Other Reference Sources

Video | Research Sites | Reference Works | Site Directories | Maps| Higher Education and Career Choices and Financial Aid | Government | Mono/Multi Cultural | Electronic Texts (etext) | Medical

Video Sites

Academic Earth offers free access to video courses and academic lectures from leading colleges and universities. Lectures and whole courses online are accompanied with lecture guides and reading lists. These are videos from some of the leading American universities:Berkeley, Columbia, Harvard, Michigan, MIT, NYU, Princeton, Stanford, UCLA and Yale. Free but you might need to register.

"The MIT Video website aggregates and curates video produced by the Institute's offices, laboratories, centers and administration. This includes feature and editorial videos, event recordings, academic content and more. Each day, the editorial team at MIT Video selects one or more videos to "spotlight" based on the videos' content, production value and timeliness.

Udacity "offers accessible, affordable, engaging classes that anyone can take, anytime." They "have options to earn college credit and you will also have a chance to take subjects not offered at your school."

TED Talks. Smart people talking about interesting things. Each talk is about 20 minutes, highly visual, perfect for a projector presentation. Check out the ones rated jaw dropping, they really are. Free.

Study Beat Short educational video clips arranged by subject. Young presenters and upbeat presentations make this an interesting site to watch. It is a subscription service so you have to pay ($10/month) but the demos are free

Snag Learning high quality educational films and documentaries, for free. "SnagLearning is dedicated to presenting high-quality documentary films as educational tools to ignite meaningful discussion within the learning community."

Video site list from freetech4teachers. A minimalist list without much description of the content of the various sites but a long list, worth checking.

60secondrecap has 60 second video recaps of over 1000 classic works of literature.

KahnAcademy offers thousands of free educational videos. A TED Talk by the site's creator.

WatchKnow offers thousands of free educational videos for K-12. There is a neat slider for the age filter.

Book Trailers Videos A list of student-made and professional videos about books in the style of movie trailers. Also many links to how-to sites for making your own trailers.

Research Sites

Gale Databases 26 wide ranging databases complete with pretty icons, includes history, health biography and literary databases. This is a subscription site available in school. Other Subscription Services

So it's not the town of Salem, it's the name of the publisher. "Salem History is a robust online database that includes the complete content of printed reference sets." MVRHS has three books available: History, Literature, Science In History, start with the Browse or People tabs. People, for example, goes from Hank Aaron to Stary Zygmunt (King of Poland 1506 - 1548). In Literature, Browse or Authors. In Science, Browse or Glossary. This is a subscription site, available only in school.

Gapminder.org a fact-based world view based on statistics. Much more interesting than it first sounds. Watch the documentary on "Joy of Statistics".

The Boston Public Library allows residents of Massachusetts to sign up for an electronic library card. Click on "My Account" and then "Get a BPL eCard." With this card number you can access a large number of databases including JSTOR , the OED, Gale Virtual Reference Library, American History in Video, ERIC and many newspaper sites. Start your research immediately.

Learners TV has an unbelievable listing of science videos, lectures and animations. It describes itself as "... an online educational video resource aggregator " They have links to video lectures on physics, biology, chemistry, math ,computer science, engineering, medical, dentistry, accounting and management, literature, law, economics ...

The World Digital Library "The World Digital Library will make available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from cultures around the world, including manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings,  films, prints, photographs, architectural drawings, and more.  The objectives of the World Digital Library are to promote international and inter-cultural understanding and awareness, provide resources to educators, expand non-English and non-Western content on the Internet, and to contribute to scholarly research."

iTools is strong on language oriented research: dictionaries, rhymes, anagrams, language identifiers, translators. It also has searchable sites for maps, streets, people, stocks, package tracking and email discussion groups.

Google Scholar is a scholarly research site. Google says, "From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations."

QuizHub (formerly the High School Ace) is a gateway to excellent free online academic resources for high school students. It features interactive learning activities, an ongoing poetry contest, a reference collection, college information, and subject guides for English, mathematics, social studies, science, world languages, arts, and technology. The educational games section is a subscription service.

Dr. Grammar answers your grammar questions.

