back toJacket2
   Jacket magazine        link Jacket Homepage

Jacket magazine: Free reference sites

The Internet Public Library at the University of Michigan School of Information in Ann Arbor, MI, offers an Online Literary Criticism Collection which contains 1,454 critical and biographical websites about authors and their works that can be browsed by author, by title, or by literary period, as well as thousands of other book, newspaper and magazine references on other topics. Free, at

The site called “My Virtual Reference Desk” is free, and it's chockablock full of encyclopædias, dictionaries, atlases, almanacs, thesauruses and reference books of all kinds, at

But the king gorilla is Martindale's The Reference Desk, at — a gigantic free home-made collection of Internet links for researching everything from the time in Uzbekistan to how to tie the non-slip climber's knot to poetry magazines to cellular biology to the shipping news.

Digital Librarian at
Useful links for research, especially for academic research.

Itools at
Dozens of translating programs and tools for over a dozen languages, thesaurus, dictionaries. at
Links to lists of telephone and email and fax addresses for more than a hundred countries around the world.

A full dimension larger than reference sites are the SEARCH ENGINES, sites which allow you to find any site on earth, including reference sites! Jacket's current favourite is Google Search at which is fast and very clever, and seems to know exactly what you want. (Anyone remember the unimaginably large number known as a googleplex? That's how many sites they trawl.)

CompletePlanet at
Tens of thousands of search engines, facts and databases

Search Engine Colossus at
A search engines that finds local search engines in nearly two hundred different countries.

Another useful old favorite is ProFusion, free at at the University in Kansas, which takes your search details and submits them to half a dozen different search engines, presenting you with a brief summary of each of the thousands of answers they give you. This sure ain't Kansas, Toto!

Looking up POET and MONEY on ProFusion gave Jacket fifty search results, by the way, including an intense and mournful fragment of free verse on the theme of poverty by the immensely rich L. Ron Hubbard (the inventor of Scientology), and a list of the winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature, including the immensely rich Seamus Heaney. Seamus Heaney and L.Ron Hubbard... hmmm... the Internet certainly throws up some fascinating connections!

Copyright Notice: Please respect the fact that all material in Jacket magazine is copyright © Jacket magazine and the individual authors and copyright owners 1997–2010; it is made available here without charge for personal use only, and it may not be stored, displayed, published, reproduced, or used for any other purpose.

The Internet address of this page is