Sunday, February 05, 2006


Do you all have any frequently-visited internet reference link sites? Doesn't matter whether it's a general ref source like, or writer-specific, such as Margaret Fisk's monster Writing Links page; I'm interested in the places you go most often.

If you don't mind sharing the wealth, post a URL or link to your ref hangouts in comments.


  1. I go to places like: Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Mythica, Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus, Medicinia Antiqua, The Crime Library and NOAA for some of my research. Other sites are for genealogy, daily weblog reads and online bookstores. Weblogs are great for finding other writing/editing/publishing sites, but I haven't necessarily bookmarked them... yet.

  2. More and more, Wikipedia is the site I turn to for pretty much everything I ever wanted to know about anything (taken with a grain of salt, natch). for images of things I'm describing (like a crow's eye, for example). for word origins and pronunciations. for the obvious. (I sometimes use for this, but it's not as robust as

    And iTunes for my musical needs which, actually, do sometimes turn up in fiction ("What IS the theme to The Man from U.N.C.L.E.?")

    In an average writing night, I'll hit Wikipedia and at least once, and often many, many more times than that.

  3. Oh! And how can I forget A.Word.A.Day? It shows up in my mailbox, but is still 100% awesome!

  4. Do I know reference places?

    Depends on what I'm looking for.

    RhymeZone -

    Online Guide to Grammar and Writing -

    Internet Public Library -

    Most Checked Out Library Books -

    I like using a lot of obscure resources. I find great plot ideas in old folk tales.


    I've got a lot of language reference guides and usually I keep tabs on locations. I know a a few references on American English and English English.

    Career guides are useful if I don't know words auto mechanics or spa owners use.

    Message boards on these topics are very useful! If the answer you are seeking isn't there, you have a host of people who are always willing to point you in the right direction.

  5. Anonymous9:15 AM

    If you're writing historical fiction, the Online Etymology Dictionary is wonderful for finding out if a word you want to use is an anachronism in your time period.

  6. I find useful for research both real-world religious aspects and for finding bits and pieces to use in cultural worldbuilding.


    I also use the Encyclopedia Brittanica and World Book online from work (I work at a library). These are subscription databases, but most libraries subscribe. I much prefer professionally reviewed encyclopedias to open source ones. They also have wonderful maps, graphs, and sometimes music/vids/pictures.

  8. Here's a couple that might be useful:

    Popular baby names (goes back to late 1800's)

    Rhetorical Devices:

  9. little bit of something about almost everything Info on period on garments History Mythology, folklore and legends

    and then there's google. I love to google.

  10. oops... almost forgot one of my faves. a site for british slang.

  11. is one of my faves. is a great place to double check what technology was available in a particular era if you're writing historical or time travel.

  12. Thanks to everyone for the links, and please keep adding them on as you think of them -- I'm revamping the sidebar writing links and making a new reference links section, and if anyone wants to copy the HTML for their blog, just right click, then click on View Source and my template stuff should show up on a Notepad screen from which you can cut-n-paste (I apologize in advance to Mac users; I don't know what happens on your computers.)

  13. I've been prowling around the Centres for Disease Control website a lot lately, doing research for 2 outlines. There's so much useful and well, weird information there.

  14. The Merriman-Webster site is an excellent dictionary site, although I like using google for a quick check on spelling a word.

    That's about the only one I use on a regular basis. Since I'm on a dial-up, it's easier to use the reference library I built up (including my favorite quotation book, the one put together by H.L. Mencken).

  15. My absolute favorite research site for my writing is WordIQ ( It takes a little getting used to, but once you know how to use it, it can give you any info you need. Forex: one of the scenes in my book flashes back to 1955. I can look up 1955 and find out what music, movies, literature, events, political events, sports and people were happening or noteworthy that year (including what month or date).
    You can also search the encyclopedic site about a certain topic and get definitions, reference, articles and even dream meanings about them.

  16. Anonymous6:12 PM

    My favorite is the Librarians Index to the Internet
    it is an extensive list of good reference websites searchable by keyword

  17. Oh oh, WordIQ also has more than 10,000 ebooks available.

  18. Resource Links on Evo.

    It's down at the moment, but should be back up on Monday or so.

  19. Thanks for the mention and glad it's useful. You already know where I go at length :D.

    In case anyone is curious, I get my links from discussions like these as well as my own research. I go and check it out and if it looks interesting or useful, I dump it into my links. Then I run a script over them and post them up for everyone to use. I wish I had organized them better in the start, but I'm working on that every once in a while :).