General Reference Resources
All collections in UCL Libraries have their own reference books and these are usually located at the
beginning of the sequence. For example, Graham Bannock's The Penguin
dictionary of economics is at ECONOMICS A 1 BAN. See the subject guides written by our Subject Librarians for more detailed information.
Reference books in Main and Science Libraries are arranged according to a classification scheme unique to UCL; classmarks for reference books will start with either
REFERENCE, or SCIENCE LIBRARY REFERENCE. This
indicates whether it is in the Main Library or Science Library respectively, and
is followed by letters and numbers denoting its classified position on the
shelves in that section e.g.
REFERENCE BB 2a for "Who's Who"
SCIENCE LIBRARY REFERENCE BC 4a SCI for "Dictionary of
The Reference collections include language and subject dictionaries, writing and style guides, biographical works, guides to information resources and
directories of funding bodies.
Borrowable books on writing essays and papers, and study skills generally,
are available in the HIGHER EDUCATION and CALT
collections which are near REFERENCE in the Main
Many resources are available online to registered members of UCL so for a complete list see our Databases A-Z You can also find all electronic resources for your particular subject via the drop down box below alongside "Display a list by subject".
General reference works can be accessed via a list but titles include:-
- American National Biography
- Australian Dictionary of Biography
- British Standards
- Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography
- Dictionary of Canadian Biography
- Dictionnaires des 16e et 17e s. / Dictionaries of the 16th and 17th centuries
- Duden Online
- Enciclopedia Italiana
- Oxford 3 in 1 Bilingual Dictionary
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
- Oxford Reference Online
- Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory
- United Kingdom Official Publications
- Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, 1824-1900
- Who's Who and Who was Who
- World of Learning
Journal Title Abbreviations
If you are looking for information on journals, and specifically what an abbreviated journal title is in full these websites are extremely useful:-
- Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations
- Web of Science Journal Abbreviations Index
- PubMED Journal Abbreviations
Various mapping services which include geological and historical maps are available to UCL staff and students via Digimap
Newspapers are available through a variety of services but for further information see our Newspaper web page.
has the full text of hundreds of newspapers from all over the world as far back
as the 1980s. Earlier decades of 20th Century can be found in The Times Digital
Archive and Proquest Historical Newspapers and earlier centuries via British
Library Newspaper collections.
More recent UCL theses may be available in UCL Discovery.
Otherwise, the British Library's EThOS service is digitizing older UK PhD theses on demand so you could request a copy via their website.
The British Library is nearby, and UCL staff and students can apply for a Reader Pass. You will need to take identification showing proof of address (e.g. utility bill), proof of signature (e.g. driving licence) and proof of student or research status (UCL ID card) in order to register.
Regular training sessions on using the library and electronic resources are held in the Library. For details see our skills training and guidance web pages.