More free online home study and reference resources
Published on 5th February 2021
We had a look last week at a selection of online research and reference tools available for you to use at a time and a place and a pace that suits you, and all for free with your Dublin City Library card. Today we’re going to look at some more online resources designed to help you with your information needs, including: home study and remote learning; homework, projects, essays, assignments and reports; and life-long learning and development.
To access the resources outlined here, simply enter your library card number where indicated (usually to the top or to the left of the screen), and select Dublin City Libraries if an option is given.
Just to note, in some of the resources described here, not all content is accessible. You will spot these entries/articles because they have a small image of red lock beside them. To ensure that you only find available content in response to your searches, check ‘Available’ and ‘Free’ under the ‘Availability’ heading to the left of the screen.
Oxford Research Encyclopaedias: With today’s overabundance of information, and misinformation, students and researchers can be overwhelmed in identifying what’s trustworthy, what’s current, and what’s accurate. Oxford Research Encyclopaedias offers long-form overview articles written and edited by leading scholars, and which are designed to give the reader the summary of a subject in 30 minutes or less of reading. Each essay is rigorously peer-reviewed, and every month new topics are added and current essays are updated, ensuring that you have the most accurate, up-to-date content at your fingertips. With 25 encyclopaedias ranging from African history to planetary science, this research tool is suitable for anyone wishing to expand their knowledge, from a student just starting out in their studies to a researcher needing background in a related field.
Oxford Bibliographies offers authoritative research guides across a variety of topics, directing researchers to the best available scholarship in a number of subject areas. Expert scholars share the trusted sources they use across a range of academic disciplines, sources which are rigorously peer-reviewed and vetted to ensure scholarly accuracy and objectivity. The Victorian Literature module includes annotated bibliographies on over 100 topics including Detective Fiction, Children’s Literature, Travel Writing, and many more. In the British and Irish Literature module you’ll find over 100 bibliographies, including topics such as The Abbey Theatre, The Contemporary Irish Novel, and The Irish Gothic Tradition. (Remember to sign in first with your library card number before exploring any links.)
600,000 words … 3.5 million quotations … over 1000 years of English
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) online is widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language, giving you not only the latest content from the full Oxford English Dictionary but also the Historical Thesaurus of the OED. It's an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words— past and present—from across the English-speaking world.
As a historical dictionary, the OED is very different from dictionaries of current English, in which the focus is on present-day meanings. You’ll still find present-day meanings in the OED, but you’ll also find the history of individual words, and of the language, traced through over 3 million quotations, from classic literature and specialist periodicals to film scripts and cookery books. You can also check out some of their short video guides to help you get the most out of your OED use.
Oxford Dictionaries Premium offers comprehensive language guidance in nine major world languages, including up-to-date online dictionaries, thesauruses, translations, language and culture reference content, as follows: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. It also gives access to Oxford's most comprehensive dictionaries and thesauruses of current English including more than 350,000 words and phrases, and more than 1.9 million example sentences.
This resource also offers language learning support, and additional English grammar resources as follows: New Hart’s Rules, New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors, Pocket Fowler’s Modern English Usage, and Garner’s Dictionary of Legal Use. Check out their online guide for help in understanding how navigate this resource.
Oxford Reference spans a variety of different subject areas, bringing together approximately 2 million digitised entries from Oxford University Press’s dictionaries, companions and encyclopedias. As you browse through this resource, you will find results that range from short-entry, general reference to more in-depth articles on specialized subjects, providing content for both quick fact-checking and for deeper research.
With your Dublin City library card, you can access the following 12 subject areas in this resource: Classical Dictionary Communication Criminology Climate Science Education Environmental Science International Studies Literature Politics Psychology Religion and Social Work You also have access to Oxford Essential Quotations, which features over 3,000 authors and 600 subjects and will help you to find the apt phrase for any occasion, and 270 historic timelines organised by period, area, and theme.
The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland is also available as part of the Oxford Reference collection. Containing over 45,000 entries, it is a hugely comprehensive reference work on family names, covering Irish, English, Scottish, Welsh, Cornish, and immigrant surnames. It includes every surname that currently has more than 100 bearers, and those that had more than 20 bearers in the 1881 UK census. Each entry contains lists of variant spellings of the name, an explanation of it origins (including the etymology), lists of early bearers showing evidence for formation and continuity from the date of formation down to the 19th century, geographical distribution, and, where relevant, genealogical and bibliographic notes. This guide also includes an introduction explaining the historical background, formation, and typology of surnames, and a guide to surnames research and family history research.
Check out our website for a full list of all our online resources. Don’t have a library card? join here. If you have queries or need any help, contact us at [email protected] and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Submitted by Reader Services at Cabra Library and Bibliographic Centre.