Open Courseware Consortium Universities working together to advance education and empower people worldwide through opencourseware. Includes courses from Johns Hopkins, MIT, UMass, UC, Tufts and other universities around the world. 

Digital History presents a site using digital technology to enhance teaching and research. Interactive timelines, flash movies and links to primary sources are only some of the many offerings here. Sponsored by the University of Houston in collaboration with the Chicago Historical Society, the National Parks Service and others.

Reference Works

Libraryspot An incredible metalist of Libraries, Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Maps, Phone Books, Reference Desks, Newspapers, Quotations, etc. This site is loaded with useful and interesting information, definitely worth seeing. Contains an excellent image section if you need a picture.

MapLight.org "brings together campaign contributions and how legislators vote, providing an unprecedented window into the connections between money and politics. MAPLight.org, a ground breaking public database, illuminates the connection between campaign donations and legislative votes in unprecedented ways. Elected officials collect large sums of money to run their campaigns, and they often pay back campaign contributors with special access and favorable laws. This common practice is contrary to the public interest, yet legal. MAPLight.org makes money/vote connections transparent, to help citizens hold their legislators accountable."

RE:Writing Comprehensive site covering many aspects of writing including tutorials on "Evaluating Online Sources" and "Avoiding Plagiarism". You have to register, but it's free. Their motto is" Good writing comes from Re:Writing".

Harvard College (sic) has a writing program to "encourage better writing by giving students practical advice and useful examples."

Refdesk.com is a little bit of everything if you dig deep enough. Keep scrolling down its pages for more and more links.

Roget's Thesaurus Do you desire to avoid ambiguity and imprecision?

Your Dictionary A web of online dictionaries. A list of 800 dictionaries in 160 languages.

Visuwords an online graphical dictionary and thesaurus. It doesn't look anything like a printed dictionary. Move the words around. Hold the curser over a word for its definition. It does require Flash be installed on your computer.

Wiktionary A companion to Wikipedia it wants to define (in English) all words in all languages

Wolfram Research for all things mathematical or the Mathematical Atlas , get Equation Sheets. See also their computational search engine, WolframAlpha.

The Owl at Perdue University covers almost every aspect of research and writing. Clear, computer-friendly pages of both APA and MLA citation styles may be copied as well as tutorials, how to develop a thesis statement, outlining, note-taking, components of the research paper and more. Northern Michigan University also offers an MLA Style Sheet

Wikipedia Free semi-authoritative user-contributed encyclopedia. Good for an overview if you don't know much about a particular subject. Since anyone can add or delete material from this site it would be wise to check another site as well for verification. Most colleges and many high schools do not allow citations from this site to be used in research papers. Read this article on "10 reasons for not citing Wikipedia."

Internet Public Library has good material in the subject collections but I wouldn't use it to start searching for a term. It includes the Online Literary Criticism Collection and the Ready Reference Collection. It also lists sites that offer homework help.

Bartleby offers several publications to students, researchers and the intellectually curious. They also have sections on verse, fiction and non-fiction.

Site Directories

Linked Data linking databases from around the world, a project of the World Wide Web Consortium.

The Wayback Machine (hats off to Jay Ward) from Internet Archives stores previous versions of web pages, so you can see how it was.

Virtual Library Museum Pages A list of museums with web sites. Museumspot, more of the same.

Ibiblio the public's library and digital archive or WorldCat bibliographic information from 72,000 libraries.

The Digital Librarian and the Multnomah County Library in Portland Oregon are both librarian reviewed lists of sites categorized by subjects and suitable for student research.

Internet Directory of Botany

Encyclopedia of Life The Encyclopedia of Life is a global partnership between the scientific community and the general public. Their goal is to make freely available to anyone knowledge about all the world’s organisms. Heavy weight support comes from (among others) The Biodiversity Heritage Library, The Field Museum of Natural History, Harvard University, The Missouri Botanical Garden, The Smithsonian Institution, and The Marine Biological Laboratory, at Woods Hole, Massachusetts.


Realtime Map of the Earth See where the Sun shines.

