Virtual Reference Shelf

Subject Gateways/Virual Libraries

Virtual libraries or Subject Gateways are collections of scholarly databases and information websites. The collections are arranged by subject, that have been assembled, reviewed and recommended by subject specialists and librarians. These virtual libraries and gateway collections support research and reference needs by identifying and pointing to recommended, academically-oriented pages on the Web.


  • Academic Info
    Educational Subject Directory - Online Degree Programs, Test Preparation Resources.
  • ADAM
    ADAM, the Art, Design, Architecture & Media Information Gateway, is a searchable catalogue of Internet resources that have been carefully selected and catalogued by professional librarians and subject experts.
  • AGRIGATE
    AGRIGATE is a subject information gateway for resources, both online and offline, identified as valuable to those participating in Agriculture Research. The resources are selected by an editorial review process consisting of specialist librarians and members of the agriculture research community. The purpose of Agrigate is to support identification and dissemination of high quality research materials.
  • AHDS
    The Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS) is a UK national service aiding the discovery, creation and preservation of digital resources in and for research, teaching and learning in the arts and humanities. Qualitative Internet Resources on Archaeology, History, Visual Arts, Literature, Languages & Linguistics and Performing Arts
  • Artifact
    Artifact forms part of the Resource Discovery Network (RDN) www.rdn.ac.uk which is the UK's free national gateway to Internet resources for the learning, teaching and research community via a series of subject-based information gateways (or hubs). The major areas covered by Artifact are all Arts-related subjects Viz.Advertising, Interactive Leisure Software Architecture, Music, Art & Antiques Market, Performing Arts, Crafts Publishing, Design Software & Computer Services, Designer Fashion, TV, Radio, Film & Video.
  • BIOME
    BIOME is a free catalogue of hand-selected and evaluated Internet resources for students, lecturers, researchers and practitioners in the Health and Life Sciences. Resources on Agriculture, Biology, Botany, Enviornament, Food Science, Horticulture, Health and Life Sciences, Medicine and Veterinary Science.
  • Biz/ed
    Biz/ed is a free online service for students, teachers and lecturers of business, economics, accounting, leisure and recreation and travel and tourism. Biz/ed has established itself as the primary provider of Internet-based learning materials for the economics and business education community.
  • BUBL
    Selected Internet resources covering all academic subject areas.
  • Dutchess
    Dutch Electronic Subject Service, is a Dutch national subject gateway aimed at the academic community. Quality resources are selected and classified according to the Nederlandse Basisclassificatie (Dutch Basic Classification).
  • GEM Gateway to Educational Materials
    The Gateway to Educational Materials is a Consortium effort to provide educators with quick and easy access to thousands of educational resources found on various federal, state, university, non-profit, and commercial Internet sites.
  • Geo-Information Gateway
    An index of on-line Geo-Information resources for university staff and students in the spatial disciplines such as Geography, Geology, Environment, Natural Hazards, Planning/Transport, Cartography, Remote Sensing, On-Line courses, and General References.
  • GEsource
    GEsource includes a core database of high-quality Internet resources catalogued by subject specialists across a number of disciplines - the environment, general geography, human geography, physical geography and techniques and approaches.
  • Humbul Humanities Hub
    Humbul's principal service is to develop its catalogue of evaluated online resources in the humanities. Equally important is the variety of ways that Humbul facilitates access to its records.
  • iLoveLanguages
    iLoveLanguages is a comprehensive catalog of language-related Internet resources. The more than 2400 links at iLoveLanguages have been hand-reviewed to bring you the best language links the Web has to offer. Whether you're looking for online language lessons, translating dictionaries, native literature, translation services, software, language schools, or just a little information on a language you've heard about, iLoveLanguages probably has something to suit your needs.
  • INFOMINE
    INFOMINE is a virtual library of Internet resources relevant to faculty, students, and research staff at the university level. It contains useful Internet resources such as databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, mailing lists, online library card catalogs, articles, directories of researchers, and many other types of information.
  • Internet Public Library
    The Internet Public Library is a public service organization and a learning/teaching environment at the University of Michigan School of Information. IPL is the first public library of and for the Internet community. It is an experiment, trying to discover and promote the most effective roles and contributions of librarians to the Internet and vice versa. A group of highly talented, creative, strong-willed people, working hard for the success of this library.
  • Internet Scout Report
    Scout is part of the National Science Foundation's National Science Digital Library (NSDL) Project. NSDL aims to be the largest science, technology, engineering and math digital library ever created. Since 1994, the Scout Project has focused on developing better tools and services for finding, filtering, and presenting online information and metadata.
  • Intute
    Intute is a free online service that helps you to find the best web resources for your studies and research. Intute is the internet Guide to Engineering, Mathematics, Computing, Agriculture, Law, Physical Science, Social Science, Mangagement, Bioglogical Science, Geography, Medicine and many more.
