Basic Reference on the Web

Almanacs Directories History & News Sports
Art - Visual Encyclopedias Law Statistics
Biography Foreign Language Literature Technology
Business Genealogy Music Television & Film
Careers Geography Quotations Theatre & Dance
Consumer Information Government Religion & Myth Travel
Dictionaries & Thesauri Health / Medical Science Veterinary Medicine

 

The web sites featured in Basic Reference on the Web are those discussed in VTLIB’s biennial Continuing Education Basic Reference Workshop, and are a representative, not exhaustive, listing. Emphasis is on free sites produced by governmental, educational, or non-profit organizations. Decisions regarding which sites appear in this listing are made by the librarians teaching the Basic Reference Workshop.


ALMANACS

GENERAL

Information Please Almanac:  Compendium of facts and figures. Not just an almanac, also includes a dictionary, thesaurus, and encyclopedia. Keyword searching, or browse by general topic. For Children, try Fact Monster.

WolframAlpha: Computational Knowledge Engine.  An answer-engine to locate facts and data on a variety of topics.

SUBJECT

50States.com: State bird, flower, nickname, motto and song, colleges and universities, constitution, geography, historical information, federal and state forests and parks, genealogical resources, newspapers, population, state and federal representatives, and more.  Links to authoritative sites, most government related.

Guinness World Records: Search for world records as posted in the annual Guinness Book of World Records. 

Nations of the World: Library of Congress site with links to information about international governments plus links to the World Factbook, Country Studies and Human Rights reports, Background Notes.

Old Farmer's Almanac: Covers astronomical events, weather conditions and forecasts, recipes, and gardening tips.

World Factbook: Produced by the CIA, with clearly outlined directory and statistical information in a consistent and convenient format for all countries of the world.  Updated throughout the year.

 

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ART - VISUAL

Art + Culture:  Contemporary artist profiles, essays on art movements, links to museum exhibits and other related resources.

Art History Resources on the Web:  Links to quality websites that address prehistoric to contemporary art and architecture.

Artcyclopedia:  Search by artist's name, title of work, museum, or browse by historical period or movement.  Artist must have work in a museum to be included.

ArtLex: Art Dictionary:  Definitions of thousands of terms used in discussing art/visual culture, along with supporting images, pronunciation notes, quotations and cross-references.  Keyword searching and browsable index.

Artnet.com:  Resource for images of artwork, artist biographies, auction results, art books for sale, galleries and museum exhibitions, and art research resources, with a focus on contemporary art and artists.

AskART.com: The Artists' Bluebook.  Art purchasing information.  International in scope.

Google Art Project:  Explore art collections from major museums around the world. A brilliant project.

Metropolitan Museum of Art's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Chronological, geographical, and thematic exploration of the history of art from around the world.

Smithsonian American Art Museum SIRIS: Comprised of three databases: Art Inventories, Photograph Archives, and Pre-1877 Art Exhibition Catalogue Index.  Search by keyword or browse by artist, title, subject, object type or owner.

WebMuseum: Artist index:  Alphabetical listing of well known Western painters.  Biographical information and links to examples of artist's works.

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BIOGRAPHY

Biographical Memoirs: (of the National Academy of Sciences):  Biographies of more than 1400 scientists by those who knew them or their work.  Links to webpages, lectures and curriculum vitae of current NAS members.

Biography:  Part of the Infoplease.com website.  Includes over 30,000 biographies of historical and contemporary figures. Search by name or one of the categories.

Biography CenterA directory of biographies available on the Web.  Browse by category, alphabetical order, highest rated or by most popular.

Biography.com: Offical site of A&E's Biography television series. Good source for biographical information about notable people.

Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online:  Online version of the 15 volumes of the Dictionary of Canadian Biography already in print and selected bios from unprinted volumes.  Searchable by name or keyword; in select volumes, searchable by identity, profession or geographical region.  Covers 1000-1930.

Distinguished Women of Past and Present: Searchable and browsable biographies from diverse sources representing many countries, historical periods and fields. 

National Women's History Museum: Information about "the contributions of women to the social, cultural, economic and political life of our nation in a context of world history."  Biographical sketches of each woman, includes a photograph and bibliography. Keyword searching. Browse by name or area of contribution.

The Political Graveyard: Comprehensive directory of  (not necessarily dead) U.S. politicians, judges and diplomats, giving biographical information along with burial sites.  Browse names alphabetically or organizational affiliation, search by state and office, by birth or death date, or by categories such as "Politicians who were California Forty-Niners" of "Politicians who were born in slavery", etc.  Includes gazetteer.

Vermont Women's History Project: Biographical information about women throughout Vermont's history.  Initiated by the Vermont Commission on Women, now run by the Vermont Historical Society and guided by a Steering Committee and advisors comprised of historians and representatives of partner organizations. Search by location, era, or subject category.

Who2 Biographies: Basic facts about famous people and fictional characters.  Keyword search, browse by category or alphabetically

Who's Alive and Who's Dead:  Prominent people of our times.  Browse by category (actors, sports figures, murderers, etc.), by recent deaths, new listings, and today's birthdays, or search the alphabetical list.

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BUSINESS (including non-profits)

BigCharts: Best known for historic stock quotes, BigCharts has information on over 50,000 symbols, including current information on all NYSE, Nasdaq, AMEX, and OTC stocks, all NASDAQ quoted mutual funds, as well as leading financial indexes and international exchanges.  The current information includes company profiles, company financials, news, charts, analyst estimates, analysis, and intraday stock screeners.  Historic quotes include open, closing, high and low prices, volume traded, split adjusted price, and adjustment factor since 1970.

Business Reference Services:  From the Library of Congress, an extensive subject list of business resources and related information online.

EDGAR database of corporate information: From the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, U.S. public company filings from 1993 through the present.  Search by company name, fund name, ticker symbol, filing number, state, Standard Industrial Classification Code (SIC), and Ownership Forms.  Mutual fund prospectuses, also known as 484 filings, also available.

GuideStar: Directory of non-profits with links to web sites. Also, individual web sites for specific organizations, particularly national organizations. Purposes, address, etc.  Searchable by geography (to town level), EIN.  More information with premium subscription.

