General Reference Links

Biography | Business | Consumers | Dictionaries | Education | Government | Health | Jobs/Careers | Law/Politics | Maps/Distances | Movies | News | Phone/Zip Codes | Style Manuals | Time/Weather | Travel/Tourism

For comprehensive listings, please see Web Resources.


This searchable database, sponsored by the A&E Biography television series, is based upon the Cambridge Biographical Encyclopedia (1994).
Biographical Dictionary
Covers more than 28,000 notable women and men, from ancient times to the present day.

Business and Economics

Hoover's Online -- Company Information
Information on over 8,000 companies searchable by name, ticker symbol or geographic location. Includes market data, links to web homepages and weekly business news.
EDGAR, the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system, performs automated collection, validation, indexing, acceptance, and forwarding of submissions by companies and others who are required by law to file forms (e.g. 10-K forms) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
U.S. Economics and Statistics Administration
This resource provides access to current national economic data from a number of federal agencies.
Wall Street Research Net
Online market news, Dow Jones and NASDAQ statistics, "most active" stocks, and other financial information.
Big Charts
An investment research web site providing access to a variety of research tools. Includes interactive charts, quotes, industry analysis, intraday stock screeners, as well as market news & commentary.
Universal Currency Converter
The Universal Currency Converter allows you to perform interactive foreign exchange rate conversion.

Consumers (Sperling's)
Offers city profiles, cost of living indices, crime rates, climate data, and more.
Edmund's Automobile Buyer's Guides
A service provided by the publisher of the print versions. Includes information and prices for current year model vehicles, used car ratings and prices for models dated 1985 and after and a variety of other information such as tips on buying a car and price negotiation.
Federal Consumer Information Center
The Federal Consumer Information Center (FCIC) helps federal agencies and departments develop and distribute useful information to the public.
Measure 4 Measure
Lists numerous websites that estimate, calculate, evaluate, translate, etc.
Unit Converter
Provides a form to convert length, weight, volume, area, temperature and more.


Acronym Dictionary
Search by acronym or word producing either an alphabetical listing of acronyms or listings of acronyms containing a particular word. Acronyms not appearing can be submitted for inclusion.
Searches a variety of quotation sources, dictionaries, thesauri, and other literary collections.
Bible Search
Search the Bible version of your choice in seven different languages.
Encyclopedia Britannica includes the complete, updated Encyclopedia Britannica, the oldest and largest general reference in the English language.
OneLook Dictionary
Searches over 4 million words in more than 800 online dictionaries.
Webster's Dictionary/Thesaurus
Searchable version of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (10th edition) and Collegiate Thesaurus is a substantial collection of dictionaries on the web (more than 1500 dictionaries representing more than 230 languages).


American Universities
Provides links to homepages of colleges and universities granting bachelor and advanced degress in the United States.
Chronicle of Higher Education
Highlights and contents of the weekly edition, includes the job listings for that week. (WIU-affiliated users)
College Source
Full-text access to both international and national college catalogs, listing undergraduate and graduate degrees, programs, etc. (Only available on library computers).
Financial Aid Information
Includes a glossary of financial aid terms as well as information about grants, loans and scholarships from both government and nongovernment sources. Also provides links to related sites.
Peterson's College Guides
Online versions of the printed guides. Guides to undergraduate, graduate and vocational-technical school. Searchable by name or location. Includes a section on postgraduate education for executives.


See Government Information for complete listings.

Selected Sites:
Statistical Abstract of the United States
Includes tables and graphs. Searchable by subject. Does not include all information from the print version.
State and Local Governments
Organized by the Library of Congress, includes links to state sites, organizations, and state maps.
The CIA World Factbook
An online edition of the print version. Provides alphabetical listings of countries and information concerning: geography, people, government, economy, communications and defense sources.
Country Studies - Area Handbook Program
Sponsored by the Department of the Army, 71 countries are included providing a wide range of information including history, geography, economy, transportation, people and more.
Embassy World
Provides links embassy websites of nations throughout the world. The database is searchable by both host and guest county.
Flags of the World
Graphic representations of flags. Searchable by country, geographic location, keyword or title.


