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MARTEL B: Reference (REF) Source Types: Home


Know the Difference !?!


general . . . . . AND . . . . . specialized



Remember:  ALL Reference Books Call # are coded with REF.  

They cannot be borrowed; do NOT circulate outside the library !


en-cy-clo-pe-dia, n pl. edias       

[from: Random House Dictionary of the English Language]

1. a book or set of books containing articles on various topics, usually in alphabetical arrangement, covering all brances of knowledge, or less commonly, all aspects of one subject


How to access/search?

Alphabetically by topic or subject

Guide Words appear at the top of each page 

Multi-volume set (more than book): last volume (book) has a complete alphabetical index of all topics covered in the encyclopedia and the volume and page number (volume # : page number) where they can be found


Type of information

Longer several paragraph or multiple pages of background inforrmation on topic



dic-tion-ar-y, n. pl. -aries

[from: Random House Dictionary of the English Language]

1. a book containing a selection of the words of a language, usually arranged alphabetically, giving information about their meanings, pronunciations, etymologies, inflected forms, etc. expressed in either the same or another language, lexicon; glossary:  a dictionary of English; a French-English dictinoary.  

2.  a book providing information particular subjects or on a particular class of words, names, or facts, usually arranged alphabetically: a biographical dictionary; a dictionary of mathematics


How to access/search?

Alphabetical listing of individual terms & compound words

Guide Words appear at the top of each page 


Type of information

Short definitions and some examples of how to use term/word in sentence or phrase


at-las, n., pl. at-las-es

[from: Random House Dictionary of the English Language]

1. a bound collection of maps

2. a bound volume of charts, plates, or tables illustrating any subject



Rand McNally Atlas of the World 

Call #: REF 912 RAN

GENERAL Geographical World Atlas


How to access/search?

Alphabetical index of all locations/entries included in the atlas found on the last pages


Type of information

Maps that can be specific or more general about a particular location, or social/historical movement related to a place



al-man-ac, n. 

[from: Random House Dictionary of the English Language] annual publication containing a calendar for the coming year, the times of such events and phenomena as anniversaries, sunrises and sunsets, phases of the moon, titles, etc. and other statistical information and related topics.

2. a publication containing astronomical or meteorological information, usually including future positions of celestial objects, star magnitudes, and culmination dates of constellations.

3. a compendium of useful and interesting facts relating to countries of the world, sports, entertainment etc.


How to access/search?

Search by the year of the almanac for facts about that time period.  Almanacs are usually published  yearly. Table of Contents at the front of the book provides page ranges for the general topics included.  Detailed alphabetical index at the very end of the book


Type of information

Collection of statistical tables and facts