Leeds University Library
The Edward Boyle Library will be closed from Friday 5 June until the autumn.

Find out how to get science and engineering books over the summer.

Reference works


The Library has many general and subject-specific reference books such as dictionaries, encyclopedias and yearbooks.

Each campus library has a general reference section for dictionaries etc, and you will also find a reference section within each subject area.

Nearly all subjects have a dictionary sequence within them at the classmark A-0.19. There are some exceptions, for example Chinese dictionaries are at P-0.197, and in Education, dictionaries can be found at 370.3.

In the Health Libraries, English dictionaries are at Z 300, followed by other languages, with medical and healthcare dictionaries from Z 315 to Z 320, and dentistry dictionaries at Z 321.

For a good general reference work try Oxford Reference Online (encyclopedias and dictionaries).

Searching for dictionaries and encyclopedias

To find reference works, try a keyword search using Search@Library. Type either "encyclopedia", "encyclopaedia", or "dictionary" and include terms from your subject, eg encyclopedia fashion.


Subject-specific key reference works

We have lists of key reference works for specific subject areas which will give you a good starting point.

Use the drop-down list below to select your subject