BBC Country Profiles - includes an overview of major media outlets
CIA World Fact Book – history, geography, economy, and more
Background Notes – (from the U.S. Dept of State) history, political conditions, and foreign relations
NationMaster – compare country stats and generate maps and graphs
General - Subscription - Accessing these resources off-campus requires a password/user name. Password list available in the library and in the library's share folder.
Virtual Reference Library – encyclopedias and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research (including focused sub-collections such as We The People). To include these resources in a Powersearch, click the All Cross-Searchable Products choice under the Find box. Articles from reference books will be located under the Books tab in your search results. Books in the MLWGS collection include the Encyclopedia of Human Geography, the Middle East Conflict Reference Library, and Governments of the World: A Global Guide to Citizen’s Rights and Responsibilities.
Gale Reference Centers - results from Opposing Viewpoints, Health, U.S. History in Context and World History in Context are included in a PowerSearch, but you may retrieve more precise results if you search them separately. To limit your search to articles within a specific reference book (e.g. History in Dispute in U.S. History in Context), use Advanced Search. Enter your search term(s), click Add Row, choose Publication Title from the drop-down menu, type the title of the desired source (or part of its title - e.g. Dispute) in the box, and click the Search button on the bottom left of the page.
EBSCO eBooks – contains books encompassing a broad range of topics and viewpoints – from technology how-to manuals to books with contrasting perspectives on contemporary issues (be on the lookout for bias). Introductory and overview chapters in books about a topic are valuable for building your understanding about a topic. All books are full-text; but, only one user at a time may view a book.
Salem Health, Salem History, and Salem Science – digitized articles and related content from Salem Press reference books (also available in print on the library’s reference shelves). Titles include Forensic Science and Global Warming in Salem Science; Psychology and Mental Health and Genetics and Inherited Conditions in Salem Health; and in Salem History, American Immigration, decades resources for the 1950's through the 1990's, History of American Business, and Milestone Documents of World Religions.
General - Free
Google Books – free books and book previews scanned from university libraries and made available by publishers. If you use the search feature to find pages in these books that contain your search words, remember to read the introduction and related sections of the book as well so that you develop an understanding of your topic within its broader context. This is a great tool for assessing a book before deciding to purchase it or borrow it from an area library (the Find in a Library link searches WorldCat).
Open CRS - A project of the Center for Democracy & Technology through the cooperation of several organizations and collectors of Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports, Open CRS provides access to CRS reports in the public domain. CRS reports are prepared for legislators by a division of the Library of Congress and do not become public until a member of Congress releases the report. A PowerSearch of Gale databases includes public domain CRS reports under the Books tab of search results.
Dictionaries and Thesauri
Encyclopedia Virginia (VFH)
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - coordinated and hosted by Stanford University, edited by a team of university professors from around the globe.
Wikipedia – collaborative encyclopedia that a 2006 comparison (a bit controversial) found to be about as accurate as traditional encyclopedias in many cases – particularly useful for current events and many science and technology-related topics, and for the reference links at the bottom of articles.