Reference Books Online


Collections of e-Books

Commonwealth eBook Collection

A collection of books available to all the residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Includes over 120,000 academic books as well as bestsellers, popular fiction, and primary historical documents.  Search the general collection in the above link or just the academic books in EBL (login required).

Ebrary (now named Ebook Central)

This is a collection of over 100,000 books online.

EBSCO e-books

A growing collection of over 110,000 e-books that can be read online or with the EBSCO eBooks App

Gale Virtual Reference Library

Simultaneously search through more than 200 encyclopedias and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research.

Overdrive Digital Catalog

Overdrive Digital Catalog offers hundreds of audiobooks, ebooks, and videos. Browse and search popular titles and download them to your computer (Mac and PC), transfer them to your portable device (Nook, Sony Reader, iPhone, and others), or burn them onto CDs for reading and listening anywhere, anytime. 

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Reference e-Books

Encyclopedia Britannica

The complete encyclopedia, as well as Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary & Thesaurus, and the Britannica Book of the Year. Also includes illustrations (photographs, drawings, maps, and flags) and more than 130,000 links to web sites selected, rated, and reviewed by Britannica editors.

Encyclopedia of Associations

Provides comprehensive information on more than 123,000 organizations, associations and societies from the national level to the local level. Coverage includes all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands in categories such as trade, business, and commercial; legal, governmental, public administration, and military; cultural; educational; veterans, hereditary, and patriotic; athletic and sports; fan clubs, and many more.

Encyclopedia of Evolution

A comprehensive guide to the essentials of evolutionary biology, these entries by leading experts survey essential concepts and theories, present methods, models and findings, and discuss both the history of the field and current controversies. Readers will find brief treatments on discrete concepts and individuals to illuminating lengthy essays by towering figures in the field. Topics include: Darwin, natural selection, human origins, behavioral ecology, diversity, mathematical models, and cell and developmental biology. Special essays include Stephen Jay Gould's "Macroevolution" and Jane Goodall and Elizabeth Vinson-Lonsdorf on "Culture in Chimpanzees."

Encyclopedia of Global Change

Encompassing tsunamis, elephant conservation, ocean pollution, mining regulation, and permafrost melt, the 300 authoritative articles in this unique and wide-ranging encyclopedia investigate all types of phenomena that change life on Earth. The entries cover a range of general research categories: altered ecosystems, climate change, food and water supply, population, politics and global change, institutions and policies, biographies, and case studies.

Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature

Written by an international roster of more than 300 authors, the Encyclopedia comprehensively documents and interprets the books read by children throughout the world. With a global perspective that pays attention to significant international trends and the multicultural expansion of the field, it includes brief biographies of every major author and illustrator. Also included are feature essays on all genres of children's literature, individual works, and prominent trends and themes, as well as general essays on the traditions of children's literature in many countries throughout the world.

Oxford Encyclopedia of Theater & Performance

This encyclopedia provides authoritative and up-to-date information about theatre and performance from ancient Greek theatre to the latest developments in London, Paris, New York, and around the globe. In addition to performances in playhouses, it covers dance, opera, radio, film, television, and popular performance, including carnivals, circus, and public executions. Entries range from short definitions of terms to lengthy considerations of genres and movements, such as feminism and psychoanalytic criticism. Entries on cities and regions place performance in its local social and political context. Written in accessible language, this encyclopedia brings together an international cast of over 300 specialist contributors.

Salem Health

Salem Health is a collection of complete online reference books. The collection includes: CancerGeneticsMagill's Medical Guide (Sixth Edition), and Psychology & Mental Health.

Salem History

Salem History is a collection of complete online reference books. The collection includes: Musicians & ComposersMilestone Documents in History, Great Events from History, American Decades, and the Encyclopedia of American Business.

St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture

Includes more than 2,700 signed essays ranging from 500 to 2,500 words, written by subject experts and edited to form a consistent, readable, and straightforward reference. Entries include subject-specific bibliographies and, where appropriate, photographs and textual cross-references to related essays.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law

Provides current information on more than 5,000 legal topics. Includes completely revised articles covering important issues, biographies, definitions of legal terms and more. Covers such high-profile topics as the Americans with Disabilities Act, capital punishment, domestic violence, gay and lesbian rights, and physician-assisted suicide.

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