting, display, lowering, and disposal. Includes information about service lapel buttons and other national customs, such as the United States anthem, motto, floral emblem (rose), march (Sousa), and the full text of the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Portals to the World

Presented by the Library of Congress, Portals to the World is an electronic database containing selective links that provide information on the various nations and other areas of the world. Countries are arranged alphabetically and contain links sorted in areas such as General Resources, Government and Law, Literature and Culture, News and Current Events, Libraries, Business and Residential Directories, and much more. 

Quotations Page

Site allows the user to search ten Internet quotation archives for keywords. Advanced search page offers the choice to search by the text of quotations, author or subject, or all fields. Also provides links to other quotation resources on the Internet, organized by topic.

A collection of close to 14,000 quotations that can be searched by title, author, quote, or exact words.

Research-It! Your One-Stop Reference Desk

Dictionaries, a thesaurus, translators, biographical information, the Bible, quotations, maps, telephone directories, and much more.

Road Construction

Find what road construction you will run into before your trip.

Search Systems

This useful metasite links to a wide array of free searchable public record databases. The links are organized geographically. The number of databases listed for each state varies widely, but most include property records, court dockets and filings, professional licenses, and administrative code. Other databases include city job postings, restaurant inspections, most wanted, inmate locator, lottery winning numbers, toxic release inventory, births and deaths, and charitable organizations, among many others.


Contains a collection of over 115,000 research quality websites. Categories are sorted according to appropriate grade level.

 An encyclopedia of graphic symbols. Ranging from Cro-Magnon carvings in mammoth teeth to hobo signs and subway graffiti, the signs are explained and examined in 1,600 articles. Users may search for the meaning or history of a sign in the Graphic Index or use the Word Index to find an ideogram with a certain meaning.

United States: States 

The state site features a map of the United States with links to individual state sites with maps which can be enlarged. State profiles provide information on the capital; population; median age; elected officials; history; points of interest; famous natives; entrance into the union; state motto, symbols, and nicknames; name origins; largest cities and county; and land area. The main page has more information arranged by category so the states' information on each subject can be viewed and compared at once.

Virtual Reference Shelf

This site gathers a collection of links to Internet sites organized into about thirty subject divisions, including public and university library links organized by state, city, and county. If you don't find an answer among the links, click Ask a librarian for e-mail help from a division, specialized reference service, or reading room in the Library of Congress.

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Address and Telephone Information

Airline Toll-Free 1-800 Numbers Alphabetical list of airlines with toll free numbers and links to websites.
AmeriCom Long Distance Area Decoder  Find area code for a specific area, or visa versa.
Area Code Lookup Enter an area code to see what area uses it.
AT&T Any Who Directories Free directory service with residential, business, and government white and yellow pages.  Offers access to telephone number, address, email address, web address, fax number, and toll free number.
BigBook Online yellow pages and shopping guide.
BigFoot Includes people searches, Web searches, white pages and yellow pages.
BigYellow  National yellow pages. Searchable by category or business name.

Offers white pages and/or yellow pages for Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Spain, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

InfoSpace Users can search people, businesses, yellow pages, and fax directories in the U.S. and Canada. A blue pages government and toll free 800 number directory is available.
International: Telephone Directories on the Web This is the Internet's original and most complete index of online phone books, with links to Yellow Pages, White Pages, Business  Directories, Email Addresses and Fax Listings from over 150 countries all around the world.
National Addresses and ZIP+4 Browser National Address Browser, a complete ZIP+4 database with CASS-certified software and  Where Did They Move To, find out who's moved before you mail.
Switchboard Offers Find a person, Find a business, Find email, and Maps and directions.
U.S. Gazetteer Provides population, location, map and zip code.
U.S. Postal Service Zip+4 codes Enter an address to find proper zip code.
WhoWhere? People finder, telephone and address, email, Internet.
Yahoo! People Phone number and email search.
Yahoo! Yellow Pages Select a city to search, or an address to search for nearby businesses.
Zip Code Lookup This database lets you get a list of all ZIP codes in a city, county, or area code. You can also search by ZIP code and get the city, county, and area code. 


Automobile values and information Repairs/ Maintenance

An information source for auto buyers, the maintenance and repair area offers free and detailed information on auto care and repair that is accessible but not simplistic. In the maintenance section, users will find a preventative maintenance checklist, illustrated guides to fluids and exterior systems, a discussion on tires, and FAQs. The Repair section features troubleshooting tips, an illustrated repair guide, a fairly deep Auto Repair Encyclopedia, and several related links.

Carfax Detailed car history reports. Provides crash-test data and safety ratings for every new and used car and truck produced by over forty different manufacturers. Also offers a Compare feature, allowing users to make a side-by-side safety comparison of two cars from two different manufacturers.
Kelley Blue Book New and Used car values.



