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Home > Reference > Encyclopedias 

 Search Encyclopedias  


Wikipedia is definitely the best free online encyclopedia, and possibly the best for any price. Search it using Wikipedia's search engine below, otherwise try Clusty's version (clustered results) or Google's search of Wikipedia. There's also WikiSeek, which searches all the external links in Wikipedia as well. WikiWax has a smart search box worth trying. Citizendium is from a founder of Wikipedia, aiming to have more solid, reliable info

 MSN Encarta 

The new kid on the block (and very good), with a reasonable amount of free articles for non-subscribers.

 Britannica is the oldest and largest general reference in the English language. The free version is very lightweight, with banner and pop-up ads. There is also a scanned 1911 edition online.


Bartleby is a database containing many reference classics, like the Columbia Encyclopedia, American Heritage Dictionary, King James Bible, Oxford Shakespeare, Gray's Anatomy etc.

 More Resources 

  • The Canadian Encyclopedia - This searchable edition features more than 10,000 articles written by a broad base of Canadians who are experts in their individual subjects.
  • Probert Encyclopaedia - an independent reference encyclopaedia, consisting of over 235,000 concise & fully interlinked articles.
  • Questia - 70,000 online books and journals. Sample chapters for free, to give you an idea of why this is such a powerful resource
  • AllRefer - uses Columbia Encyclopedia & other reference resources. InfoPlease is similar
  • FactBites - searches return meaningful, relevant sentences - often from encyclopedias. A very quick way to find summarised factual information
  • - makes it easy to search Wikipedia, Questia, Bartleby & others from the same page. FaganFinder is similar

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