Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
What is "Reference" and What is it Good For?
Reference books are not intended to be read cover to cover. They're to be consulted for background, context, definition and outline, and they usually include brief but excellent bibliographies that point you to further research on the subject.
They're a great place to get quick info, or to get a basic grounding in something with which you may not be overly familiar.
We have many print reference books, but increasingly we're acquiring reference e-books that you can use from whereever you have internet connections.
NOTE: Most of Bethel's print reference books may be checked out for short periods.
General Reference Databases
Use these databases for general searching. For specialized reference sources focused on exegesis or theological studies, see the additional pages under the "Reference & Exegesis" dropdown menu above.
Contains hundreds of reference titles--encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, guides, etc. Covers virtually every subject.
Gale Virtual Reference Library
The Gale Virtual Reference Library accesses a wealth of reference titles dealing with education, history, medicine, multicultural studies, religion, science, and social science.
Oxford Reference Online
Oxford Reference Online brings together language and subject reference works from one of the world's biggest reference publishers into a single cross-searchable resource. The Core Collection contains over 100 dictionary, language reference, and subject reference works published by Oxford University Press.