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There is one authoritative encyclopedia for you to use at home: Encyclopaedia Britannica Online

If you need access to a subject encyclopedia, then Gale Virtual Reference Library should be your destination.  Some of the many subjects it covers are: art, business, the classics, economics, the environment, history, law, literature, medicine, military history, mythology, performing arts, religion, science, and the social sciences.

If you are looking for a biography of a relatively famous person, look no further than Biography In ContextSEARCH: