Reference Collection

Reference Section



The Reference Collection area, located on the Main Floor, includes general and subject-specific reference works, such as:

  • Encyclopedias
  • Dictionaries
  • Biographical sources
  • Atlases

Reference books are books in which the information is organized so that you can find the information you need relatively quickly. Books in the reference section summarize and organize information so that people look up a topic of interest and get brief but authoritative information. Reference books are a good place to look up specific facts or get a quick overview of a topic.

At Preus Library, the reference books are located in the rear of the main level and are arranged by Library of Congress classification numbers. Reference books are intended to be used briefly to get quick information and therefore may be used only in the library and are not available to be checked out.

The Preus Library reference collection includes both general encyclopedias, and more specialized topical encyclopedias as well as dictionaries, atlases, and literary guides.


Atlases are books or collections of maps; they are considered to be part of the Reference Section. In addition to world, national, state and regional atlases, the Preus Library collection includes historical atlases, regional topographical maps, and plat books past or recent.