How to Start a Non-Profit Organization in Vermont: Who knew?  Actually, the folks at Harbor Business Compliance do.

A Short Guide to Vermont's Nonprofit Corporations Law: Just like it says.

Start a business in Vermont: Sponsored by the Corporations Division of the Secretary of State and the Vermont Dept. of Economic Development.  Permits and licenses, tax documents, links to additional resources (SCORE, SBA, SBDC, etc.) for starting or expanding a business.

Switchboard.com: "Yellow pages"-style listing for businesses.  Lists national businesses first, followed by local businesses.  Also persons, maps, phone and web search and reverse lookups.

U.S. Small Business Administration: Great site with lots of advice and resources for small businesses.  Nice feature is online courses in starting a business, financing, marketing, government contracting, e-commerce, international trade, etc. 

Vermont Business Magazine: Business news of Vermont - unemployment, changes in archaeolgical rules, CEOP news, grants to towns and the award of a literary prize were some of the articles offered.

Vermont Corporations Databases: Directory of Vermont corporations, trade names and trademarks; use when choosing a business name, or to identify corporation officers or contact information.  Annual reports frequently available.  Databases are available for download (CSV text delimited).
 

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CAREERS

About Jobs: Links to Seasonaljobs.com, InternJobs.com, InternationalJobs.com, ResortJobs.com, and SummerJobs.com.   Keyword, category and location search.  Browse employers and post your resume.

Career Builder: Want ads from 130 major U.S. newspapers.  Search by keyword/location combo, keyword, and, under "Advance search", full-time, part-time and interships.  Also provides employer job postings, resume post and search, and career advice.  

Gradschools.com: Information on graduate and certificate programs from around the country, with advice on applying, financing and surviving.

Occupational Outlook Handbook: Familiar to generations of reference librarians as the "OOH", it is complete, current and easy to use.  Browse subject trees or index by occupational category with: nature of the work, training and advancement, earnings, job outlook and related occupations.

Online Colleges: Searchable (by State, subject and degree) and browseable database of 7,014 online colleges and universities (as of July 9, 2013).  

Peterson's College Search: Detailed descriptions of colleges and grad schools in outline or narrative format.  Links to web sites of institutions.  Search by name of institution, location, major, tuition, size, GPA, sports.  Also advice on financing education and test preparation.

Family Budget Calculator: Produced by the Economic Policy Institute and "...measures the income a family needs in order to attain a secure yet modest living standard by estimating community-specific costs [and provides] a more accurate measure of economic security." - from the website.

Vermont Association of Business, Industry and Rehabilitation: Increasing the employment of people with disabilities "one job at a time."

Vermont Dept. of Labor Licensed Occupations: A directory of links to the state agency responsible for each professional license, e.g. dental assistants, tattooists and "piercers", cosmetologists, therapists, attorneys, embalmers, blasters, chimney sweeps, professional boxers, etc.  Number  licensed per year.  Interestingly, they do not mention that BISHCA also licenses various professions, listed here: http://www.bishca.state.vt.us/insurance/producer-licensing/producer-individual-licensing

Vermont Internships: Brand-new website from the Vermont Technology Council designed to conntect students with Vermont employers in technical, creative and business pursuits.

VotechDirect: Online directory of vocational and technical schools. Search by general vocational area (trades, medical, technology, arts, business), by State or Zip code.

VSAC: Vermont Student Assistance Corporation's site with links to information on scholarships and loans.

 

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CONSUMER INFORMATION

Consumer Action: Although this site contains a lot of useful consumer advice, the main thrust is consumer complaints procedures and resources.  Includes a very help list of State and local consumer agencies here. . From the Federal Citizen Information Center.

Consumer Price Index: Federal government numbers on the inflation rate, employment, import and export, etc..  Used to calculate child support payments, alimony, etc.  Go to Economic Releases, Latest, and choose from the list.

Consumer Reports: A must-have link for any list of consumer resources - everybody knows this highly-regarded publication.

ConsumerSearch: Top-rated products in eight major categories and many subcategories including photo and video, health and fitness, etc.  Presents the four best and four "runners up" with customer reviews and essays on the specific subject very handy for an overview.  Comparison charts, background information, too.

Kelley Blue Book: Trade in and market prices for used cars.  Search by year, make, model, accessories, condition, mileage and zip code of owner.  Video reviews and information about the value of snowmobiles, personal water craft and motorcycles.

NADAguides.com: Pricing for cars, motorcycles, boats, RVs and manufactured homes.  Neat section on classic cars.

Vermont Housing Data: Statistics from the U.S. Census, arranged by city or town, for housing demand, costs of homeownership and rental housing.  Includes historical data.  Also a Vermont directory of affordable rental housing, subsidized housing, a calculator for mortgage payments, a glossary of housing terms and more.

Viewpoints.com: Consumer reviews, advice and opinions from everyday consumers.

 

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DICTIONARIES and THESAURI

AF: Acronym Finder: Dictionary of acronyms, abbreviations and initialisms.

Dictionary.com: Includes dictionary, thesaurus, and encyclopedia searching.  Includes audio pronunciations and etymologies.  Online version of the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition, is located at this website.

Forvo: A word pronunciation dictionary. Words pronounced by native speakers. A wiki described as "the largest word pronunciation guide in the world with audio pronunciations in more than 200 languages."

TheFreeDictionary.com: Search general and subject dictionaries (including foreign language), thesauri, and encyclopedias. Includes idioms and acronyms. No browsing.

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary: Includes dictionary and thesaurus, short etymologies, and audio pronunciation.   Also links to Merriam-Webster Visual Dictionary Online.

Memidex:  A meta-dictionary/thesauraus and more Links to respected online sources.

OneLook Dictionaries: Index of over 1,000 dictionaries.  Includes subject and foreign language dictionaries. Search entire database, browse individual titles, or search the Reverse Dictionary.

Online Etymology Dictionary: Dictionary of word origins and histories.  Limited but interesting.

Oxford Dictionaries Online: Oxford dictionary and thesaurus, usage and writing guides.  Includes etymologies.

