Scholars' Toolbox

With the scholar in mind, the VCFA library offered these online resources to students and the VCFA community pursuing scholarly work. Scholars' dictionaries, encyclopedias and bibliographic tools are invaluable tools for academic study.


Free for the entire VCFA community the first step is to create your own personal account and follow the "New to RefWorks- Sign up for a New Account" instructions. Once your personal account is created you can save any citation from VCFA databases to your own personal bibliography. There are many benefits to having a personal RefWorks account. Download the "Cite-N-Write" application and use an abbreviated version of RefWorks within your word process to automatically include properly formatted footnotes and references from your personal bibliography as you write. RefWorks output styles include MLA, Chicago, APA, Turabian and hundreds of others. 

Access RefWorks

Oxford English Dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionary is the world's most complete dictionary. Continuously updated, this is the only major dictionary to trace (even time-chart!) the use of every English word.

Access the Dictionary

Visual Thesaurus

The Visual Thesaurus is "both an artistic exploration and a tool to explore, study, and analyze the structure of language." - Visual Thesaurus. "One can literally watch a word explode!" - VCFA Librarian

Access the Visual Thesaurus

Encyclopedia Britannica

The Encyclopedia Britannica is regarded as one of the best research sources offering more than 120,000 articles. It also publishes daily features, and provides links to news and other external sites as chosen by its editors. It is continuously updated by more than 4,000 expert contributors. Click here for a site tour.

Access Encyclopedia Britannica

The McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology

AccessScience is a complete Science and Technology reference that gathers and synthesizes vast amounts of information, and organizes it to give you fast, easy and accurate access to authoritative articles in all major areas of science and technology. It's easier than ever to find what you're looking for and put it to use quickly.

Access the encyclopedia


Novelist helps you find books to read and genres to study. NoveList Plus is a comprehensive readers' advisory resource for fiction and nonfiction. With its intuitive interface and extensive proprietary content, NoveList Plus will help you to answer the question of what to read next. Click here for a site tour.

Access NoveList