General Reference


The general reference collection comprises materials that serve one or more of the following purposes:

  • factual information (e.g., dictionaries, atlases, statistical yearbooks, biographical dictionaries)
  • overview of a topic (e.g., handbooks, encyclopedias)
  • guides to in-depth research on a topic (e.g., bibliographies, indices)       

Subject-focused reference materials are collected, as appropriate, across all subject areas covered by the Yale Library; consult the subject-specific collection development statements for details. The general reference collection includes those materials that are not subject-specific, are of general interest, or are broadly multidisciplinary. 

Formats collected

Online formats are preferred.
Online resources that are optimized for use within the library’s discovery system are preferred.

Not collected: products for which there are reliable, free, online alternatives. 

Languages collected

English plus selected titles in Western languages. 

Other languages are collected as needed for subject-specific reference collections. 

Chronological and geographical focus

No limitations.