Roget's International Thesaurus: 1922 edition.  Located at Bartleby.com.

Wiktionary: A wiki dictionary from the Wikimedia Foundation.  Includes a thesaurus, a rhyme guide, phrase books, etymologies, abbreviations, and more.  No advertisements.

Wordnik: More than traditional definitions.  Includes example sentences, related words, images, statistics, and includes a thesaurus.  "An online community of word lovers."

WordSpy:  Words not yet found in a dictionary.

 

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DIRECTORIES

Foundation Finder: Directory of U.S. grantmakers.  Hosted by the Foundation Center.

Get Human: Find out the fastest way to get customer service by phone, chat, email, or by having the company call you back.

Vermont Directory of Foundations:  Directory of foundations located in Vermont, or have a geographic focus that includes Vermont.  Hosted by the Vermont Community Foundation.

Vermont Library Directory:  Maintained by the Vermont Dept. of Libraries.

WorldCat:  Largest bibliographic database in the world.  Search library collections in the United States and around the world.  Content includes anything that can be found in a library.

DIRECTORIES to the Web

Alcove 9: An annotated list of reference websites: Web sites selected and annotated by the Library of Congress Humanities and Social Sciences Division subject specialists.

Best of the Web: Directory of content rich, well designed websites.

BJ Pinchbeck's Homework Helper: An abundance of useful annotated links for students.

Digital Librarian:  A librarian's choice of the best of the web. Maintained by Margaret Valil Anderson, a librarian in Cortland, New York.

INFOMINE: Scholarly internet resource collections:  Internet resources selected by academic librarians.

ipl2 - Internet Public Library:  Reliable list of websites selected and annotated by library school students.  Hosted by Drexel University's College of Information Science and Technology.

Open Directory Project: Comprehensive web directory maintained by volunteer editors.

TELEPHONE DIRECTORIES - Business and Residential

AnyWho.com, Get Human, Infobel (International), Switchboard.com, Whitepages.com (residential)

 

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ENCYCLOPEDIAS

Citizendium: The citizen's compendium. "A wiki-based endeavor to provide free knowledge with the highest standards of writing, reliability, and informativeness." An alternative to Wikipedia.

Encyclopaedia Britannica Online (free version): Brief versions of articles from the famous scholarly encyclopedia.  Include links to fee-based information, may be frustrating.

Encyclopedia.com: Search general and subject encyclopedias. Powered by HighBeam Research.

Encyclopedia Smithsonian: The Smithsonian from Art to Zoology.  Search millions of records from Smithsonian museums, archives, and libraries.

Mashpedia - Multimedia Encyclopedia: Web encyclopedia that "integrates a variety of online services and applications like Wikipedia, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Google News, Books, Blog Posts, and further contextual information into a single slick interface."

Wikipedia: Web encyclopedia with volunteer contributors.  Very extensive and often excellent articles.  Also, from the Wikipedia Foundation, Simple English Wikipedia:  Articles written in basic vocabulary.  Targeted to “people with different needs, such as students, children, adults with learning difficulties and people who are trying to learn English.” 

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FOREIGN LANGUAGE

Translation services:

Babel Fish

FreeTranslation.com

Google Translate

Other foreign language resources:

Forvo: A word pronunciation dictionary. Words pronounced by native speakers.

Language Dictionaries and Translators:  A directory of online foreign language dictionaries and translators, and language learning resources.

Livemocha:  Language learning online.  Practice with native speakers.

 

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GENEALOGY

Ancestry.com: Easy searching by individual name in family trees, Social Security, death index, selected census and vital records.  Fees for full-text, but free access is available at the Vermont State Library, Montpelier.   Vermont birth, marriage, and death records from 1909-2008 are available for research through Ancestry.com which is a pay service. Vermont residents however can research these records for free via an account on MyVermont.gov.  For more information about accessing the records through MyVermont.gov, please see this FAQ.

Cyndislist.com: Links to 327,843 genealogy related links, quite a bit for the casual researcher; but if you're looking for a specific obscure document or list, this might be the place.

Death Indexes: Organized by state, most links require fees for all or most records.

Ellis Island: Passenger lists, multiple searching options.  Requires free registration.

Family Search: Sponsored by the Church of Latter-Day Saints.  Some – but not all – Vermont birth, marriage, and death records in the state registry from 1760 to 1954 are now available.

Obituaries.com: Search obits from the United States (by State or newspaper) and even some foreign countries

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GEOGRAPHY

World

David Rumsey Map Collection: This historical map collection of over 38,000 maps and images focuses on rare 18th and 19th Century maps of the Americas, although maps from the world, Africa, Asia and Europe are represented as well.  Extensively categorized, searchable, and now browseable (with an historical slider bar) via  "MapRank", an API with the familiar Google interface.  Vermont images are here.

Google Maps: USA, plus maps for major European cities.  With famous and widely-imitated Street-level view.  Also driving directions.

Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection: Online maps of all types, plus a map portal.  Note maps of current interest, currently (July 2013) maps of the Egypt situation, the Syrian situation, the U.S. drought, etc. 

Historical Atlas: William Shepard's classic, from Henry Holt and Company, 1923.  Links to - you guessed it - historical maps (.jpgs).  Ancient Greece, Egypt, Rome, Europe, etc., up to 19th Century.  Part of the Perry-Castaneda map collection.

Here.com:  Formerly Nokia Maps.  Worldwide detailed maps (street-level view (selected areas), satellite, terrain, 3D (requires plug-in)), shopping and sightseeing locales, mapmaking utility (selected areas, in beta).

United States

Brookings Institute interactive demographics: Interactive demographic mapping utility with many variables (economy, population, educational attainment, income and poverty, work, race, etc.)

Geographic Names Information Server: Search by name, with feature delimiters (falls, church, crater, cliff, crossing, dam, gut, glacier, harbor, hospital, levee, lake, mine, oilfield, etc.).

National Atlas: From the USGS.  Use "mapmaker" tab (upper left) to generate custom maps with over one hundred variables in general categories (agriculture, biology, boundaries, climate, environment, geology, history, map reference, people, transportation, water).