Calculator and conversions

Cooking Measures and Conversion Calculator  Handy site. Includes U.S. Measurement Equivalents, British and U.S. Cooking Terms, Oven Temperatures, U.S.~Metric Volume Tables, U.S.~Metric Weight Tables, and U.S.~Metric Length Tables.
Cost of Living Salary Calculator  Compare the cost of living in hundreds of U.S. and international cities. Select origin and destination cities or countries.
Measure 4 Measure An exhaustive, annotated list of interactive sites that estimate, calculate, evaluate, and translate.
Online Conversion Need to convert joules to kilocalories? A rood to a square mile? 100 weight to stones? How about your age in dog years? You can do all of these conversions and over 8,000 more at Online Conversion. Conversions are organized by type (temperature, length, cooking, etc.), and each conversion page includes numerous options. A very handy and easy-to-use site.


Awards (Who won what and when)

Academy Awards Nobel Prize
Emmy Awards
Grammy Awards Pulitzer Prize
Miss America Organization Tony Awards
Miss USA  


Calendar Information Page  
Calendar Zone "Comprehensive categorized calendar catalog currently containing countless correlating connections & calzone recipes!"  Annotated list of links to all kinds of calendar sites.  Organized topically.
CultureFinder Search nationwide for over 350,000 theater, music, opera, dance and visual arts events.
Diversity Calendar This calendar was created to note people, dates, festivals, holy days, and anniversaries that are important, yet may not be widely known or noticed in the United States.
FestivalFinder Site offers the latest details on more than 1,500 music festivals in North America. Click to your favorite genre, or use the search feature to locate festivals by date, location, performers or festival name.
Today-in-History Page Select the month and day, and this site provides historic events and birthdays that have occurred on that day.



Currency Converters

164 Currencies Converter  Simply enter the amount of currency for any of 164 currencies, the currency to be converted to, and the date of the exchange rate (back to January 1, 1990, in day/month/year format) into an online form, and presto, an exchange rate (which is then reversible) is obtained.
TravLang Geared toward travelers, provides the latest currency exchange rates between choice of currencies, as well as the recent history of this rate, and a calculator to allow you to convert arbitrary amounts to and from each currency.

Universal Currency Converter

Provides currency conversion for most of the currencies in the world. The conversion rates for the currency are provided by The Bank of Montreal's Treasury Group. Visitors can also obtain a currency table for a selected base currency. The site also provides prices for silver, gold and platinum in the various currencies.


Acronym Finder This site offers a searchable database containing over 60,000 acronyms/abbreviations and their meanings. The focus of the database is technology, telecommunications, and the military (perhaps because of the acronym-intensity of these fields), but many general topics are included, as well.
Dictionary of Phrase and Fable Browsable by letter or searchable.
OneLook Dictionaries Capable of searching 589 dictionaries at once.
Online Rhyming Dictionary Allows user to find words that rhyme exactly, that match only the last sound, homophones, or synonyms.  Users can also choose to exclude obscure words from the search.
Roget's Thesaurus  
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary  
World Wide Web Acronym Server Popular sites allows search by acronym or words.
WWWebster Dictionary Each retrieved word is accompanied by pronunciation, usage, grammatical function, a brief etymology, and of course, definition. A thesaurus can be queried for similar words, hypertext cross references are available, misspellings return suggested spellings, and there are hypertext links to illustrations. There is also an extensive pronunciation guide.


Foreign Language

Alta Vista Translation Offers translation service in the language pairs of English-Spanish, English-French, English-German, English-Portugese, and English-Italian. Users can search and then simply hit the translate button, at which time the language options are given.
Free Online Dictionary of Online Computing Dictionary of computing terms. Rather than doing word-for-word translating, this tool attempts to translate entire phrases, and it does it quickly.
Human-Languages Page A collection of human-language resources on the Net, from tutorials to dictionaries to software to literature collections. The Page currently contains 100 links relating to 40 different languages.  Organized into seven sections, including languages and literature, linguistics resources, multilingual resources, and commercial resources. Each site is briefly described.
Online Language Dictionaries and Translators Dictionary meta-site with links to a variety of languages. Also offers free online translations.
Say Hello to the World A wonderful site that will teach users to say "hello" is a variety of languages, as well as provide links to other sources of information on each language.  Offers an audio pronunciation of hello, words in English taken from each language, sites for learning the languages and cultures, and a list of where each language is spoken and the number of people who use each.
TravLang  Provides a variety of useful tools for the traveler and those interested in learning a foreign language. Features include Foreign Languages For Travelers, Translating Dictionaries, Currency Exchange Rates, Hotel Database, and links to other travel-related sites.
Web of Online Dictionaries Dictionary meta-site, a site that contains pointers to dictionaries in over 130 languages, many of them bilingual (English and the language of the dictionary). Included are "artificial" languages such as Esperanto and three different fictional languages from the Star Trek TV show.
Yahoo! Dictionary Page Yahoo's comprehensive list of dictionary sites.


