Encyclopedias & Reference

by | Dec 1, 2020

Find quick authoritative facts, background information, and comprehensive overviews of various subjects using reference sources. Examples include dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies, almanacs, directories, atlases, and handbooks, all of which are available from Saint Mary’s Libraries, both in print and online.

Try any of the following…

Encyclopedia Britannica

Search this world renowned encyclopedia and discover over 420,000 primary source documents, complete books, and authentic images.

Gale eBooks

Search a variety of online reference titles that includes the Encyclopedia of Religion and the New Catholic Encyclopedia. 

Salem Press Online

Choose from a variety of titles, ranging from literature, history, and the sciences.

Encyclopedia of GLBTQ

The Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Culture provides biographies of significant GLBTQ individuals as well as articles on GLBTQ art, literature, and social issues.


Encyclopedia.com contains 73 dictionaries and thesauri with definitions, synonyms, word origins, pronunciation keys, and abbreviations. In addition, encyclopedia.com derives its information from 49 authoritative reference works, including Oxford University Press, World Encyclopedia, Columbia University press, and many others.

Find in the Libraries

Print reference materials are for in-library use only unless a librarian provides special permission for checkout.

Winona Library

On the Winona campus, print reference materials are located on the main level of the library behind the Ask a Librarian Desk. Popular examples include the New Catholic Encyclopedia (15 volume set) and Macmillan’s Encyclopedia of Philosophy (10 volume set).

Twin Cities Library

On the Twin Cities campus, print reference materials are located in the Main Library behind the library desk.

Why Use Reference?


Read articles written by experts and published by trusted sources.

Background Information

Discover key dates, people, and theories that will give you a foundation for your topic.

Search Terms

Identify keywords that will help you search for articles faster.


Browse reference lists for additional authoritative sources.