USGS: Producer of topo maps, and many other types.  Search utility is here.  Many resources under the "Science Areas" menu on the left of the home page such as: Geological maps, Topographic maps, Aeromagnetic maps, Earthquake occurrence maps, Geochemical anomaly maps, Gravity anomaly maps, Hydrologic maps, Landslide maps, Landslide susceptibility maps, Magnetic anomaly maps, Species distribution maps, Surficial geologic maps, Tectonic maps, Seismicity maps.

Vermont

David Rumsey Map Collection:  Vermont images are here.  See above under "Geography/World" for more information on the Rumsey Map Collection's other holdings.

Gazetteer of Vermont Places Real and Imagined: Vermont Center for Rural Studies alphabetical list of real and imaginary town, county and place names, with location and some historical notes.

Historical Maps of Burlington and Winooski: The maps show streets, buildings and lots, building owners’ names and functions, parks, cemeteries, wards, railroads, and some natural features. Some of the maps include illustrations of prominent buildings and business directories.  The first ten maps of the ongoing project are uploaded.  The planned coverage period will be 1830-1890.

University of New Hampshire Historical USGS Maps: Fine scans of historical quad maps of the New England States.

Vermont Town Highway Maps: Town roads, state roads and Interstate highway by number, class, length and length by class (including discontinued, impassable and trails).  These are the most current town maps.  Older maps can be found at the Agency of Transportation's archived maps page: https://www.aot.state.vt.us/Planning/mapgis/mapping_maparchive.htm.  Search by location or year.

Bedrock Geological Map of Vermont:  Fifteen years in the making by the Vermont Geological Survey. A breathtaking accomplishment, a stunning work of science.  No kidding.

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GOVERNMENT

Countries

Country Studies: Now published by the Library of Congress for the Dept. of the Army.  Country Profiles” provide shorter (but still detailed) descriptions, but they can be a bit out of date. Practical info for travelers can be found in Post Reports; see the Travel section below.

Dept. of State list of country and other area pages: Lists independent States, plus dependencies and areas of special sovereignty.

Nations of the World: Library of Congress site with information about other Nations' legislative, executive and judicial branches or equivalents, with sources (governmental and private) for further research and reports of international agencies and NGOs.

World Factbook: Produced by the CIA, with clearly outlined directory and statistical information in a consistent and convenient format for all countries of the world.  Updated throughout the year.  Print available, $39.95, but web version is complete and easy, and includes an interesting "Country Comparisons" page, which ranks countries on a number of variables.   Included in the Vermont Online Library.

People

Congressional Directory: Presents short biographies of each member of the Senate and House, listed by state or district, committee memberships, terms of service, staff and contact information.  Also lists officials of the courts, military establishments, and other Federal departments and agencies, including D.C. government officials, governors of states and territories, foreign diplomats, etc.  Searchable by phrase or keyword with Boolean (OR) and proximity (ADJ) operators.  Archived editions back to the 1997-98 (105th) Congress are also available.

Congressional information on the web: Senators and Representatives, committee assignments, contact information, Cabinet nominations, history, district maps, etc.  Links to the Congressional Record which features full-text search, or searchable by Member or date.

Diplomatic List: This publication covers foreign missions (embassies, interest sections) in the United States including the names of members of the diplomatic staffs of these missions and their spouses.

Foreign Consular Offices in the United States: This publication contains a complete and official listing of the foreign consular offices in the United States, and recognized consular officers.  Compiled by the U.S. Department of State with the full cooperation of the foreign missions in Washington, it is offered as a convenience to organizations and persons who must deal with consular government agencies, state tax officials, international trade organizations, chambers of commerce, and judicial authorities, etc.  Updated daily.

U.S. Government Manual: Browseable .pdf version of the recent edition with update button on left.  Contains information on the agencies of the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of the Federal government including: boards, commissions, committees, and a quasi-official agencies and organizations in which the United States participates.  Entries contain a summary of the agency's purpose and general role, a description of its programs and activities, names and titles of major officials, and a list of sources of information.  Many entries also provide organization charts.  Also contains a section on terminated or transferred agencies.  Archival editions back to 1995-96 available as well.

World Leaders: The CIA publishes and updates the online directory of Chiefs of State and Cabinet Members of Foreign Governments regularly.  The directory is intended to be used primarily as a reference aid and includes as many governments of the world as is considered practical, some of them not officially recognized by the United States.  Also includes ambassadors and UN representatives.  Chiefs of State (.pdfs) back to 2001 are here.

Vermont

Census QuickFacts for Vermont: State-level data; choose county data or Burlington (the State's only MSA) data from the drop-down lists.  Find other data sets (population, demographics, state and local government finance and employment, etc.)  here.

Center for Rural Studies information and resources: Census, housing, school, health data, etc., with planning tools, town profiles and other data.

Guide to Vermont's Town Clerks, Treasurers and County Clerks: Names, phone and fax numbers, emails if available, fees, and hours of operation.  (.pdf)

Vermont Legislative Session Directory: The legislators and legislative staff, with contact information.  Links to biographies and photos, courtesy of the Secretary of State's Office.  Lists members of legislative task forces and commissions, but not contact information.  House and Senate rules, election information, etc.

Vermont Place-Names: Place names both real and imaginary (from UVM).

Vermont QuickLinks: Past censuses, business stats, geographical stats, social and economic factors, etc.

Who's Who in Local Government: Town officers' titles, duties and statutory authority - no names.

Other, lesser, States

Blue Books of the States: From an ALA wiki, links to the blue books (on equivalent information) of the States.  Last updated in 2012.  Since much information produced by States is in the "dark web", you can find a list of state databases, by State or subject, here.

State Governments on the Web: From USA.gov. 

 

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HEALTH / MEDICAL

Best Hospitals: U.S. News and World Report's compilation of rankings for U.S. hospitals by patient's medical condition and treatments.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Articles on diseases and chronic conditions with statistics.  Information for travelers.

FamilyDoctor.org: Sponsored by the American Academy of Family Physicians.  Regularly reviewed and updated by Academy physicians and patient education staff.  Full-text of complete books, easy to navigate, uniform format.

