I love research, and if in a conversation a question can’t get answered I automatically have to search for it. There is such an amazing amount of information out there, and so many ways to find it, I thought I would dig into my browser favorites and share some of the sites I like to use. I list ten at a time, alphabetically, for this series. Here is the next batch.
Monstropedia – I admit this one might have limited appeal but I just had to include it because of my lifelong interest in the subject. As of this writing they offer 1,873 articles about…monsters!
Museum of Hoaxes – Covers hoaxes from the middle ages to the present. This site offers a hoax museum search engine and extensive archives.
National Archives – The record keeper for the United States holds “approximately 9 billion pages of textual records; 7.2 million maps, charts, and architectural drawings; more than 20 million still photographs; billions of machine-readable data sets; and more than 365,000 reels of film and 110,000 videotapes.”
Netronline – The public records online directory they offer is a portal to tax assessors and recorders offices for all 50 states.
Nolo – They offer an extensive selection of free legal information, a legal encyclopedia and a lawyer directory.
Online Conversion – Convert anything from acceleration to pressure to weight, and about anything else you can think of.
Pop Cult – A somewhat obscure but fun site that is cataloging “quality” pop culture. Go click around; I know you’ll find something interesting.
The Straight Dope – One could argue that this is not exactly a reference site, but Cecil Adams has answered so many strange questions since 1973 that it had to make the cut.
Snopes – A dictionary of urban legends and “common fallacies, misinformation, old wives' tales, strange news stories, rumors, celebrity gossip, and similar items.”
Wikipedia – While they had a few credibility problems early on Wikipedia has done much to clean up the site. Because of their extensive link love you can’t research just one subject while there.
Best Free Reference Sites, Part Two
Best Free Reference Sites, Part One