Find Reference Resources

A Great Place to Start A Project

Reference Sources

Reference sources are the basic, essential tools of research. Use reference sources to find a good introduction to a topic or concept, check facts or rules, get the definition of a word, a short biography of a person, get geographic information, or locate additional sources for your work.

Common Types of Reference Sources

Types of reference materials
Encyclopedias Biographical Dictionaries
Dictionaries Chronologies
Thesauri Atlases, Maps, and Gazetteers
Almanacs, Yearbooks, and Collected Statistics Directories
Handbooks and Manuals Bibliographies

Print Reference Collections

In each of our libraries, you'll find reference books on a wide variety of topics. The libraries maintain a core collection of print reference works in each library. Librarians and staff will be happy to help you to find what you need.

All Topics

Online Reference Resources

In addition to our print reference collections, the libraries provide access to online reference tools in all subject areas taught at Atlantic Cape.

Reference Sources for All Topics
On Campus Off Campus
Britannica Academic Edition
This tool combines the highly respected Encyclopedia Britannica with Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. Britannica is a general encyclopedia, containing introductory essays on all areas of knowledge, written by acknowledged experts. This edition also includes a world atlas, with maps and statistics, as well as a selection of articles from current news sources.
Off Campus login for Britannica Academic Edition
Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia
This general encyclopedia contains articles that are easy to read, but lack the depth of the Britannica articles.
Off Campus login for Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia
Referencia Latina
A collection of Spanish-language sources, primarily introductory reference books, but also including a variety of popular magazines and a few scholarly journals.
Off Campus login for Referencia Latina
Oxford English Dictionary
This classic reference work traces the history and etymology of words and phrases in the English Language.
Off Campus login for Oxford English Dictionary
Credo Reference Collection
This collection contains an extensive collection of subject encyclopedias, as well as a selection of handbooks, dictionaries, and other reference tools, including image collections. An excellent place to find background information for starting a research project.
Off Campus login for three Ebsco eBooks collections
Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL)
This collection includes a selection of subject encyclopedias and other introductory sources, including some valuable core reference titles.
Off Campus login for tGale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL)
Salem Press
A small but valuable collection of resources. At this time, the collection includes resources for history, health and medicine, and science.
Off Campus login for Salem Press reference titles


Online Reference Sources on Controversial Issues
On Campus Off Campus
Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center
This resource provides a multifaceted collection of opinion essays on many controversial topics. For best results, use the Browse Topics feature. Critical thinking required!
Off Campus login for Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center
Points of View
This tool is very similar to Opposing Viewpoints, but the topic list is slightly different.
Off Campus login for Points of View

Funding Resources

Nonprofit Resource Center

The Nonprofit Resource Center, normally located in the Mullock Family Library, on the Cape May County Campus, is operating online during the COVID epidemic. Learn more about the Nonprofit Resource Center. 

Foundation Directory Online

The Foundation Directory Online is a suite of tools that can be used to identify funding sources for nonprofit organizations. Also included is the Grants to Individuals database, which identifies organizations that fund scholarships and creative or entrepreneurial projects. These tools are available on the Cape May County Campus; for information about using the premier FDO suite during the pandemic, send email to

Want to search for grants from home? Through the generosity of Candid (formerly the Foundation Center), we are able to offer limited access to an abridged version of the Foundation Directory Databases. To get access to FDO Essential, you will need to request a link to set up an account. This account will allow you to use the FDO Essential database for 24 hours once every 30 days. Access to FDO Essential is expected to be available through 12/31/2021.

The library can also assist you with funding searches directly. Contact us for help by emailing

Specific Subject Areas

Online Reference Sources

Online Reference Sources for Literature Research
On Campus Off Campus
Literary Reference Center
A good place to start research on any literature-related topic.
Off Campus login for Literary Reference Center


Online Reference Sources for Legal Research
On Campus Off Campus
Legal Information Reference Center
A basic collection of legal reference sources.
Off Campus login for Legal Information Reference Center


Online Reference Sources for Business Research
On Campus Off Campus

Small Business Reference Center
This collection contains many tools to help aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Off Campus login for Small Business Reference Center

Reference Solutions
This resource is a directory of businesses around the United States. It contains basic information about each company listed.

See instructions below.

Access to Reference Solutions

Authentication for Reference Solutions is different from our other databases. It is not necessary to log into Atlantic Cape's proxy server to get access to Reference Solutions. The login process is the same, whether you are on campus or off.

To get started, click on the link to Reference Solutions. You will be prompted to accept their terms and conditions. You must do this in order to use the database.

Reference Solutions uses a GIS program to authenticate users. When you agree to the terms and conditions, you will be asked to allow the program to access your location. If you are located in New Jersey, and do not object, select 'Allow location access.'

If you are outside NJ, or if you prefer not to allow access, select 'Don't allow.' You will be prompted for your library card number. This is the 14-digit barcode printed on the face of your Atlantic Cape ID card. You must register your card with the libraries for this to work.

You can also use the barcode for your NJ public library to log into Reference Solutions.

Many additional online reference sources can be found in the Ebsco E-book Collections.