Reference Resources

Reference specific databases

Credo Reference

Credo Reference brings together information from over 100 reference books ranging from encyclopedias to bilingual dictionaries to chronologies to the Bible. You can search everything in the Credo Reference library, search only a specific subject, or search within a single title. Individual titles are also browsable.

Oxford English Dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionary provides current and historical definitions of words from across the English-speaking world, not just in the United States. For most entries, variant spellings, etymology, quotations and a date chart are available.

Reference ebooks

Elements of Library Research: What Every Student Needs to Know

Elements of Library Research provides a foundation for success in any research assignment, from a freshman paper to a senior thesis. Focus is on basic concepts, strategies, tools, and tactics for research, in both electronic and print formats.

Encyclopedia of Education

Offers a complete view of the institutions, people, processes, roles, and philosophies in educational practice in the United States and throughout the world. Features biographies of influential educators; profiles of historic colleges and universities and of organizations active in the field; and an appendix of full text source documents, including education related legislation, international treaties, and testing methods. 8 volumes.

Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy

Examines the philosophical and ethical issues underlying contemporary and historical environmental issues, policies, and debates. Covers concepts, institutions, topics, events and people, including global warming, animal rights, environmental movements, alternative energy, green chemistry, industrial ecology, and eco-sabotage.

Encyclopedia of Gender and Society

Encyclopedia of Gender and Society covers the major theories, research, people, and issues in contemporary gender studies. This comprehensive, two-volume encyclopedia is distinguished by a cross-national/cross-cultural perspective that provides comparative analyses of the life experiences of men and women around the world.

Encyclopedia of the New American Nation

A three-volume survey of the formative years of the United States, starting just prior to the American Revolution and ending with the inauguration of Andrew Jackson in 1829. Presents 671 alphabetically arranged entries focusing on the major political markers and milestones, as well as the art, music, literature and daily life, of this period. For secondary and college students, researchers, and general readers.

Encyclopedia of Social Work

Published by the National Association of Social Workers in conjunction with Oxford University Press, The Encyclopedia of Social Work provides brief articles on and overviews of topics important to the social work field. Each article is cross-referenced and also includes a bibliography of primary sources and related scholarly works. Brief biographies of key figures in the history of social work are also provided. This resource is also available in print in our reference collection (Ref HV12 .E53 2008).

Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia

This encyclopedia gives basic information about a variety of topics students may research. Some but not all of the articles contain pictures or graphics. The information in Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia is aimed at grade to middle school students and can be searched in conjunction with EBSCO Animals, Primary Search and MAS Ultra - School Edition by clicking "Choose Databases."

Historic Documents

This online version of the Historic Documents series is searchable and browsable by topic or title. It includes the important documents of each year since 1972 including presidential speeches, Supreme Court decisions, scientific findings and international agreements. Each document in this collection is prefaced with an added overview of the historical and intellectual context for the document; the document itself appears unchanged.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

This is an online dictionary, thesaurus, medical dictionary and (No Suggestions) dictionary. Many entries contain pictures or graphics, and many also have the option of playing the word aloud for correct pronunciation. Merriam-Webster Dictionary also has a great selection of word games including Scrabble, the LA Times crossword puzzle and various word searches.

Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life - 2nd Edition

Covers cultural groups in Asia, Europe, the Americas and Africa. Each volume is organized by continent, covering history, politics, customs, religion, education, human rights issues, teen life, and more.

General/related databases

Academic Search Complete

This multidisciplinary database is a good place to start your research. For extra search capabilities, click "Choose Databases" and select more subject specific databases to simultaneously search.

Choice Reviews Online

Choice Reviews primarily consists of reviews of academic information sources (books, electronic media and internet sites). Reviews can be found by searching the author/editor or title. Reviews of new materials, broken down by month, are also browsable by subject.


Statisa is a statistics portal that provides data on over 80,000 topics from more than 10,000 different sources including agriculture, advertising, health, hospitality, and consumer goods. The content is geared towards business and marketing statistical needs, with a focus on current (not historical) statistics. Ready made tables are available for downloading.


Use WorldCat to find books about a research topic that are not available at Holy Spirit Library. Search by title or author if you are looking for something specific, or search by keyword or subject to find something new. Click "Borrow this item from another library" to request a book from another library.

Reference websites

Comprehensive list of eReference websites

A list of links to find basic information such as acronyms, addresses, book reviews, dictionaries and more.

US Census Bureau - The Statistical Abstract

Including data from the Census Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis and other Federal agencies and private organizations, is an authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States.