4: General Reference Works

The works listed here offer 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. 32nd ed. 8 vols. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale, 2014.

American National Biography Online. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000–. Updated semiannually.

Burke’s Peerage, Baronetage, and Knightage. 107th ed. Multiple vols. London: Burke’s Peerage, 1826–. Also available, with additional related resources, at

Canadian Who’s Who. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Published annually, with semiannual supplements. Also available at

Chambers Biographical Dictionary. 9th ed. London: Chambers Harrap, 2011.

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. Succeeded by American National Biography.

Dictionary of Canadian Biography. 14 vols. Toronto: University of Toronto / Université Laval, 1966–. Supplements. Continued, with updates, at

A Dictionary of Scientists. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. Published online 2003.

Directory of American Scholars. 10th ed. 6 vols. Detroit: Gale Group, 1942–.

The International Who’s Who. London: Europa / Routledge, 1935–. Published annually. Also available at

Marquis Who’s Who on the Web. New Providence, NJ: Marquis Who’s Who. Continually updated.

Merriam-Webster’s Biographical Dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1995. Continued by the biographical entries in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and Merriam-Webster Unabridged (bibliog. 3.1).

New York Times. Obituaries. Also available from ProQuest Historical Newspapers.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 60 vols. Prepared under various editors. New York: Oxford University Press, 1885–2004. Also available at

Thomson, David. The New Biographical Dictionary of Film. 6th ed. Knopf, 2014.

Who’s Who. London: Bloomsbury, 1849–. Published annually.

Who’s Who in America. New Providence, NJ: Marquis Who’s Who, 1899–. Published biennially. See also Marquis Who’s Who on the Web.

4.2: Geography

Canadian Geographical Names. Geographical Names Board of Canada, Natural Resources Canada. Continually updated.

Columbia Gazetteer of the World. 2nd ed. Edited by Saul B. Cohen. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008. Online ed.,

Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names Online. Getty Research Institute. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Trust. Continually updated.

Mayhew, Susan. A Dictionary of Geography. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Merriam-Webster’s Geographical Dictionary. 3rd ed. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1997. Continued by the geographical entries in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and Merriam-Webster Unabridged (bibliog. 3.1).

NGA GEOnet Names Server (GNS). Washington, DC: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Continually updated.

Oxford Atlas of the World. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992–. Updated annually.

The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World. 14th ed. London: Times Books, 2014.

United States Board on Geographic Names. US Department of the Interior and US Geological Survey. Continually updated.

The World Factbook. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency. Continually updated.

4.3: Encyclopedias

The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada.

Columbia Encyclopedia. 6th ed. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.

Encyclopedia Americana. 30 vols. Danbury, CT: Scholastic Library, 2006. Also available from Grolier Online.

The New Encyclopaedia Britannica. 15th ed. 32 vols. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2010. Final print version. Continued online, as Encyclopaedia Britannica, at

Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. San Francisco: Wikimedia Foundation.

4.4: Almanacs and Yearbooks

Canadian Almanac and Directory. Toronto: Grey House, 1847–. Published annually.

The Europa World of Learning. London: Europa / Routledge, 1947–. Published annually. Also available at

Europa World Year Book. London: Europa / Routledge, 1926–. Published annually. Also available at

The Statesman’s Yearbook. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 1864–. Published annually. Also available at

Whitaker’s Almanack. London: J. Whitaker & Sons / Stationery Office / Bloomsbury, 1868–. Published annually.

World Almanac and Book of Facts. New York: World Almanac Books, 1868–. Published annually.

4.5: Guides to Books, Periodicals, and Other Sources

ABI/Inform Complete. Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest.

Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules. See RDA: Resource Description and Access.

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 and New Zealand Books in Print. Melbourne: D. W. Thorpe, 1958–2003.

Bibliographic Index. New York: H. W. Wilson, 1937–2011.

BIOSIS Serial Sources. Philadelphia: Thomson Reuters, 2012.

Book Review Digest. New York: H. W. Wilson, 1903–. Published monthly, except for February and July, with annual cumulations. Also available, as Book Review Digest Plus, at

Book Review Index. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1965–. Published monthly, with quarterly and annual cumulations. Also available as Book Review Index Online.

Books in Print. New York: R. R. Bowker. Published annually. Also available at

British Books in Print. London: J. Whitaker; New York: R. R. Bowker. From 1988 to 2003 titled Whitaker’s Books in Print; before 1988 variously titled British Books in Print or The Reference Catalogue of Current Literature. Continued by Books in Print, global edition.