  • Librarians Index Internet
    Librarians' Internet Index provides a well-organized point of access for reliable, trustworthy, librarian-selected Internet resources.
  • Math Forum Internet Mathematics Library (the)
    The Math Forum is a leading center for mathematics and mathematics education on the Internet. It provide resources, materials, activities, person-to-person interactions, and educational products and services that enrich and support teaching and learning in an increasingly technological world.
  • MedHist
    The guide to history of medicine resources on the Internet. It offers free access to a searchable catalogue of Internet sites and resources covering the history of medicine. MedHist is a gateway to evaluated, quality Internet resources relating to the history of medicine and allied sciences, covering all aspects of the history of health and development of medical knowledge. MedHist is aimed principally at students and staff working within the further and higher education sectors, and also at anyone with a general interest in the subject area.
  • National Science Digital Library
    NSDL free online library which directs users to exemplary resources for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and research. NSDL provides an organized point of access to STEM content that is aggregated from a variety of other digital libraries, NSF-funded projects, and NSDL-reviewed web sites. NSDL also provides access to services and tools that enhance the use of this content in a variety of contexts.
  • PADI: Preserving Access to Digital Information
    PADI is a subject gateway to international digital preservation resources. PADI initiative aims to provide mechanisms that will help to ensure that information in digital form is managed with appropriate consideration for preservation and future access.
  • Philosophy Around The Web
    The main purpose of this site is to act as a guide and a gateway to philosophy resources on the Internet. The heart of the site is a set of links organised into fourteen main categories.
  • Philosophy in Cyberspace
    Philosophy in Cyberspace indexes thousands of philosophy resources and is one of few such indexes which is annotated and updated regularly.
  • psci-com
    psi-com is a guide to quality Internet resources on public engagement with science and technology. psci-com offers free access to a searchable catalogue of Internet sites covering public engagement in science, science communication and the interpretation of science in society.
  • PSIgate: Physical Sciences Information Gateway
    PSIgate is a free service that offers access to high quality Web resources in the physical sciences; there are currently 13608 resources in astronomy, chemistry, earth sciences, materials sciences, physics, and general science.
  • RDN: Resource Discovery Network
    The Resource Discovery Network is the UK's free national gateway to Internet resources for the learning, teaching and research community. The service currently links to more than 100,000 resources via a series of subject-based information gateways.
  • Renardus
    Renardus provide a trusted source of selected, high quality Internet resources for those teaching, learning and researching in higher education. Renardus provides integrated search and browse access to records from individual participating subject gateway services.
  • Resource Shelf
    This resource guide for online news and other resources. Gary Price is the editor and compiler of ResourceShelf. This daily electronic newsletter is where he posts news and other resources of interest to the online researcher.
  • RUDI: Resource for Urban Design Information
    RUDI is an independent unbiased resource, the Resource for Urban Design Information (Rudi), commissions, researches and creates materials, and also re-publishes significant documents contributed by professional and government bodies, practitioners, academics and community organisations.
  • Sapling
    Sapling is the Architecture, Planning & Landscape INformation Gateway - a global gateway for information and a forum for its exchange. It features over 800 reviewed links to architecture, planning and landscape-related websites, plus an Events Listing, News Headlines, Bookstore and Forums.
  • SciCentral
    The sources featured in any section of the site have been hand-picked and ranked by the SciCentral editors based on 7 criteria: Reliability, Timeliness of the information, Extent of daily coverage, Multidisciplinary coverage, Leads to follow up information and Presentation and general appeal.
  • Science Accelerator
    Science Accelerator is a gateway to science, including R&D results, project descriptions, accomplishments, and more, via resources from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), U.S. Department of Energy.
  • SOSIG: Social Science Information Gateway
    The Social Science Information Gateway (SOSIG) is a freely available Internet service which aims to provide a trusted source of selected, high quality Internet information for students, academics, researchers and practitioners in the social sciences, business and law.
  • World Wide Arts Resources
    The largest site for contemporary art, art news, art history, contemporary artist and gallery portfolios.
  • WWW Virtual Library
    The WWW Virtual Library (VL) is the oldest catalogue of the Web, started by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of HTML and of the Web itself, in 1991 at CERN in Geneva. Unlike commercial catalogues, it is run by a loose confederation of volunteers, who compile pages of key links for particular areas in which they are expert; even though it isn't the biggest index of the Web, the VL pages are widely recognised as being amongst the highest-quality guides to particular sections of the Web.

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