British academy

Please note that inclusion of a link does not imply that the British Academy endorses that site, neither does the Academy take responsibility for the content of web sites listed here. Some of these sites may only be viewed using Netscape 4.0 or Internet Explorer 5.0 (or equivalent) or higher.

Portals and subject-specific information gateways

Arts and Humanities Data Service: The Arts and Humanities Data Service is a UK national service funded by JISC and the AHRB to collect, preserve and promote the electronic resources which result from research and teaching in the arts and humanities. It encourages research and educational use of its collections and makes information about them available through online catalogues. (Users are required to register to use this service, but there is no subscription charge.)

Bubl Link: a catalogue of selected Internet resources covering all academic subject areas and catalogued according to DDC (Dewey Decimal Classification). All items are selected, evaluated, catalogued and described. Links are checked and fixed each month. There are subject trees for the humanities, language, literature and culture, and the social sciences.

HistoryWorld: an interactive multi-linked experience of world history. Users can create their own rapid pathways through time, pausing at any point to read about a selected event at the appropriate place in any of 400 interconnecting narratives (between them spanning Big Bang to the present day). They can also mix their own timelines of images and click to set them in their contemporary context.

HumBul: the humanities catalogue of the Resource Discovery Network, providing links to a wide variety of online resources.

Infomine: comprehensive showcase, virtual library and reference tool containing highly useful Internet/Web resources including databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, listservs, online library card catalogs, articles and directories of researchers, among many other types of information. There is a subsection for the humanities and social sciences.

SOSIG: the social sciences catalogue of the Resource Discovery Network, providing links to a wide variety of online resources.

WWW Virtual Library: a decentralised catalogue of web resources. There are specialised catalogues for business and economics, education (includes linguistics and applied linguistics), humanities, international affairs, law, regional studies, and society (includes politics, theology and social sciences).

Libraries of electronic texts

(Users of these sites that the majority of online texts are copyright-expired. If in doubt regarding the copyright status of a text, you should contact the owner of the site concerned who will be able to advise you.)

Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts: a collection of public domain documents from American and English literature as well as Western philosophy. The collection is searchable and includes an easy-to-use concordance.

Bibliomania: contains over 800 texts.

Great Books Index: a personal collection of online texts ranging from Aeschylus to Woolf, including links to relevant web sites.

Oxford Text Archive: holds several thousand electronic texts and linguistic corpora, in a variety of languages. Its holdings include electronic editions of works by individual authors, standard reference works such as the Bible and mono-/bilingual dictionaries, and a range of language corpora.

Project Gutenberg: a large library of electronic texts, including a number of reference works and dictionaries.

Reference works

Dictionaries and encyclopaedias

  • Encyclopædia Britannica: This site provides an online version of the complete, updated Encyclopædia Britannica, together with selected articles from more than 70 of the world's top magazines including Newsweek, Discover, and The Economist. It also includes guides to more than 125,000 sites, and a search engine for the whole of the web.
  • Hutchinson Dictionary of Difficult Words: This site provides a dictionary of frequently misused words, as well as a number of Latin phrases. It is both searchable and browsable.
  • Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition: The on-line Collegiate Dictionary is based on the print version of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate® Dictionary, Tenth Edition. The on-line dictionary includes the main A–Z listing of the Collegiate® Dictionary, as well as the Abbreviations, Foreign Words and Phrases, Biographical Names, and Geographical Names sections of that book. It also includes 1,000 illustrations and 25 tables. Users should be aware that selected sections of the print Collegiate® Dictionary, notably the Signs and Symbols section, are omitted from the on-line Collegiate Dictionary because they include special characters and symbols that cannot readily be reproduced in HTML.

Those who have more specialist needs may find what they are looking for on the sites below:


BT's online directory enquiries service: the same service (if not better) as '192', but is free.

UK Universities: a clickable map of links to UK Universities and Colleges of Higher Education maintained by the University of Wolverhampton's School of Computing and Information Technology. Similar maps of links of Colleges of Further Education and Research Institutes are also available. An alphabetical listing of the same institutions is also available.

UK Yellow Pages: the online version of the Yellow Pages, providing a number of addition services such as maps and community information services.