Quick Reference and Fast Facts

Almanacs | Associations & Non-Profit Groups | Biographies | Calculation and Measurement | Calendars/Time Zones | Countries | Dictionaries/Language | Encyclopedias | Etiquette Foreign Language Translators | Maps and Locators | News | States and Cities | Statistics and Profiles | Stock Quotes | Telephone/Address/Email | Vital Records| Weather | Zip Codes | Return to Recommended Resources by Subject

Some sites have a little of everything! For sites with biography, encyclopedia, almanac, and similar references information all available through one portal, see:

AllRefer - http://www.allrefer.com/
Librarian's Index to the Internet - http://www.lii.org



Guinness World Records
Authority on record-breaking achievements.

InfoPlease - This Day in History
Significant events by date, searchable by month, date, and year.

Information Please Almanac
Brief facts on many topics, searchable by subject or keyword.

Old Farmer's Almanac
Gardening, cooking, homemaking, sun rise and sets, weather forecasts...


Associations & Non-profit Groups

Associations on the Net
Directory of associations on various topics, from Internet Public Library.

Charity Navigator
Analysis and ratings of charities and nonprofit organizations. Includes a list of "Top Ten" and "4 Star" charities.

Charity Navigator
Analysis and ratings of charities and nonprofit organizations. Includes a list of "Top Ten" and "4 Star" charities.

Foundation Center
Includes hundreds of direct links to private, corporate, and public foundations, as well as information about foundations and grant seeking.

Give.org, Wise Giving Alliance
Though this site covers fewer charities than some other sites, the reports are detailed and provide financial information, history, and other information on charities and their work. Run by the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Grants Information Collection, UW-Madison Memorial Library
A print and online collection of information related to grants for individuals or non-profits, housed at UW-Madison's Memorial Library.

Information on the programs and finances of more than 850,000 charities and nonprofits.

Idealist: Action Without Borders
Offers a searchable directory of nonprofit web sites from 165 countries.



An A&E Television site featuring biographical information about contemporary people and historic persons, mostly focusing on American culture.  Includes many newsworthy people and politicians.

Biographical Dictionary
This biographical dictionary covering 28,000+ personalities has advanced search capabilities, but offers brief descriptive information rather than a full biography.

A&E Network resource

Cambridge Biographical Dictionary
Part of the History Channel, this site offers a paragraph of information on over 20,000 important people.

Dead People Server
"Remember whats'er name? She played the girl in that dumb movie with whoziss. What ever happened to her? Specifically, is she dead yet? Here's where to find out." Maintained by Laurie Mann.

InfoPlease Biography
Biographical profiles of people throughout the world.

Internet Movie Database
Find biographies of millions of movie and television celebrities, directors, and producers.

A Million Lives
Brief and readable biographies of historic and contemporary figures. Mostly focuses on American culture and "classic" figures in history.

Presidents of the United States
Research your favorite President on the Internet.

Science, Technology, and Industry Sites
A directory of biographical information about scientists and mathematicians available on the Internet.  From ECHO (Exploring and Collecting History Online).


Calculation and Measurement

Calorie and Fat Gram Chart for 1000 Foods
Includes fat, calorie, and cholesterol counts for common foods. For fast food products, check out Fast Food Facts.

Convert It!
At MegaConverter2, select "Mega Converters" from drop-down menu on left-hand side. Convert length, time, distance, weights and measures, wind chill and more. For the less adventurous, Convert It! converts acceleration, area, energy/work, fluid/liquid, length/distance, mass, metrology, pressure, power, or volume/capacity, and is easier to use.

Financial Planning Toolkit: Financial Calculators
Calculators for loan rates, mortgages, refinancing comparisons, amortization, debt consolidation, and more.

The Inflation Calculator
This form adjusts any given amount of money for inflation, according to the Consumer Price Index.

OANDA Currency Converter
At this site you can easily convert between any of 164 currencies.

Temperature Conversion Calculator
Convert temperatures between Celsius, Fahrenheit, Kelvin, Ramur, and rankine.

What is a Dollar Worth?
Federal Reserve Bank - Minneapolis resource.


Calendars/Time Zones

Calendar Zone
Links to hundreds of calendars, including celestial, event, cultural, daily, and interactive.

Offers a variety of calendars and clocks for reference or personal use.

Virtual Perpetual Calendars
Includes calendars for every year in the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as holiday dates, leap year information, and more.



Country Briefings (Economist)
Country Briefings section provides news, profiles, forecasts and statistics on 60 major countries. Main focus is on detailing the political and economic structures of each country.

Country Profiles
A service of the BBC, provides a overview of the history, politics and economic background of countries and key international organizations.

Country Studies - Library of Congress
Formerly available in paper format, the Country Studies series includes electronic editions of books published between 1988 and 1998. The series "presents a description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of countries throughout the world". Recent updates to this database are available via the Country Profiles site.

European Social Statistics 2013 Edition
"The pocketbook European Social Statistics provides a comparative overview of the social statistics available in Europe." (from the introduction)

Flags of the World
Each country's flag is pictured in color, with a description of the significance of the colors and symbols, and a brief history.