KidsHealth: Content divided between information directed at parents and at children.

Mayo Clinic: Excellent reliable information in easy-to-read format with many visuals and graphics.  Wide range of topics.  Drug information including images, similar to PDRHealth (below).

Merck Manual of Medical Information: Second Home Edition, Online Version: Full-text of trusted medical text.

National Institutes of Health sites

National Cancer Institute: A highly regarded source of answers on wide range of related topics.

National Center for Complementary and alternative Medicine: Objective, evidence-based information about complementary and alternative medicine.

National Institute of Mental Health: Comprehensive and aimed at the public.

NIHSeniorHealth.gov: Information on health problems, fitness, taking medicine correctly and Medicare.  users may adjust type size and contrast.  Includes audio version.

National Library of Medicine site

Medlineplus: All purpose health information source, includes a link to the Merriam-Webster's Medical Desk Dictionary, and a current medical encyclopedia.

Med Terms Medical Dictionary, another medical dictionary includes some commercial links, but contains lay person-friendly definitions from the Webster's New World Medical Dictionary.

NutritionSource: Harvard School of Public Health.  Lengthy, but clearly written articles on topics of common interest, e.g. calcium, fiber, etc.  Another option, What to eat, is a companion to the excellent book on nutrition by Marion Nestle.

Our Bodies Ourselves: Companion to the classic book, not full-text of book.  Current news and links to other web sites.  Go to "Browse topic index" on left or search by your own choice of topic.

PDRHealth: Free information about diseases and drugs.  Not as extensive as print version.  RXList: internet drug index: Another source, recommended by the American Library Association, for free information about drugs.

PubMed: MEDLINE medical periodical index with citations and some brief abstracts.  Links to selected full-text articles.  Obtain others via interlibrary loan.  Search by topic, author or journal title.  Use "limits" for advanced searching.

Vermont Dept. of Health website: Dept. rules and regulations, programs and updates on public health concerns.  For information on all topics covered, choose "Contents, A to Z" link in left column.

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HISTORY

Best of History Web sites: Annotated links to over 1000 quality history web sites, useful for schoolwork.  Contains links to a variety of PBS, BBC, and other credible sites.

Black Past: Information on African American history in the United States and on people of African ancestry around the world, including an online encyclopedia of thousands of figures in African American history, Global African history, and the history of African Americans in the West. BlackPast.org also has full text primary documents and major speeches of black activists and leaders from the 18th Century to the present.

Discovering American Women's History Online: Detailed descriptions and links to more than 600 digital collections with suject, place and time browsing and filtering.

HyperHistory Online: Color-coded timelines of people and events by historical period over the past 3000 years.  Most prominent (and deceased) individuals only. 

Internet Archive: A digital library of internet sites and other cultural artifacts.  Includes text, audio recordings, movies, software, and archived webpages.

Library of Congress American Memory: Access to the manuscript collections at the Library of Congress, selected topics only, best for browsing.  View documents, photographs, videos.

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NEWS AND CURRENT EVENTS

ABC News: News from the American Broadcasting Company's successor corporation.

Aljazeera America: News from a Middle-Eastern perspective.

BBC: News from a British perspective.

Burlington Free Press/Rutland Herald Index: Via the University of Vermont's website.

CBS News: News from the Columbia Broadcasting System's successor corporation.

CNN: News from the Cable News Network.

Fox News: News from the Fox Corporation.

NBC News: News from the National Broadcasting Company's successor corporation.

New York Times: "All the news that's fit to print."  Also available is a link to the "Global Edition."

Newseum: Over 800 front pages from 89 countries - see "Today's Front Pages" on right.

WCAX: Local news from Channel 3.

World News Network: Comprehensive online news center with more than 20,000 global thematic and regional news sites; it offers news in 40 languages as well as commentary and opinion from leading writers worldwide, organized by both subject and geographical region.  A multilingual search engine is available for keyword searching.  Searches can be limited to a particular format, such as text or image.

FACT CHECKERS

Fact Check: From the Huffington Post.  Occasionally fact-checks the fact-checkers. 

Fact Checking: From Fox News.

FactCheck: From the Annenberg Public Policy Center. 

Politifact: Home of True, Mostly True, Barely True, False and Pants-On-Fire.  2009 Pulitzer Prize winner.

The Fact Checker: From the Washington Post.

Snopes.com: Rumor-check.

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LAW

General

AllLaw: Menu-driven topic list for legal topics.  Includes advice, forms, discussions, links to other resources.

Findlaw: Go right to "Learn More About" at the bottom.  There, in the grey box, see "Legal Topics", "State Laws", "Bookshelf", etc., for useful info.

Legal Resources for Public Librarians: Links for public librarians.

Paul J. Donovan's Legal Research Links: Legal info and links with the emphasis on Vermont, but also containing other links.

Public Library of Law: Searchable case law (except for Federal District Courts), statutes, regulations, forms, etc.  Go straight to the "Advanced Options" to see the range of resources.  Helpful tutorials.

Leagle: Searchable case law, including Federal District Courts, but the interface takes some getting used to.

United States

CFR search from NARA: From the National Archives and Records Administration; features robust search utility.  Look for "search in:" box in lower right.  The CFR has already been chosen.

US Code from the Legal Information Institute of Cornell University: Also from the LII; search full-text with title delimiter.

Vermont

Renting in Vermont Handbook:  Provides a link to the .pdf version; press <ctrl>F to search.

Vermont Case Law: Vermont Supreme Court opinions and entry orders in a chronological list.  They can be searched here (click "advanced search", scroll down to "Search By Court").

Vermont Court Forms: List of courts on the left, or check Vermont Law Help here.

Vermont Employment Law Handbook: Hiring, firing, discrimination, wages and hours, safety, unions, etc., written for the worker. 

Vermont Family Court Information: Practical information on divorce, custody, modification and enforcement, etc.

Vermont Law Help: Legal help in a variety of situations: housing, benefits, family, money and debt, small claims, etc.  User-friendly search utility or menu-driven navigation to locate forms, referrals and FAQs.