Canadian Books in Print. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Published annually through 2006. Continued by Books in Print, global edition.

Catalog of U.S. Government Publications. Washington, DC: Government Publishing Office.

Citing Records in the National Archives of the United States. General Information Leaflet 17. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 2010.

Dissertation Abstracts International. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms International. Published monthly with annual cumulations.

Guide to Reference: Essential General Reference and Library Science Sources. Edited by Jo Bell Whitlatch and Susan E. Searing. Chicago: American Library Association, 2014.

Guide to the Contents of the Public Record Office. 3 vols. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1963–68.

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 cumulations. Continued by Humanities Index International at EBSCOhost.

Index Islamicus. Leiden: Brill. Published quarterly with quinquennial cumulations. Also available at

Library of Congress Subject Headings. Washington, DC: Library of Congress Cataloging Distribution Service. Published annually. Now available online only, from

Livres disponibles [French books in print]. 8 vols. Paris: Cercle de la librairie, 1977–2004.

The New Walford Guide to Reference Resources. 9th ed. 3 vols. London: Facet, 2005–15.

New York Times Index. New York: New York Times Company. Annual cumulations. Available from ProQuest Historical Newspapers.

NLM Catalog: Journals Referenced in the NCBI Databases. Bethesda, MD: National Center for Biotechnology Information, US National Library of Medicine.

O’Gorman, Jack, ed. Reference Sources for Small and Medium-Sized Libraries. 8th ed. Chicago: American Library Association, 2014.

PAIS International in Print. New York: Public Affairs Information Service. Published monthly, with every fourth issue being cumulative. Continued by PAIS International, ProQuest.

Pemberton, John E., ed. The Bibliographic Control of Official Publications. New York: Pergamon, 1982. Also available at

PubMed. Bethesda, MD: US National Library of Medicine.

RDA: Resource Description and Access. Chicago: American Library Association; Ottawa: Canadian Library Association; London: Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, 2010. Updated annually. Available at

Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature. New York: H. W. Wilson. Published quarterly, with annual cumulations. Also available from EBSCOhost.

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. Continued by Thomson Reuters Web of Science.

Social Sciences Index. New York: H. W. Wilson. Published quarterly with annual cumulations. Also available from EBSCOhost.

UKOP: Catalogue of United Kingdom Official Publications. London: Chadwyck-Healey. Continually updated.

Ulrich’s International Periodicals Directory. New York: R. R. Bowker. Published annually. Supplemented quarterly by Ulrich’s Update. Continued by Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory, from ProQuest,

Verzeichnis Lieferbarer Bücher [German books in print]. Frankfurt am Main: Verlag der Buchhändler-Vereinigung. Published annually. Also available at

Web of Science. See Science Citation Index.

Whitaker’s Books in Print. See British Books in Print.

4.6: Quotations and Trivia

Bartlett, John. Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations: A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs Traced to Their Sources in Ancient and Modern Literature. 18th ed. Edited by Geoffrey O’Brien. New York: Little, Brown, 2012.

Crystal, David, and Hilary Crystal. Words on Words: Quotations about Language and Languages. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.

The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. 8th ed. Edited by Elizabeth Knowles. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Schott, Ben. Schott’s Original Miscellany. 1st US ed. New York: Bloomsbury, 2003.

Shapiro, Fred R., ed. Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006.

4.7: Abbreviations STANDS4 Network. Continually updated.

Acronyms, Initialisms & Abbreviations Dictionary: A Guide to Acronyms, Abbreviations, Contractions, Alphabetic Symbols, and Similar Condensed Appellations. 49th ed. 11 vols. Edited by Kristin Mallegg. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale, 2015.

Davis, Neil M. Medical Abbreviations: 32,000 Conveniences at the Expense of Communication and Safety. 15th ed. Warminster, PA: Neil M. Davis Associates, 2011.

Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. Joint Publication 1-02. Washington, DC: Joint Chiefs of Staff. Updated monthly.

Dorland’s Dictionary of Medical Acronyms and Abbreviations. 7th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2015.

International Organization for Standardization. Information and Documentation—Rules for the Abbreviation of Title Words and Titles of Publications. ISO 4. Paris: ISO, 1997.

Molloy, Mike. Acronym Finder. Continually updated.

Vance, Burt. A Dictionary of Abbreviations. Online only. Oxford University Press, 2011.

Webster’s Guide to Abbreviations. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1985. Superseded by the entries for abbreviations in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and Merriam-Webster Unabridged (bibliog. 3.1).