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University of Wisconsin - Madison Libraries

Research Guides

Basic Reference Sources : About This Guide

An introduction to reference sources, such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, and more, available in the collections of the UW-Madison Libraries.

About This Guide

This guide provides an introduction to reference sources in the collections of UW-Madison Libraries.  

What are reference sources?  Reference sources are authoritative works to which you can refer for specific answers or information. There are many types of reference sources such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, directories, and more.   They are good for finding facts and definitions, overviews of topics, and additional sources of information.

Use the resources on the Core Resources page (under Guide Contents) to help you identify reference sources and find articles within them.  Use the other pages to see resources of a particular type.

This guide focuses on general and mostly online reference sources available through the UW-Madison Libraries. Use subject-specific research guides to find reference sources related to your subject.  More Reference Guides can be found in the box below.

Memorial Reference Staff

Memorial Reference Group
Memorial Library
Second Floor, Room 262
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