Nations of the World
Provides links to each country's constitution and selected legal guides along with access to the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.

Portals To The World
Offers selected links to 214 countries, chosen by LOC subject specialists.

World Factbook
U.S. government profiles on countries, complete with small map and picture of flag.

World Time Server
See current time and deviation from GMT for all countries and many large cities



Acronym Finder
Find out what any acronym, abbreviation, or initialism stands for

ARTFL Project: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1913 Edition
Though this is an older edition, it is exceptionally thorough and gives examples of word usage.

"Search the Compact Oxford English Dictionary online; get answers to questions on English, language, grammar, spelling, quotations, and usage;..."

Find quotations, poetry, English language style and usage, thesauri, encyclopedias and much more in this comprehensive reference resource.

Also includes a thesaurus.

The Glossarist
Topical dictionaries and glossaries for many different subjects.

Daily updated comprehensive source of consumer health and medical information.

How to Cite Electronic Sources
Contains links to sources which will help students, teachers, and anybody doing research on the Internet to cite electronic sources using different styles.

Merriam Webster's Dictionary
This easy-to-use dictionary includes multiple meanings (including British usage), as well as entymology and pronunciation of words.

On-line Medical Dictionary
A useful health dictionary to quickly find information on medical terms

Online Etymology Dictionary
An online etymology dictionary searchable by natural language, single term, any term, and exact phrase.

"Key word, author, title and subject access to a number of major quotation sources in the public domain, including Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, the King James Bible, Roget's Thesaurus and others."

A free online compendium of sourced quotations from notable people and creative works in every language, translations of non-English quotes, and links to Wikipedia for further information.



Encyclopaedia Britannica
Links to Encyclopaedia Britannica articles and similar web sites, by general category or specific search topic.

Brief information from the Concise Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia (3rd ed.) is supplemented with several cross-references to photographs and text at selected additonal sites.

A multi-language free collaboratively written encyclopedia by its readers. For an index to Wikipedia see: WikiWax.



Emily Post Etiquette Encyclopedia
A comprehensive, searchable, online etiquette reference to supplement the flagship book, Etiquette.

Getting Through Customs
International customs for business travel.

The Knot
wedding information


Foreign Language Translators

Altavista's Babelfish translator
Online language translator

Free2Professional Translation
Free online translations

Common symbols from a variety of cultures are searchable by graphic element or meaning.

A multi-language dictionary with thesaurus, currently has about 133,655 definitions, articles and places since being introduced in December 2002. A project of the Wikimedia Foundation along with the Wikipedia encyclopedia.

A dictionary/thesaurus with exceptional searching capabilities for hard-to-spell or frequently misspelled words and over 50,000 entries.

Links to 1,500 dictionaries covering 230 separate languages, from Afrikaans to Xhosa, plus specialized dictionaries, multilingual dictionaries, verb conjugators, translators, thesauri, synonyms and homonyms, quotations, etymology, and more. Formerly known as A Web of Online Dictionaries.


Maps and Locators

Atlapedia Online
Physical and geographic country maps, complete with statistics and factoids.

Google Maps
Find local businesses and contact information by entering the name and location of the concern.

How Far Is It?
This easy-to-use site calculates distance (as the crow flies) between any two points in the world and includes a map for further reference. For driving mileage between two cities, try MapQuest or MapsOnUs

Live Search Maps (Microsoft)
Find local businesses, people, and places. Use the aerial feature for close display of local places.  Provides more detail than Google Maps for zooming in on local addresses.

National Atlas
With a little patience, you can creat your own maps based on information such as agricultural production, crime, geographic features, population, and more. The program requires Netscape 4+ or Microsoft Internet Explorer 4+ with frames enabled.

Perry-Casta eda Library Map Collection
Find world maps, historical maps, and political, topographical, and economic maps.

Rand McNally
These free, interactive street atlases of the continental United States gives you mileage, door-to-door or city-to-city, and street maps with driving directions. Also has trip planning information.

"The TerraServer-USA Web site is one of the world's largest online databases, providing free public access to a vast data store of maps and aerial photographs of the United States," including one for Madison, Wisconsin.

Every USGS topographic 1:100,000, 1:25,000, and 1:24,000 scale map for the entire United States. If you need help interpreting the maps, try Topographic Map Symbols  from the USGS. Topographic maps are also available at Trails.com.




States and Cities

50 States and Capitals
Information for all fifty states and seven territories, including state flags (picture and description), state symbols, political and geographical information, and a direct link to the state's official web page.

Find data on many cities in the U.S., including census information, maps, weather, photos, and more. Find similar information on e-podunk.com, with ranked lists of standard and unique statistics.

Official City Sites
Links to official state and city web pages in the U.S. and several European countries.

Sperling's Best Places
Compare over 3,000 U.S. cities in housing, costs of living, crime, education, economy, health and climate. Choose any two cities and see them displayed side-by-side.