The National Atlas is a U.S. Government site with many maps, some interactive requiring Shockwave.

Google Earth (download and install the small program, Mac version and Windows: 2000 and up). So cool! Go to a city and turn on "buildings" or look at Street Views for some cities.

NASA's Visible Earth has more kinds of images than you might have thought possible. Since you paid for it, it's free with no ads.

National Geographic Maps a lot like Google Earth, Satellite, Street Maps, Physical Maps

Maps of Massachusetts from the Commonwealth includes topographic, bicycle, congressional district, area code and satellite images.

Microsoft Street Views "Anything Google can do, I can do better ..." Maybe, maybe not.

Expedia is a travel site with a map section featuring driving directions and street directions: easy to navigate.

Mapquest has much the same information and includes airport directions and the unfortunate numerous banner ads.

Maps of War animated maps of religion, democracy, Middle East empires. They also have a link to other war map sites. A particularly good one is Animated History's Iwo Jima 

Higher Education and Career Choices and Financial Aid

Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority "From newborn to high school senior to every child in between, we have the step-by-step resources and expertise to help families plan, save and pay for college."

MassSaves "Your resource for financial educationand money management in Massachusette" http://www.masssaves.org/

The Educational Testing Service offers help on the SAT's.

Career Paths helps you narrow your career interests, provides professional insight into individual careers and gives interview, cover letter, and resume tips.

The U. S. Department of Education also has a financial aid section, including an application for FAFSA Free Application for Federal Student Financial Aid

FastWeb uses the Internet to find scholarships for college. It lets you match each student's background, automatically, with eligibility requirements for scholarships from around the country and advise them about scholarship opportunities tailored to their needs. All for free. The site includes an extensive college directory of more than 4,000 schools with information on admissions, financial aid and general information, and easy-to-find information from national experts on admissions, financial aid, money management, career planning, jobs and life after college.

Finaid describes what kinds of loans are available, what scholarships you may be eligible for and even a free scholarship search section. When you fill out the scholarship search section be careful what you click on or you will be receiving magazine subscriptions and "other valuable offers."

MassMentor is the place to start if you are thinking about college in Massachusetts. Lots of general and specific information about colleges in the state. Also check out AICUM, the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Massachusetts for more information about admissions and financial aid. For a list of most of the Massachusetts college web sites see 50 states (skip the "Featured Listings" because featured = paid). Another site, comprehensive but design impaired, is at MassHome.

American Colleges and Universities

Universities Worldwide

College Scholarships.com seems like a good commercial site for general college information


U. S. Government Official Web Sites: Of the government, by the government the Firstgov site by the General Services Administration claims to be the first and only site you need to find information from the U. S. Government. Search by government branch Executive Branch | Legislative Branch | Judicial Branch. Or try Google's U. S. Government search .

The White House web site.

GovEngine is a comprehensive directory of Official Federal, State, and Local Government and Court links. This is a great site. This is the most complete collection of state government sites I have found. Better organized than Massachusetts' own site.

A list of the various Governments of the United States.

Thomas Legislative information on the Internet, from the Library of Congress provides information on pending bills and enacted legislation at the Federal level.

IRS Forms The only entity that makes you figure out what you owe. Why can't they just send you a bill?

The Library of Congress "The Library of Congress is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and is also the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections
The Library's mission is to make its resources available and useful to the Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations." Here is an extensive list of available LOC services.

The Smithsonian Museum was created by an act of Congress in 1846, from a bequest of an Englishman, James Smithson. It is the largest museum in the world. It's web site is a huge compendium of just some of the material collected over the years. Smithsonian Education site.

The Massachusetts Cultural Council gives away $15 million each year. Grants are available to four categories of applicants: nonprofit organizations, schools, municipalities and individual artists.

US Historical Documents from pre-colonial days to the latest State of the Union Address, the University of Oklahoma presents copies of almost every important political document in US history. A related site features information on US flags

In NationMaster you can compare any two countries on a variety of data from numbers of paved airports to inflation to fertility to gender ratio at birth and more. You can also find the top and bottom five countries in each category.

U.S. Patents from 1790 until last week, all the patents with pictures and diagrams.

Search Systems 10,000 Public Record databases by State, searchable, mostly free.

Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections An atlas with state maps of every presidential elections from 1789.

Mono and Multi-Cultural Sites

Black Voices "AOL Black Voices, the premiere site for African-American culture and community, offers African-American message boards, profiles and chats, African-American sports, African-American news, African-American entertainment, African-American style and beauty, relationship advice and more "

Boston Athenaeum's African Americana Project contains digital images of broadsides, pamphlets, manuscripts and much more relating to the African American Experience in Boston.

Also check out the World African Network or Africa Online .

The late Dorothy West who lived in Oak Bluffs was a member of the literary flowering known as the Harlem Renaissance. Lots of resources, this is just one link.

Brasil, the official government version. For a non-government site try the excellent Meu Brasil by Sergio Koreisha.

Hiller Photo, a collection of photos, with a section on parts of Brazil.

The Portugal Homepage features information about the country and culture of Portugal.

Wampanoag The history and culture of the tribe are covered in a variety of educational sites. Plimoth Plantation covers the Wampanoags from pre-Colonial days to today. Other sites are devoted to Wampanoag History and the Aquinnah Constitution .

Electronic Texts (etext)

Gizmo's list of sites offering free ebooks

Google Books "Search the latest index of the world's books. Find millions of great books you can preview or read for free."

Project Gutenberg Fine literature digitally re-published. From Shakespeare to Jack London, this site makes available some of the world's finest literature in full text versions. The copyright (if any) has expired so this material is in the public domain.

The Oxford Text Archive works to identify, collect, and preserve high-quality, well-documented electronic texts and linguistic corpora, which it then makes available to others. The Oxford Text Archive holds several thousand electronic texts and linguistic corpora, in a variety of languages. Its holdings include electronic editions of works by individual authors, standard reference works such as the Bible and mono-/bilingual dictionaries, and a range of language corpora.

Perseus Digital library provides ancient texts online. From Aeschylus to Xenophon, from Caesar to Virgil or 500 papyri, this large ( 225 gigabytes) site gives access to the ancient texts.

MIT Classics Select from a list of 441 works of classical literature by 59 different authors, including user-driven commentary and "reader's choice" Web sites. Mainly Greco-Roman works (some Chinese and Persian), all in English translation.

The English Server The EServer (based at the University of Washington) offers over twenty thousand works, covering a wide range of interests. It doesn't provide as many novel-length works as Project Gutenberg but is comprehensive in what it does cover. For example Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter is presented full text, full text with notes or as a downloadable file. The American copy-text used is explained (Project Gutenberg uses the English edition with Anglicized spelling and punctuation.) There is even an essay on "How to get an 'A' on your Scarlet Letter assignment".

The IPL Online Texts Collection contains over 9500 titles that can be browsed by author, by title, or by Dewey Subject Classification. .

Digital Library has 18,000 ebooks; many obscure American works. Also try the World Public Library for over 2,000,000 PDF books in 125 languages.

University of Pennsylvania books-on-line lists 20,000 free books on the web. Their archive page has dozens of other etext sources including English language sites, foreign languages from Afghan to Yiddish and specialty sites from agriculture to women. 

Not a link but the Burgomeister says for more recent works google "burgomeister books" "free ebook download"

Bookyards provides information and more than 14,000 book texts on authors from Samuel Adams to Zarathushtra.

Planet eBook Classic literature in ebook format. Free downloads. Fullbooks.com still more downloadable ebooks.

Digital photographs of rare books from a company called Octavio, including most of the Shakespeare Quartos and the First Folio, some of the great books in science, including books by Galileo, Newton, Copernicus, Kepler, Einstein, Darwin and others, Gutenberg ’s Bible of 1455, Harvey's book on the circulation of blood, Galileo’s Siderius Nuncius, the first printing of the Bill of Rights, the Magna Carta and Poor Richard’s Almanac by Benjaman Franklin.



Healthfinder® is a gateway to selected consumer health and human services information resources provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other organizations serving the public interest.

The mission of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] is to promote health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability

The National Institutes of Health
one of the world's foremost biomedical research centers. An agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, the NIH is the Federal focal point for health research. NIH is the steward of biomedical and behavioral research for the Nation. Its mission is science in pursuit of fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to extend healthy life and reduce the burdens of illness and disability.

NIH's National Library of Medicine search service to access the 9 million citations in MEDLINE and Pre-MEDLINE (with links to participating on-line journals), and other related databases.

NIH's National Cancer Institute's Cancer Net
The most accurate and up-to-date information on cancer and cancer research

Famous Hospitals

The Massachusetts General Hospital aims to provide the highest quality care to individuals and to the community, to advance care through excellence in biomedical research, and to educate future academic and practice leaders of the health care professions.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
The mission of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is to provide expert, compassionate care to children and adults with cancer while advancing the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of cancer and related diseases.

Mayo Clinic
Reliable information for a healthier life.

Johns Hopkins Medicine An access point for patients, health care professionals, prospective students, alumni, donors, businesses, and the media--in short, anyone interested in Johns Hopkins Medicine. This site also offers information about medical specialties, research news, business opportunities, and educational programs at Johns Hopkins.

Aetna Insurance Company's InteliHealth

Medical Organizations

The New England Journal of Medicine
Considered the most prestigious medical journal in the world. The current issue is available on line but you must subscribe to get past issues

American Medical Association
Mostly for physicians but does include the current Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) articles. Specializes sections on HIV/AIDS, Asthma, Migraine, and Women's Health

American Heart Association
The abstracts of Original Articles (reports of original clinical research) and Special Articles (reports of research on health policy) are available on-line, along with the names and institutional affiliations of the authors. If you wish to read an entire article, you can have it sent to you by mail or fax. In addition, the full text of the following features is available on-line: Images in Clinical Medicine, Editorials, Sounding Board articles (opinion pieces), Correspondence, and Book Reviews.

Medical Publications

High Wire Press electronically publishes medical and scientific journal articles. Most print publications delay their on line version for a year, but some are published immediately.

The Merck Manual is the reference book doctors have used for one hundred years. The physicians version is available only as a fee based service but some of the new home edition is on line.

The Merck Manual of Medical Information, Home Edition
The Web version of The Merck Manual--Home Edition contains the entire Section 3 (Heart and Blood Vessel Disorders), Section 17 (Infections), Section 20 (Eye Disorders), and Section 22 (Women's Health Issues), as well as the complete Table of Contents, Preface, Editors and Editorial Board, Consultants, Contributors, A Guide for Readers, and Understanding Medical Terms. All other sections contain a list of section chapters only.

The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, Seventeenth Edition.

The Merck Manual of Geriatrics.

Free access to Medscape's own collection of over 25,000 full-text articles. In addition, complete access to all medical journals in Dow Jones Interactive Publications Library on a pay-per-view basis. Free but you must register.

Prescription Drug Information

Prescription drug guide from the publishers of the PDR

RxList - The Internet Drug Index
Prescription drug information

Other Medical Sites

A Reader's Digest of medical articles

Doctor produced in-depth medical advice for the consumer. They'd also like to sell you (prescription) drugs at their drug store.

Medicinenet does have a good index of disease and treatment sites

Some good sites on medical quackery are QuackWatch and PseudoScience.

Go Ask Alice Medical questions answered aimed at young adults and their problems. Good advice with a twist of humor added.

Planned Parenthood review what they taught you in Health class.

Support Groups

The Child Abuse Prevention Network -- the World Wide Internet Nerve Center for professionals in the field of child abuse and neglect.

ObGyn Net
A physician reviewed service offering medical professionals, women and industry a home for publishing, accessing information and global interaction. Offered in three sections, each focusing on different segments of the women's health community: Medical Professionals,
Medical Industry and Women.

List and Glossary of medical terms: English


Video | Research Sites | Reference Works | Site Directories | Maps| Higher Education and Career Choices and Financial Aid | Government | Mono/Multi Cultural | Electronic Texts (etext) | Medical


MVRHS Main Library Page

updated 2/21/2012