Vermont Legal Decisions online:  A linked list.

Vermont Mobile Home rights and responsibilities: Covers rent, repair and deduct, privacy, condo conversions, road repair, park sales and closings, subletting and more (.pdf)

Vermont Statutes Online: Text of current Vermont laws; full-text searchable here.  View statutes by titles in center of screen to search by title or section number.  Use "official version" at Michie's Legal Resources for more complex searching here.  Vermont regulations (the Code of Vermont Rules) can be searched here.

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LITERATURE

Amazon.com: Catalog of books and other media currently for sale as well as titles that are out of print.  Many titles include reviews from database editors, edited portions of reviews from Booklist, Library Journal and from the site's visitors.

Bartleby.com Verse: Full-text of poems from standard anthologies, e.g. The Oxford Book of English Verse, and from numerous volumes by famous pre-1920 poets, e.g. Frost, Hopkins, Housman, Keats, Millay, Sandberg, etc., plus portraits and brief bios of selected poets, links to literary criticism.

Bedford/St. Martins Citation Styles: Citation manuals by subject area, with examples; thanks to Diana Hacker and Barbara Fister.

Book Review Sources: Extensive link list to book (and some film) review sources.

Brewer's Phrase and Fable: 1894 version from Bibliomania, along with Brewer's Reader's Handbook, dictionaries and other quote resources here.

CitationFox: Easy to use (and navigate) guide to the APA citation style from the University at Albany (SUNY).. 

Grammar Girl: Who said grammar can't be fun?  Not Mignon Fogarty (the Grammar Girl).

New York Times Sunday Book Review: The gold standard of book reviews, scholarly, erudite and current.  if you read the review, you almost don't have to read the book.

Poets' Corner: 6,700 full-text poems, all over 75 years old (no longer under copyright), by 790 poets.  Also, biographical articles for 31 poets, 120 pictures of poets.

Playfinder: Full synopsis of plays sold by Dramatists Play Service, Inc.  Keyword searching.

Samuel French, Inc.: Product catalog for this major play publisher.  Very brief comments with play listings.  Keyword searching.  Use author's last name as keyword if needed.

Short Story Index: Index to short stories in collections and anthologies at the Los Angeles County Public Library.  Only includes stories that are not listed individually in the Library's online catalog.  Use to find the title of an anthology containing the short story you need.

The Writing Center: From the University of Wisconsin (Madison).  How-to for drafts, revisions, citation methods, suggested styles (for lab reports, dissertations, literary analysis, etc.), avoiding plagiarism, etc.

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MUSIC

Allmusic.com: Biographies of musicians and others in the music business, directory of albums, links to song audios.

CastAlbumDB.com: Index to over 28,000 songs in over 3,200 Broadway musicals.  For each musical, browse song titles and lists of cast members. Up-to-date through 2007. For albums released after January 1, 2008, go to Talkin' Broadway.

LyricsWiki: 1930 to date.  Mostly current pop bands.  Search by artist (first name for individuals or first word of band name), album title or song title.

Music History 102: Internet Public Library (ipl2) guide to famous Western composers and their music, Middle Ages to 20th Century.

Musicpedia: The Open Music Encyclopedia:  Using "Melodyhound" melody search engine, find and identify a tune by melody or rhythm.

National Jukebox:  Historical sound recordings from the Library of Congress.

Smithsonian Folkways: Nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution.  "Dedicated to supporting cultural diversity and increased understanding among peoples through the documentation, preservation, and dissemination of sound."  Genres include folk, bluegrass, jazz, world music, prose, and more.

SongFacts.com: "Song meanings, lyrics and trivia."

SongLyrics.com:  "Massive collection of song lyrics."  Search by artist, title, album, and genre.  Identify song lyrics with a portion of the song. 

Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary: Dictionary of musical terms, including some terms from other languages.  Thorough coverage and depth, cross reference links within definitions.  Use index, no keyword searching.

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QUOTATIONS

Bartlett's Familiar Quotations: 1919 edition of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations plus Simpson's Quotations and Columbia World of Quotations.  Scroll down to brows by author (chronologically or alphabetically) or search by keyword.  Use quotation marks around phrases.

Brewer’s Phrase and Fable: 1894 version. Choose link listed in right-hand column.

Quotations Page: Small collections of quotations searched individually or in combination, by word, phrase or author.

Quoteland: Commercial site, but easy searching by subject, author, special occasion.

Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations Requested from the Congressional Research Service: Meticulous scholarship marks this wide-ranging compilation from the Library of Congress.

Wikiquote: Wide-ranging selection of quotes, including quotes from movies, TV shows, epitaphs, tongue-twisters, etc.  Handle with care - like all wikis, anyone can edit material.

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RELIGION & MYTH

American Atheists: Atheism news, history, blogs, etc.  Founded in 1963 by Madalyn Murray O'Hair.

Association of Religious Data Archives: Surveys, censuses, with state, national and international figures.  Searchable by religion, denomination, zip code, etc., with comparisons by nation, state and denomination.  Compare yourself to other Americans on "religion measures."

The Baha'i Faith: Writings, community, news, media for and about the Baha'is.

Baptist.org: Apologetics, outreach, testimonies, sermons and other resources in an easy-on-the-eye format.

Catholic Encyclopedia: Full-text of 1913 edition of classic print source.  Extensive alpha subject list; individual articles include bibliographies.

Digital Quaker Collection: Browse by alpha, title, author, or search; from the Earlham School of Religion, a graduate level educational center in Richmond, Indiana.

The Episcopal Church: Media-rich Episcopalian Church site.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: One of the major Lutheran organizations of many.  News, resources, readings, etc.

The Hindu Universe: One stop for everything Hindu, from baby names, recipes, lifestyle and travel advice to extensive scripture resources (requires Real Audio).

Islam online: Posts on Islamic life, questions and answers, advice, etc.

Jewish Virtual Library: Covers some of the topics found in the classic print source, the Encyclopedia Judaica.

King James Bible: Full-text, searchable (proximity, Boolean, citation).

the Koran: The Koran (Qur'an) online, searchable, English and Arabic.

