University of Reading cookie policy

We use cookies on to improve your experience, monitor site performance and tailor content to you.

Read our cookie policy to find out how to manage your cookie settings.

Encyclopedias and dictionaries

Use these sources to find authoritative definitions and summaries – a useful starting point for seminar presentations and projects. They are a reliable alternative to Wikipedia!

General works and collections

These resources allow you to search for definitions and summaries in all subjects.

  • Britannica Academic - search across the full 32 volumes of Encyclopædia Britannica
  • Credo Reference - search across multiple works in all subjects
  • Oxford Reference - search across multiple works in all subjects
  • Summon - search our discovery service to find definitions from many of our online dictionaries and encyclopedias

See also our list of Quick reference sources.

Some More specific sources

This is a selection of reference works and collections we have purchased for specific subjects. To find other individual titles search the Enterprise catalogue.