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The most up-to-date and comprehensive free full-text reference site, also ranks among the oldest of Internet brands. Begun in 1993 as a personal research project into the benefits of electronic publishing, has come to be esteemed among academics and enjoyed by millions of students and the intellectually curious alike.

With over 370,000 full-text searchable web pages categorized by subject, and indexed by author, title and other unique criteria, attracted over 40 million unique users last year who read the biographies of today’s newsmakers, found the right quotations to illustrate their work, verified points of English usage, read poems and short stories, and performed in-depth research on Shakespeare and other literary and historical figures.

The following are highlights of’s milestones:
  • provides cobranded reference services to Yahoo! Education, AOL@SCHOOL, Apple Computer’s Sherlock search for the Macintosh OS, and Research Machines and Riverdeep’s Living Library subscription service.
  • The top American reference publishers like Columbia University Press and Houghton Mifflin have formed partnerships with to present the most up-to-date and readily accessible free encyclopedia, dictionary, thesauri, style, usage, quotation, and geographic reference works.
  • With use of a proprietary back-end database that uniquely combines editorial and technical requirements, allows the user endless hyperlinked cross-references from biographies to quotations to full-text primary and secondary sources.
  • provides the most up-to-date editions of the Columbia Encyclopedia and American Heritage Dictionary; the best contemporary and classic thesauri and usage guides; the first names in the reference categories anatomy, language, etiquette, cookery, mythology, literary history and parliamentary procedure; as well as the King James Bible, Complete Works of Shakespeare, and the 70-volume Harvard Classics and Shelf of Fiction.
  • The largest collection of quotations ever assembled in print or electronic form—from three of the top names in reference—is composed of 86,000 entries from Genesis to Shakespeare to the New York Times.
  • Over 10,000 poems from the largest freely available collection of classic poetry anthologies on the web—as well as the complete works of many well-known poets—is one of the many growing databases of classic works on that are indexed by author, title, first line, and other criteria.


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