Muslim.org: "...attempts to dispel misunderstandings about the religion of Islam and endeavors to facilitate inter-faith dialogue based on reason and rationality." - from their magazine, The LIght and Islamic Review.

Positive Atheism: Discussion of the history, philosophy and ethics of atheism since September 1995.

The Presbyterian Church: Explore the ministry and mission of the Presbyterian Church.

ReligionFacts.com: Striving to provide "just the facts on religion" in a objective and unbiased manner.  Extensive "Big Religion Chart" comparing and providing basics for nearly fifty belief systems.

The Secular Web: "...a shared resource for atheists, agnostics and freethinkers on the Internet."  Includes an introductory essay on atheism, and introduction to logig, common arguments against atheism and some suggested responses, a discussion of atheism in society, and recommended print and electronic resources.    FKA Infidels.org.

Virtual Religion Index: Annotated directory of links to world religious sites, including closely-related subjects (cf. morality and ethical theory, criminal and social justice, war and peace, etc.)  Last updated in 2008.

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SCIENCE

 

General Science

Science.gov: The place to begin for information from the myriad of federal agencies dealing with some aspect of the sciences.

Science Tracer Bullets: The Library of Congress put together these research guides on specific topics, referring to all types of resources. Note the year of publication for each.

Vermont Online Library: Gale Science in Context is particularly helpful, but many of the other databases include full-text reference works on science, science books, or articles from scientific journals.

Encyclopedia of Earth: Articles about the Earth, its natural environments, and their interaction with society.  Written in non-technical language by scholars, professionals, educators, and experts who collaborate and review each other's work.

Eric Weisstein's World of Science: Scholarly explanations of math, physics, chemistry and astronomy with biographies of scientists.

Nobel Prizes: Nobel Prizes in science are awarded in chemistry, physics, and medicine.  This site includes articles and video interviews, video Nobel lectures, and educational games.

Science News:  Web site of the bi-weekly news magazine of the Society for Science and the Public. 

Scientific American: Web site of perhaps the country's best-known and most respected science magazine.

Nature Online Video Streaming Archive: Nature, one of the preeminent science journals, covers all aspects of science, not merely natural history.

Science Fair Project Ideas. See also Gale Science in Context, part of Vermont Online Library, and the science fair Science Tracer Bullet from the Library of Congress.

 

Astronomy, Earth Sciences, Meteorology

Sky View Cafe: A Java application that presents different ways to see the movements of the sun, moon, planets, and stars.

Custom Sunrise Sunset Calendar for Vermont

Google Earth: Download free software to explore the world from above.  Now includes ocean floor, sky, the moon, and Mars.

Geology.com

Snow: Vermont's own Snowflake Bentley and beyond.

 

Biology

All about Birds: Comprehensive.  "Bird Guide" contains in-depth descriptions with color photographs, sound, video, and distribution maps.  From Cornell University and the National Science Foundation.

North American Mammals: From the Smithsonian.  Describes mammals, includes pictures.  Search by geographic area, scientific or common name, conservation status.

Vermont Critter Curriculum: From the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife. Allows you to print out factsheets on our local mammals.

Vermont Reptile & Amphibian Atlas

Butterfliesandmoths.org: Oooo, pretty!

Ocean Portal: From the Smithsonian.

 

Chemistry, Physics, Math

ChemiCool Periodic Table: Visually appealing introduction to the elements of the periodic table.

Math.com: Calculators and tables for pure and practical math. Appears that it hasn't been updated recently, but math is math. See also Bankrate.com to calculate interest and other home finance applications.

Fear of Physics: Easy access to straightforward explanations of basic concepts, e.g. gravity, acceleration, pendulums, etc.  Allows you to set up animated tests based on your chosen criteria.  

 

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SPORTS

Baseball-almanac.com or Baseball-reference.com: Players, teams, leagues, statistics, awards.  Also Pro-football-reference.com, Basketball-reference.com, Hockey-reference.com and Olympics-reference.com.

For college sports go to Sports-reference.com.

JockBio.com: Biographies by published sports writers for selected baseball, basketball, football, golf, ice hockey, soccer and tennis players, auto racers and Olympic athletes.

Yahoo! Recreation: Sports: Another directory of sports sites.  Includes cockfighting, footbag, extreme sports, etc.

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STATISTICS

American factfinder: Comprehensive statistics related to population, housing, economic and geographic data.  Latest information from U.S. Census 2010. 

City-Data.com: Extensive statistics about cities in the U.S., including real estate prices and trends, home value estimator, satellite photos, Census figures (race, income, ancestries, education, employment...), geographical data, state profiles, crime data, registered sex offenders, cost of living, housing, religions, businesses, birthplaces of famous people, political contributions, city government finances and employment, weather, hospitals, schools, libraries, houses, airports, radio and TV stations, etc.

Fedstats: Browse by topic, geographically, and by agency.

Religion-related statistics: From Preston Hunter, a computer programmer in Texas.  Special page on Vermont: http://www.adherents.com/loc/loc_vermont.html.  Last updated subsequent to 2006.

Selected Historical Decennial Census Population and Housing Counts: From 1790 to 2000.  Says "population and housing", but includes journey to work, educational attainment, etc.

Statistical Abstract of the United States (2012 Edition): Statistical information about the nation's people and economy. Full-text of popular statistical tables in PDF format.  Opening screen lists contents by subject. The 2012 edition, with 2011 data, is the last to be made available freely. Now published by ProQuest and Bernan.

UNdata: Opened in February 2008, UNdata provides 32 databases with more than 60 million datapoints reflecting the sixty-plus years of data collection from the 192 member States.  Primarily keyword searching (note: uses British English), and includes table manipulations, data preview, and advanced downloading options, and represents more than 95% of the world's merchandise trade.  Themes include: agriculture, education, employment, energy, environment, health, human development, industry, information and communication technology, national accounts, tourism and trade.  Available search bar for your browser, iframe for your website and an API version; connect via Facebook and Twitter.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics: Links to principal federal statistical agencies - not just labor-related - plus statistical agencies from other countries.

Vermont Housing Data: Detailed data from the Census for cities, towns and villages.

