17 edition banner


4: General Reference Works

The works listed here are a starting point for writers, editors, and others involved in publishing who would like more information about topics covered in this manual. The list includes all the works cited in the text as further resources along with other useful references. Although some make recommendations that diverge from those of this manual, they reflect the specific demands of different disciplines and the evolving traditions of writing, editing, and publishing. As with all reference sources, readers should carefully evaluate their suitability for a given purpose.


4.1 Biography

American Men and Women of Science. 25th ed. Edited by Katherine H. Nemeh. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson/Gale, 2008.
American National Biography. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000–. Updated quarterly. http://www.anb.org/.
Burke’s Peerage, Baronetage, and Knightage. 107th ed. Multiple vols. London: Burke’s Peerage, 1826–.
Canadian Who’s Who. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Published annually, with semiannual supplements.
Concise Dictionary of National Biography: From Earliest Times to 1985. 3 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.
Dictionary of American Biography. 11 vols. New York: Scribner’s, 1995. Supplements.
Dictionary of Canadian Biography. 14 vols. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1966–. Supplements.
Directory of American Scholars. 10th ed. 6 vols. Detroit: Gale Group, 2002.
International Who’s Who. London: Europa. Published annually.
Marquis Who’s Who on the Web. New Providence, NJ: Marquis Who’s Who. Continually updated. http://www.marquiswhoswho.com/.
Merriam-Webster’s Biographical Dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1995.
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 60 vols. Prepared under various editors. New York: Oxford University Press, 1885–2004. Also available at http://www.oxforddnb.com/.
Who’s Who: An Annual Biographical Dictionary. New York: St. Martin’s Press. Published annually.
Who’s Who in America. Chicago: A. N. Marquis. Published biennially. See also Marquis Who’s Who on the Web.

4.2 Geography

Cambridge World Gazetteer: A Geographical Dictionary. Edited by David Munro. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
Columbia Gazetteer of North America. Edited by Saul B. Cohen. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.
Merriam-Webster’s Geographical Dictionary. 3rd ed. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1997.
Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America. Edited by Frank R. Abate. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 1991.
Oxford Atlas of the World. 16th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World. 12th ed. London: Times Books, 2007.
The World Factbook. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency. Continually updated. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/.

4.3 Encyclopedias

Britannica Concise Encyclopaedia. Rev. ed. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2006.
Canadian Encyclopedia. 2000 ed. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1999. Also available at http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/.
Columbia Encyclopedia. 6th ed. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.
Encyclopedia Americana. 30 vols. Danbury, CT: Scholastic Library, 2006.
The New Encyclopaedia Britannica. 15th ed. 32 vols. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2007. Also available at http://www.britannica.com/.
Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. San Francisco: Wikimedia Foundation. http://en.wikipedia.org/.

4.4 Almanacs and Yearbooks

Canadian Almanac and Directory. Toronto: Grey House. Published annually.
Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. Time Almanac. New York: Time Home Entertainment. Published annually.
The Europa World of Learning. London: Routledge. Published annually. Also available at http://www.worldoflearning.com/.
Europa World Year Book. London: Europa. Published annually. Also available at http://www.europaworld.com/pub/.
New York Times Almanac. New York: Penguin Group. Published annually.
The Statesman’s Yearbook. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Published annually. Also available at http://www.statesmansyearbook.com/public/.
Whitaker’s Almanack. London: Stationery Office. Published annually.
World Almanac and Book of Facts. New York: World Almanac Books. Published annually.

