Desk Set

Ready Reference for the Digital Librarian

Specialized Dictionaries:

Abbreviations and acronyms dictionary. (n.d.). Retrieved October 6, 2011, from
The abbreviations and acronyms dictionary is a searchable database containing over one million abbreviations and acronyms. Search results can be filtered by subject area. Available on the web since 1996, new abbreviations can be user-suggested, but are verified by the site owner before adding to the database. New acronyms are added on a daily basis. An interesting, but somewhat odd feature of this site is that it also includes zip code search which allows the user to enter a zip code to search on and then returns information about the city, state, area code, and time zone.

BabelFish. (n.d.). Retrieved October 6, 2011, from
Babelfish is a popular online tool for translating words and phrases into different languages. The site supports translations between 14 different languages. The site is straightforward, simple and easy to use, but site performance seemed a little sluggish and there are a lot of translation sites (and dictionaries containing translation capabilities) that provide better capabilities and options.

Brewer, E. Cobham. 1898. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. (n.d.). Retrieved October 6, 2011, from
The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable is an online searchable version of Brewer's classic 1894 reference book providing phrase origins and allusions from myth and fable. The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable is available free online through a number of reference sites, including Bartleby and InfoPlease.

Computer User Online Dictionary. (n.d.). Retrieved October 6, 2011, from
This reference source from ComputerUser, Inc. provides a dictionary of computer terms. It is a free site, but contains a lot of ads that can be distracting and make it hard to separate site content from advertisements.

Dery, Bernard. (n.d.). Visual Dictionary. Retrieved October 6, 2011, from
The Visual Dictionary is a unique online dictionary which differs from a traditional dictionary or encyclopedia because it allows the user to search either by words or images with search results displayed as images. These images contain labels which further describe the details comprising the item, such as identifying the various body parts of a cat. It is updated once or twice a year. The Visual Dictionary is provided by Bernard Dery, a Canadian doctorate candidate in Physics who works full-time as an optical designer at EXFO.

Eather, Jenny. (n.d.). A Maths Dictionary for Kids. Retrieved October 6, 2011, from
A Maths Dictionary for Kids is an animated, interactive math dictionary for students developed by an Australian primary school (K-6) teacher. This dictionary is non-searchable, but terms are grouped alphabetically and selecting a term provides a definition and an interactive activity for the child to complete.

Howe, Dennis. (2011, June). FOLDOC - Computing Dictionary. Retrieved October 6, 2011, from
FOLDOC is an online dictionary of computing (terms, theory, companies, products, etc) created in 1985 by Denis Howe, who continues to serve as site editor, and hosted by the Imperial College Department of Computing in London. Although it is updated once or twice a year with the last update occurring 2011-06-09, the information on companies appears incomplete and out-dated.

Internet Acronym Server. (n.d.). Retrieved October 6, 2011, from
The Internet acronym server is a database of acronyms collected from the internet over the past 20 years. It is provided by Silmaril Information Management Consultants.

Lexicool. (n.d.). Retrieved October 6, 2011, from
A searchable directory run by an international team of linguists and IT specialists based in France, Lexicool provides links to thousands of online bilingual and multilingual dictionaries and glossaries that are freely available on the internet. The site also provides online translations and links to other translation resources online. The site is free, but sports numerous ads which can make it challenging at times to discriminate between site content and advertisement.

Medical Dictionary: MedlinePlus. (2010). U.S. National Library of Medicine, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and National Institutes of Health. Retrieved September 25, 2011, from
MedlinePlus is an easy to understand, comprehensive online medical information repository designed for the general consumer. It provides a wealth of information on health topics, information on both prescription and over-the-counter drugs as well as herbal and dietary supplements, anatomy and surgery videos, interactive health tutorials, and directory links to assist users in finding health care professionals.

Oxford Art Online. (n.d.). Oxford University Press. Retrieved October 11, 2011, from
The Oxford Art Online and Grove Art Online is a renowned, peer reviewed online resource covering all aspects of visual art. It contains over 6,000 art images from major collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum and provides links to over 40,000 images at museum and gallery websites. The Oxford Art Online is updated three times per year to include regular updates on contemporary art subjects. The Oxford Art Online does charge a subscription fee at individual or institutional level.

Reitz, Jean. (2011). ODLIS — Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science. ABC-CLIO. Retrieved October 13, 2011, from
Published by ABC-CLIO, ODLIS is a dictionary of library and information system terms. This resource is particularly helpful for new librarians and university students in providing definitions for general library science terminology.