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Encyclopedias Online


The Britannica Concise
This free short-entry encyclopedia does not have as much content as the full Encyclopaedia Britannica (it's based on the one-volume printed Merriam-Webster Collegiate Encylopedia), but it does offer a searchable and browsable collection of more than 25,000 entries on a variety of topics. Plus, it's free!

The Columbia Encyclopedia: Sixth Edition
This is an online version of the current (year 2000) edition of the Columbia Encyclopedia, a one volume, short-entry encyclopedia with over 50,000 entries.

A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names
"This is a concise guide to technical terms and personal names often encountered in the study of philosophy. Although its entries are extremely brief, many of them include links to electronic versions of philosophical texts and to more detailed discussions located elsewhere on this site or in other on-line resources."

An annotated listing of subject-oriented encyclopedias available on the Web.

Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology
This is a freely accessible encyclopedia, explaining in-depth the terms and principles of topics such as laser physics, nonlinear optics, and fiber technology. The articles are arranged alphabetically by topic, and includes reference citations for further research.

Encyclopedia Smithsonian
"The Smithsonian Institution receives a great many public inquiries covering a wide range of topics. Therefore, the following responses have been compiled to answer frequently asked questions or to provide guidance in finding the requested information. New information will be added continually." Topics covered: Armed Forces History, Anthropology, Mineral Sciences, Musical History, Physical Sciences, Services, Textiles Conservation, Trasportation History, and Vertebrate Zoology.

"Based on The Concise Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, provides current information available in all major fields of knowledge -- from politics, law, art, and history to sports, literature, geography, science, and medicine. More than 17,000 articles provide free, quick and useful information on almost any topic. Through extensive cross-referencing, users have the option of expanding their research through direct links to other articles within the site and to other related web sites." Note: the articles are rather short, and although the basic articles are free, they contain links to materials from HighBeam Research, for which a fee is charged for access.

Factbites: Where results make sense.
Factbites is a hybrid of a search engine and an online encyclopedia that provides coherent sentences and links to related topics in the results.

The Free Dictionary
This website provides access to English, Medical, Legal, and Computer Dictionaries, a Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, a Literature Reference Library, and a Search Engine all in one.

glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture
This is an online encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer culture, focusing on topics in arts, literature, and social science. Entries include contributor information, links to related entries, and bibliographies. The site also includes special features and a discussion board.

How Products Are Made
Ever wonder how products are made? Come to this site and learn about the manufacture of things as diverse as chewing gum, blue jeans, vacuum cleaners, paint, fireworks, refrigerators, and artificial snow. This online encyclopedia contains 7 volumes of different items.

Infoplease: All the Knowledge You Need
Online version of the popular annual Time Almanac. You can browse by topic or search. All-in-one encyclopedia, almanac, dictionary, thesaurus, atlas, and biography reference! Includes the Random House Websters College Dictionary and the Columbia Encyclopedia.

Jewish Virtual Library
This online encyclopedia has extensive information on Jewish history, culture, politics, religion, and Israel-U.S. relations. Resources include publications, maps, and statistics.

LoveToKnow 1911 Edition Encyclopedia
This free online encyclopedia is based on the eleventh edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Each entry, written by an expert in the field, contains a detailed article and bibliography. Users can look for articles alphabetically or search the site.

Microsoft Encarta Concise Encyclopedia
"A free concise encyclopedia that contains 16,000 articles and more than 2,200 photos, illustrations, maps, charts, and tables." (Paying subscribers can access the more complete MSN Learning & Research Plus with Encarta, for which a free trial is also available.)

The New Georgia Encyclopedia
An encyclopedic collection of articles on the people, places, events and institutions of Georgia. "Opens a window on Georgia's rich history, diverse culture, and still unfolding story."

Open-Site: The Open Encyclopedia Project
This website is run by volunteer editors and accepts content submissions from the public. Open-Site's content is freely available to the public. It covers general interest topics ranging from arts to computers to sports. There is also a kid's encyclopedia. The content is available in over 30 languages.

Scholarpedia: The free peer reviewed encyclopedia
Offering very scholarly articles on very complex subjects, Scholarpedia improves on the anyone-can-edit idea of Wikipedia by making sure that the original author of all of its articles is an expert on the subject, that each article is peer-reviewed, and that any revisions of an article is first approved of by the original author.