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Gender and Sexuality Studies

Reference means...

...material we "refer" to for:

  • background information
  • getting started
  • checking details
  • definitions and facts

Encylopedia, handbook, dictionary, bibliography, companion and guide are all names given to reference material. This means that in the titles of reference sources, you'll find words like these, which indicate the nature of the contents.

Comprehensive, online reference sources often just use the word reference.

A very good place to start...


Canadian Reference Centre (Ebsco Host) "Canadian Reference Centre combines Canadian magazines, newspapers & newswires and reference books to create the largest collection of regional full text content available to Canadian libraries. This database includes leading Canadian periodicals and international (U.S. and U.K.) periodicals in full text; full text reference books; 82,968 full text biographies and an Image Collection of 107,135 photos, maps and flags. Provides full text information for over 150 Canadian periodicals and over 400 international periodicals."

Credo Reference Credo Reference (Formerly XreferPlus) is an online reference library comprised of 453 reference books including encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri and books of quotations, etc. Click here to view a list of all reference titles included in Credo Reference.

Oxford Reference  "The premium collection enhances the 100+ books in the core collection with an expanding range of key titles in the acclaimned Oxford companions series plus the Oxford dictionary of quotations. This collection is updated regularly with new titles, new editions, new entries, illustrations, weblinks and bibliographies."

To search for reference books...

Search the library homepage for reference material. 

For example:

In the search box, type
         - gender* encyclopedia
         - women dictionary

Search. Then, in the left-hand sidebar under Item Types, click on Books.

HINT: The asterisk * is a "truncation" symbol.  It allows you to search for terms that have the same root but different endings.  For example, gender* will return gender, genders, gendered.

HINT: In the search above, try using handbook instead of dictionary or encyclopedia.