AMA Physician Select
Provides basic professional information on virtually every licensed physician in the United States.
Healthfinder is a free gateway to reliable consumer health and human services information developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Health Information
Publications & fact sheets,, health hotlines, A-Z topic index, institutes, MEDLINEplus, and other resources from the National Institutes of Health.
Mayo Clinic Health Oasis
Updated daily, this website is produced by a team of physicians, scientists, writers, and educators affiliated with the Mayo Clinic.
Merck Manual
Searchable version of "the world's most widely used general medical text."


Occupational Outlook Handbook
Online edition of print version. Includes information about careers: job descriptions, training needed and outlook for future employment.
Job Search (
Sponsored by the US Department of Labor, this site provides links to state-operated job banks and general employment information.
Monster Jobs
A global online network for careers, connecting companies with job-seekers.

Law, Legislation and Politics
An "independent, nonpartisan resource" on trends in American public opinion.
Thomas: US Legislative Information
Offers full text of recent and current bills from Congress. Searchable by bill number or by key word(s). Current bills also searchable by subject and popular title. Other legislative information links provided.
Vote Smart Web
Nonpartisan information about congressional office holders including voting records and performance evaluations from special interest groups. Additional information about presidential candidates, campaign finance, names and addresses of representatives, and individual political issues.


An interactive website atlas that calculates driving times, gives travel directions, and other navigational information.
Maps of the Americas
Includes maps of the Americas, primarily from the CIA. U.S. maps include historical and census maps with metropolitan area and county outline maps for each state.

Movies and Reviews

Internet Movie Database
Provides a wide variety of search options including movie titles, cast/crew names, plot summaries and some reviews.
Awards and Festivals Browser
Provides a searchable database of both recent and historical information on hundreds of award ceremonies and film festivals. Whether you're looking for the latest Golden Globes winners or the results of the 1947 Oscar race, you'll find it here.

News and Current Events

Online Newspapers
This site lists the websites of over 4,000 newspapers (from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe).
CNN Interactive
Lead stories from CNN updated throughout the day. Includes access to stories from the past week as well
Offers links to major news sources including newspapers, magazines, radio/TV broadcasters, international resources, and more.
News Headlines
Up-to-the-minute global news and information from the Associated Press, CNN, NPR, Reuters and other news organizations (via Yahoo).

Phone Numbers/Zip Codes

Any Who Toll Free Number Directory
Developed by AT&T, you may search toll-free numbers by category or business listing. Does not include all numbers available through AT&T directory assistance. Directory
U.S. phone number database for people and businesses, you do not need to register to use this resource.
An index of online phone books, with over 400 links to Yellow Pages, White Pages, Business Directories, Email Addresses and Fax Listings from over 170 countries around the world.
Zip Code Information (U.S.)
Provides zip codes for addresses entered, full addresses for companies when name and city/state data are entered. Entering a zip code will result in the corresponding city and state.

Style Manuals

Create your own database of references and let RefWorks format citations and produce bibliographies in the style of your choice. (WIU users only)
Electronic Reference Formats -- APA
Provides official APA documentation on how to cite electronic sources (websites, webpages, e-mail communications, etc.)
UIUC Online Style Guide
Online Citation Styles
An index to a variety of electronic style manuals.


U.S. Naval Observatory Time
The Time Service Department, U.S. Naval Observatory is the official source of time used in the United States. Select your time zone to see the correct time.
The World Clock - Time Zones
Displays the current time in all parts of the world.
Online Calendars
A collection of customizable calendars displaying moon phases, holidays, and observances.
Macomb, IL Weather (via CNN)
CNN provides current weather conditions, maps, and the forecast for the WIU area.
Macomb, IL Weather (via
Get current weather information and forecasting (including Local Doppler and Regional Satellite images).

Travel and Tourism

USA City Link
Links to city and state web sites providing primarily tourist oriented information. Descriptions of locations of interest, historic sites, museums, lodging and restaurants. Some sites also include information about local governments and organizations.
Travel guide to countries, cities, hotels, restaurants and more.