Word Trivia

Word Play: Sites that Feature Fun with Words Annotated list of sites.
World Wide Words  This site focuses on the history of the English language and the development of new words. Each week, users will find definitions and histories of words and phrases both old and new.


The Star-Spangled Banner The Smithsonian Institution's American flag website.  Features Story of the Flag, Preserving the Flag, a Test you Knowledge quiz, You Solve the Mystery which leads users through the process that historian use to authenticate old flags, and educator information.
World Flag Database A wide variety of information about flags and a database of flags of the world.



U.S. Gazetteer Provides population, location, map and zip code.
How Far Is It?  This service uses data from the US Census and a supplementary list of cities around the world to find the latitude and longitude of two places, and then calculates the distance between them (as the crow flies). It also provides a map showing the two places.

Household Hints

Better Homes and Gardens Home Improvement Encyclopedia Free online guide to home repair.  Organized in five principle sections (Plumbing, Wiring, Carpentry, Decks, and Masonry & Concrete), the Encyclopedia covers a good variety of subtopics, from selecting and buying lumber to replacing a faucet or water heater to pouring concrete.
Home Energy Saver  Calculates energy use and savings opportunities. Users enter zip code for basic information, or provide more details for customized energy-saving upgrade recommendations.
Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse: How To Library Provides a nice selection of instructions, for plumbing and electrical repairs and installations, building projects, concrete and masonry problems, home safety and security, garden projects, and more.
Stain Removal Guide  Visitors can browse the guide, which covers everything from acids to wood saps (including cod liver oil, soy sauce, and chutney).


FindLaw Comprehensive legal site.  Offers different pages for lawyers, students, the public and businesses.  Information also arranged by topic.  Site is also searchable.
Findlaw Forms  An extremely useful free site that offers almost 8,000 state and federal court forms in .pdf format. The forms, logically enough, are grouped into federal and state sections, the first divided by circuits, the second by state.  Available forms vary by circuit or state, but most include Bankruptcy, Civil, Criminal, Family, and Probate Courts. Others also offer forms for Small Claims, Worker's Compensation, Juvenile, and other Courts. Related resources and a legal dictionary are also provided.  Exhaustive resource for free legal information. The site provides access to more than 430 legal search engines and databases. The site also maintains the BBS, a searchable database of legal questions posted by users accompanied by responses from one of the more than 320 practicing attorneys.  Also provides a collection of fifteen FAQs written on various legal issues, links to over 500 legal Internet resources, and information on over 600 associated electronic mailing lists.
Legaldocs This site allows users to prepare customized legal documents directly online. Choose any of the documents offered, complete the questions, click the "Submit" button, and the finished document is ready for you to either download to file or print to
your printer. Many documents are free.
lexisONE Impressive new free online legal resource.  The site is composed of three principal sections: Free Case Law, Free Forms, and Legal Internet Guide. The first contains searchable databases of full-text state and federal decisions. The second section offers over 1,400 free, up-to-date legal forms.  The third area of the site features an amazing 16,000 (mostly) annotated legal links, organized in 24 categories. A site index and FAQ are also provided.


Style & Grammar Manuals

Online! Citation Styles One of the most recent and comprehensive guides to online documentation available on the Web. The Website shows how to document ten different categories of online sources in APA, MLA, CBE, and Chicago styles, including Websites.  The site provides general principles and specific examples for each type of citation. Additional links for other styles and guides are also provided. Collection of topics, ideas, and assistance for school related research projects. Features include topic ideas, writing center, and a forum for asking questions.
Writer's Handbook The Handbook consists of five sections, each of which addresses a different aspect of college-level writing. The Academic Writing section offers brief and useful guides to Writing about Literature, Research Papers, Writing Reviews, and Science Writing. Documentation Styles covers the six major styles and includes a guide to citing electronic resources. Additional guides include Peer Reviews, Grammar and Style, and Writing Letters.


Astronomical Data From the US Naval Observatory, the Data Services page offers an outstanding array of overall data for sun and moon phases and movements. Included here is information on moon phases, eclipses, sun and moon positions, and exact dates and times for the Earth's seasons from 1992 to 2005.



Accuweather CNN Weather
Intellicast The Weather Channel
Yahoo! Weather  

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Copyright 2007 Internet Scout Project -

Neat New Stuff I Found This Week

Copyright, Marylaine Block, 2007.


Copyright 2007 by Librarians' Index to the Internet,