Vermont Statistics via the Center for Rural Studies: Statistics from the U.S. Census for Vermont, including median income, population below poverty level, population projections, employment by occupation.  See the section Vermont Indicators Online for summary data.

WolframAlpha: Dynamically computed results from natural-language input to do with numbers.

World Bank Open Data: Need to know the literacy rate of Burkina Faso?  CO2 emissions for Turkey?  Life expectancy on Togo?  This is the place!

Zanran: A search engine for statistics.  Sample searches include: injuries from natural disasters; exports of natural rubber from Thailand; oil reserves by country; winter wheat production on Ontario; knife crime in London; diabetes prevalence in American, etc.

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TECHNOLOGY

 

General

HowStuffWorks

How Everything Works

 

Agriculture & Gardening

National Agricultural Library: One of the country's four national libraries, and one of the world's largest and most accessible agricultural information collections.  Part of the US Department of Agriculture.

USDA Consumers: Many gardening resources, including organic vegetable gardening and plant hardiness zones, as well as information on canning, farming, and related topics.  For information on specific plants, check out the PLANTS Database.

National Gardening Association: Based in Vermont, so you know it's good.

Organic farming and organic foods: Resource list from Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont.

 

Energy

U.S. Green Building Council: Everything to know about LEED certification of buildings and consultants, including information on courses.

Energy Star: Identifies Energy Star rated appliances and links to publications on saving energy.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory: A federal agency.

 

Home Economics & Green Living

RepairClinic.com: For 26 household appliances and small engines, with free diagrams and repair instruction, links to sources of parts for purchase.

Auto and Truck Repair and Advice: Explains how vehicle parts work, how they fail and gives approximate cost of repair.

Chilton Library: Car repair manuals available through Vermont Online Library.

Mother Earth News: How-tos of all sorts, emphasizing organic, back-to-the land.

Green Guide: From National Geographic.

Homemade play dough: Several recipes here and here.

Homemade cleaning supplies: Some of the many web sites with recipes for cleaning solutions can be found here, here, and here.

 

Patents

United States Trademark and Patent Office: This particular page has links to answer all sorts of questions from how do I find to how do I file.  Also try Google Patents, often faster than the government's site.  Both sites include full-text and images of patents.

 

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TELEVISION & FILM

The Big Cartoon Database: Database of cartoons and animated film.  Comprehensive, includes entries from TV and film. International in scope.

Based on the Book:  Compilation of over 1,450 books, novels, short stories, and plays that have been made into movies.  List posted by the Mid-Continent Library System in Missouri.

Books on Film: Illustrated list of books made into movies.

Encyclopedia of Television:  Essays "examine specific programs and people, historic moments and trends" in television broadcasting.  Includes bibliographical information. Browse only.

Films101: Database of best movies selected by critics and filmmakers.

Greatest Films: The Best Movies in Cinematic History.  Includes film history by decade.  Comprehensive articles.

Internet Movie Database: Largest database of films.  Lists full casts and crews.  Links from names to biographies, filmographies.  Search by title, performer or crew member.  Some television shows and television performers included.

Metacritic:  Movie, TV, music and game reviews from the leading critics and website users.

New York Times Movie Review Archive:  Films reviewed since 1960.

Rotten Tomatoes:  Movie reviews and previews by top critics and RT community.

 

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THEATRE & DANCE

Costumer's Manifesto:  Recently transformed into a wiki.  Links to costume related websites.

Dance Style Locator:  Illustrated descriptions of world dance styles and dance groups.

Drexel Historic Costume Collection:  View examples of clothing from historical periods and designers.  3-D panoramic viewing of the clothing.

IBDB: Internet Broadway Database: Created by the research department of the League of American Theatres and Producers.  Considered the official database for Broadway theatre information.

Tonyawards.com: Official website of the American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards.  Contains nominations, winners, history and photo gallery of winners.  For past winners, click on History, and Search Past Winners.

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TRAVEL

Expedia.com: Major commercial site for reservations, but users can also search by destination or by trip type (ski, romance, Disney, national parks, etc.).

Fodor's Travel Online: Travel information for major U.S. and international cities.  Small portion of content from print series.

Frommers.com: Search by destination, theme, etc.  Feature maps, deals, etc. and handy Calendar of Events.

Kayak: Searches Priceline, Expedia, Travelocity, Hotwire and CheapOair, together or separately, and opens the results in separate tabs, saving navigation time between those sites.

Lonely Planet: Travel advice, services, suggestions, members contributions (including Flickr and Twitter partnerships).  Novel approaches to travel: ten best places to bathe, New York's West Side from a bike, take your kids to Rio, etc.

Post Reports: Detailed and practical information for diplomats and staff posted to foreign countries, but very iseful for travelers, with advice on what to wear, the availability of medical services, food safety, appropriate behavior, etc.  Note that the Reports can be significantly out of date. The Department of State has practical information here.

Tripadvisor: Good for traveler's advice.  Reviews, forums, overviews, articles, etc.  Photos from hotels and resorts (some pulled from Expedia).

Yahoo! Travel: For reservations also.  Nice travel "theme" feature (weekend, ski, honeymoon, winter, nation parks, etc.).

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VETERINARY MEDICINE

Merck Veterinary Manual:  Claims to be the single most comprehensive electronic reference for animal care information.  Meant for professionals, but farmers and pet owners can certainly make good use of this. Includes species-specific information for   exotics like llamas and ostriches.

Free Animal Health Resources Web Sites: "Vetted" by Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine library.

PetMD: For dogs, cats, birds, horses, fish, rabbits, ferrets, reptiles, and exotics (hamsters, guinea pigs, etc.). Offers free online classes. Has advertisements.

Cornell Feline Health Center: Includes informational videos on how to pill your cat or brush its teeth.  Makes it seem so easy....

Dog Breed Info Center: Though not very professional looking, this site has lots of good information on dog breeds, mixed breeds, dog behavior.

What to do if you find a sick or injured wild animal: It is against the law to take injured wild animals into your home. This site lists licensed Vermont wildlife rehabilitators. 

 

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