4.5 Guides to Books, Periodicals, and Other Sources

ABI/Inform Complete. Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest Information and Learning. http://www.proquest.com/.
Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules. 2nd ed. Chicago: American Library Association; Ottawa: Canadian Library Association; London: Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, 2002. Loose-leaf update, 2005.
Ashley, Lowell E. Cataloging Musical Moving Image Material: A Guide to the Bibliographical Control of Videorecordings and Films of Musical Performances and Other Music-Related Moving Image Material. Canton, MA: Music Library Association, 1996.
Australian Books in Print. Melbourne: D. W. Thorpe. Published annually.
Bibliographic Index. New York: H. W. Wilson. Published semiannually. Also available, as Bibliographic Index Plus. at http://www.hwwilson.com/databases/biblio.htm.
Book Review Digest. New York: H. W. Wilson. Published monthly, except for February and July, with annual cumulations. Also available, as Book Review Digest Plus. at http://www.hwwilson.com/databases/brdig.htm.
Book Review Index. Detroit: Gale Research Company. Published monthly, with quarterly and annual cumulation.
Books in Print. New York: R. R. Bowker. Published annually. Also available at http://www.booksinprint.com/.
Bowker’s British Books in Print. New Providence, NJ: R. R. Bowker. Published annually. From 1988 to 2003 titled Whitaker’s Books in Print: The Reference Catalogue of Current Literature; before 1988 titled British Books in Print.
Canadian Books in Print. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Published annually.
Catalog of U.S. Government Publications. Washington, DC: GPO Access. http://catalog.gpo.gov/.
Dissertation Abstracts International. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms International. Published monthly with annual cumulation.
Guide to Reference. 12th ed. Edited by Bob Kieft. Chicago: American Library Association, 2008. http://www.guidetoreference.org/.
Guide to the Contents of the Public Record Office. 3 vols. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1963–1968.
Guide to the National Archives of the United States. Washington, DC: Archives, 1987. Also available at http://www.archives.gov/.
Guide to U.S. Government Publications. Edited by Donna Batten. Formerly known as Andriot. Detroit: Gale Research Company. Updated annually.
Humanities Index. New York: H. W. Wilson. Published quarterly with annual cumulation. Also available at http://www.hwwilson.com/.
Index Islamicus. Leiden: Brill. Published quarterly with quinquennial cumulation. Also available at http://www.indexislamicus.com/.
Library of Congress Subject Headings. Washington, DC: Library of Congress Cataloging Distribution Service. Published annually. Also available at http://classweb.loc.gov/.
Livres disponibles [French books in print]. Paris: Cercle de la librairie, 1977–2004.
The New Walford Guide to Reference Resources. 9th ed. 3 vols. London: Facet, 2005–10.
New York Times Index. New York: New York Times Company. Annual cumulations.
PAIS International in Print. New York: Public Affairs Information Service. Published monthly, with every fourth issue being cumulative.
Pemberton, John E., ed. The Bibliographic Control of Official Publications. New York: Pergamon, 1982.
Periodical Title Abbreviations. 17th ed. Vol. 1, by abbreviation. Vol. 2, by title. Detroit: Thomson/Gale, 2007.
PubMed. Bethesda, MD: US National Library of Medicine. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/.
Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature. New York: H. W. Wilson. Published annually. Also available at http://www.hwwilson.com/.
Rodgers, Frank. A Guide to British Government Publications. New York: H. W. Wilson, 1980.
Schmeckebier, Laurence F., and Roy B. Eastin. Government Publications and Their Use. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1969.
Science Citation Index. Philadelphia: Institute for Scientific Information. Published bimonthly with annual cumulations. Also available at http://scientific.thomson.com/.
Social Science Index. New York: H. W. Wilson. Published quarterly with annual cumulation. Also available at http://www.hwwilson.com/.
UKOP: Catalogue of United Kingdom Official Publications. London: Chadwyck-Healey. Continually updated. http://www.ukop.co.uk/.
Ulrich’s International Periodicals Directory. New York: R. R. Bowker. Published annually. Supplemented quarterly by Ulrich’s Update. Also available at http://www.ulrichsweb.com/.
Verzeichnis Lieferbarer Bücher [German books in print]. Frankfurt am Main: Verlag der Buchhändler-Vereinigung. Published annually. Also available at http://www.vlb.de/.

4.6 Quotations

Bartlett, John. Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations: A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs Traced to Their Sources in Ancient and Modern Literature. 17th ed. Edited by Justin Kaplan. Boston: Little, Brown, 2002.
Crystal, David, and Hilary Crystal. Words on Words: Quotations about Language and Languages. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.
The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. 7th ed. Edited by Elizabeth Knowles. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

4.7 Abbreviations

Acronyms, Initialisms, and Abbreviations Dictionary: A Guide to Acronyms, Abbreviations, Contractions, Alphabetic Symbols, and Similar Condensed Appellations. 39th ed. 4 vols. Edited by Bohdan Romanenchuk. Detroit: Thomson/Gale, 2008.
Davis, Neil M. Medical Abbreviations: 30,000 Conveniences at the Expense of Communication and Safety. 14th ed. Warminster, PA: Neil M. Davis Associates, 2009.
Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms: Includes US Acronyms and Abbreviations and NATO Terms (English Only). Washington, DC: Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1998. Amended version available at http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/dod_dictionary/.
Jablonski, Stanley. Jablonski’s Dictionary of Medical Acronyms and Abbreviations. 6th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2008.
Stahl, Dean, and Karen Kerchelich. Abbreviations Dictionary. 10th ed. Originated by Ralph De Sola. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2001.
Webster’s Guide to Abbreviations. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1985.