The Marriott Library has a large collection of dictionaries and encyclopedias of all kinds, physical and electronic. You will find links to some of the electronic resources by clicking on the Research Databases tab on the library's home page, then using the Browse Database by Type drop-down menu to select either Dictionaries or Encyclopedias. You can also find this type of resource in our catalog by adding the term "dictionaries" or "encyclopedias" to a search for any given subject. Examples: french language dictionaries; geology encyclopedias.
Some people will ask why a library needs to have dictionaries or encyclopedias any more, when Wikipedia is available in almost 300 different languages. Wikipedia's own analysis of the English-language site shows that fewer than 1% of the articles whose quality has been assessed rate Good or better. This is not to deny that there are well-written scholarly articles in Wikipedia, but the consistent level of quality available in the dictionaries and encyclopedias that libraries continue to provide for their patrons can't yet be found in Wikipedia or other resources freely available online.
Listed below are some of the popular general encyclopedias and dictionaries, followed by a variety of subject-specific encyclopedias.
Dictionaries & General Encyclopedias
Encyclopedias by Subject
- Encyclopaedia of Islam This link opens in a new windowThe Encyclopaedia of Islam provides access to articles on distinguished Muslims and their tribes and dynasties, crafts and sciences, political and religious institutions, their history, and information about the geography, ethnography, flora and fauna, topography and monuments of their major towns, cities and countries. The encyclopaedia is focused historically and geographically on the old Arabo-Islamic empire, the Islamic countries of Iran, Central Asia, the Indian sub-continent and Indones…
- Oxford Art Online This link opens in a new windowOxford Art Online (formerly the Grove Dictionary of Art) contains over 45,000 signed articles on visual arts, with more than 23,000 subject entries and 21,000 biographies. The collection also includes more than 6,000 searchable images and over 40,000 image links to museums and galleries. The database is updated three times a year with new material and corrections, and covers a number of subjects including painting, sculpture, graphic arts, architecture, decorative arts and photography.