General Reference


The general reference collection comprises materials that serve one or more of the following purposes:

  • factual information (e.g., dictionaries, atlases, statistical yearbooks, biographical dictionaries)
  • overview of a topic (e.g., handbooks, encyclopedias)
  • guides to in-depth research on a topic (e.g., bibliographies, indices)       

Subject-focused reference materials are collected across subject areas and are addressed in subject-specific collection development statements. The general reference collection includes those materials that are not subject-specific, are of general interest, or are broadly multidisciplinary. 

Formats collected

The preferred format is electronic. Online resources that are optimized for use within the library’s discovery system are preferred.

Reference materials are not collected for which there are reliable, free, online alternatives. 

Languages collected

Materials are primarily collected in English. Other languages are collected as needed for subject-specific reference collections. 

Chronological and geographical focus

Current materials are emphasized.

No geographic areas are excluded.

Subject Librarian

Emily Horning
Director of Undergraduate Research Education and Outreach
Undergraduate Teaching and Learning
Access Services - Sterling Memorial Library / Bass
(203) 432-8211