State Agency Databases
Electronic database of individual state agencies

State and Local Government of the Net
Directory of state and local government web sites

StateLine: State Policy and Politics
Information, news and resoruces on states

U. S. Gazetteer
Locate a city, township or county by name or zip code. Brief data includes 2000 & 1990 population, as well as an interactive map of the area.


Statistics and Profiles

2007 Economic Census: Geographic Area Statistics, Wisconsin
The Economic Census is published every 5 years and measures the economic activity of the nation.

American Community Survey
A survey of  some 3 million plus housing units annually. Data available annually and at 5 year intervals. Replaced the long form of 2010 census.

American Factfinder2
Easy access to some of the Bureau's largest and most widely-used data sets. Users can create a variety of tables, reports, or maps with information on their community, the economy, or American society in just a few steps.

Census of Agriculture
Published every 5 years, the Census of Agriculture is the most comprehensive collection of data portraying the Nation's agriculture. Geographic coverage includes the United States, states, and counties

City of Madison Demographics
From the City of Madison Office of Business Resources. Includes key demographics and links to more.

Consumer Price Index
CPI historical data back to 1913 is in table 24 of the CPI tables files. For prices of individual products see: Consumer Price Index - Average Price Data.

County Business Patterns, Metro Business Patterns, Zip Code Business Patterns
An annual series that providoes subnational economic data by industry

County Health Rankings
Developed by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in collaborating with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, this resource provide rankings of health care for each state and thier respective counties. The rankings have been in existence for the past six years.

County Workforce Profiles of Wisconsin
Access information about the workforce for all Wisconsin counties, from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

A national service with real time localized incident/crime reports. Enter an address to access the database.

Demographic Services Center (WI Dept. of Administration)
Links to Wisconsin demographics, including WisStat, and 2010 census for Wisconsin.

Economic Census
The Economic Census is the U.S. Government's official five-year measure of American business and the economy

European Social Statistics 2013 Edition
"The pocketbook European Social Statistics provides a comparative overview of the social statistics available in Europe." (from the introduction)

Statistics from 100 U.S. government agencies, searchable by keyword and agency. For an idea of what this site covers, check the A to Z key. Many files require Adobe Acrobat.

Industry and Occupation Classifications
classificationn codes and reports for industries and occupations

Madison's Neighborhoods
Neighborhood associations, plans, businesses, profiles, and maps.

NationMaster is "a massive central data source and a handy way to graphically compare nations. NationMaster is a vast compilation of data from such sources as the CIA World Factbook, United Nations, World Health Organization, World Bank, World Resources Institute, UNESCO, UNICEF and OECD." Make your own charts and graphs of anything from population to number of kidney transplants performed.

State LMI (Labor Market Information) Directory
Labor market and jobs information for the 50 states.

Produced by the same folks as Nationmaster, this "statistical database which allows you to research and compare a multitude of different data on US states...StateMaster.com goes beyond the numbers to provide you with visualization technology like pie charts, maps, graphs and scatterplots".

Statistical Abstracts (2006 to present)
Use this link for historical Statistical Abstracts(1874-199; 1995-2000; 2001-2005);also includes: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970.

State Fact Sheets
Basic and agricultural statistics on every state in the U.S., compiled by the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

United States Census Bureau
Searchable site with numerous statistics for the cities, states, and the nation., including a current population finder, local area profiles, and current economic indicators. Includes links to the Statistical Abstract .and the latest 2010 Census reports. In addition, under "Related Sites," provides links to state and international data centers. See also Census of Popualtion and Housing (historical census back to 1790)

Wisconsin Health Statistics
Statistics on Cancer, Health Care Providers, Health Surveys, Health Insurance, Population, and Vital Statistics (Births, Deaths, Marriages, Divorces, Life Expectancy).

Wisconsin’s WorkNet
A great Wisconsin state resource with labor and occupational data, salary ranges, JobNet, and many other links for both job seekers and employers.


Stock Quotes

Big Charts
Provides interactive charts for stocks and mutual funds, as well as current and historical quotes.

Thorough and detailed quote coverage.

Yahoo! Finance - Research Tools - Historical Quotes
Provides historical stock quotes back to 1962. Click on "Historical Quotes" under the "Research Tools" section.





Find vital records at the county level for each state.

Where to Write for Vital Records
Find vital records at the state records centers.



Historical Climate Summaries
Historical highs, lows, and precipitation records from weather stations around the Midwest. See similar information from the Wisconsin State Climatology Office.

Madison Weather
Current and extended forecasts for Madison, Wisconsin, and other major U.S. cities.

National Weather Service
Provides ccess to National Weather Service Information for the entire United States.

Weather Underground
Includes daily historic weather records, Weather Cams, radar and satellite imagery, and other maps.

Wisconsin Driving Conditions
From the Dept. of Transportation. Not updated during the summer. A listing of construction and detours is also available. 


Zip Codes

Free Zip Code Look Up
You can't use this to get an exact zip code by street address, but you can view zip codes by city, or find the longitude/latitude of a zip code (or city) here.

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