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Find Reference Tools

Reference tools are integral to locating information and conducting research. Some reference tools, such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, and almanacs, supply information directly; others, such as bibliographies and indexes provide references to sources of information on a topic or in a specific format.

Most campus libraries maintain reference materials in their areas of specialization. Browsing the shelves can afford opportunities for discovery, and provide a physical representation of how knowledge is categorized and arranged within the library.

Electronic General Reference Tools
This page offers a select list of almanacs, biographical sources, dictionaries, encyclopedias, quotation books, and directories available online.

OskiCat (UC Berkeley)
OskiCat is the catalog of materials, including reference tools, in UC Berkeley library collections. Two of the main print reference collections in the Doe/Moffitt Libraries, with over 45,000 reference sources, have the location codes DREF and MREF.

  • To find reference tools by subject, select "Subject Keyword" and type a broad topic or subject in the search box. From the "Limit by Location" menu, select Doe Refe or another speciality library.

  • To identify specific kinds of reference tools (e.g., encyclopedias), type a subject keyword describing your broad topic, and combine with the name of the resource type. You can use the "Limit by Location" menu to select Doe Refe or another speciality library.

    Example: To locate a medical dictionary, type the subject keywords "medicine dictionaries".

Melvyl (all UC campuses)
Melvyl is the catalog of materials available from the libraries of the ten UC campuses, and other research collections in the state. Most of the UC Berkeley affiliated libraries' collections are included in this catalog. Current UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff may request materials not owned by UC Berkeley through the online Request feature in Melvyl.

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