Find out everything about everything! Oxford Reference Online: July’s online resource of the month

Sandeep Dhaliwal, our Tri-borough Reference Librarian, writes:

Oxford Reference Online
Oxford Reference Online

Did you know that the name Vera is Slavic for “faith”?

Or that the Oscar statues given out at the Academy Awards are 13 1/2 inches high?

Or who said “When I was young, I found out that the big toe always ends up making a hole in a sock. So I stopped wearing socks”?*

Or what the aberration of starlight is?

You can find the answer to these questions- and more questions!- in our Oxford Reference Online database.

Oxford University Press publishes many reference, professional, and academic works including the Oxford English DictionaryOxford World’s Classics,  and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. A number of its most important titles are now available electronically in a package called Oxford Reference Online, and are offered free to those with a K&C library membership.

Oxford Reference Online
Oxford Reference Online

Oxford Reference Online is a vast online reference resource which combines in-depth content offered by titles in the acclaimed Oxford series with authoritative, quick-reference coverage of the full subject spectrum from art to zoology and has:

  • Over 2 million entries across Oxford’s Dictionaries, Companions and Encyclopaedias spanning 25 different subjects
  • English dictionaries and bilingual dictionaries of French, German, Spanish, Italian and Latin
  • Thesauri, and guides to English grammar and usage
  • Timelines to over 2,000 key events in history including Art, Literature, Science, Technology and War
  • Over 12,000 illustrations – including 6,000 in full colour with fully searchable captions and 500+ full-colour maps and flags
  • Over 2,600 high-quality and carefully researched web links

Why not take a tour? It’s perfect for serious researchers and casual browsers alike! It is free to use and available 24/7 to library members.

A full list of online resources which the library service currently offers is available on our website.


 *Albert Einstein


By George – he’s here!

The birth of Prince George Alexander Louis inspired one of our Triborough Reference Librarians to take a look at our reference resources….

A New Royal Baby

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Prince George
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Prince George

Gosh everyone was rather excited about the birth of Prince George recently. Not just in the lead up to his birth as well but the naming, first glimpses and photos as well.

Of course Prince George isn’t the first royal baby by any means. I had an interesting time looking through our Illustrated London News for images of our current Queen, Elizabeth II at around the time of her birth in 1926.

Princess Elizabeth with the Duchess of York (The Illustrated London News, 25 December 1926)
Princess Elizabeth with the Duchess of York (The Illustrated London News, 25 December 1926)

I run a Family History Group at Marylebone Library and we were recently talking about what the day of the week we were born on and what these days mean.  If you don’t remember it the rhyme (usually referred to as ‘Monday’s Child’) can be found in the Oxford Reference Online database (you’ll need a Kensington and Chelsea library card to access this from home) and it originally went…

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for its living,
And a child that’s born on the Christmas day Is fair and wise and good and gay.
1838 A. E. Bray Traditions of Devon II. 287

I think that Christmas day refers to Sunday in this instance but it would become the Sabbath day in later versions.

If you’re not sure what day of the week you were born on – you can check on the brilliant website Time and Date.  I was born on a Wednesday so apparently I am full of woe!

So –  Prince George was born on a Monday (22 July 2013) and the newspapers are indeed saying that he is fair of face. Perhaps more traditionally we would say he looked like Winston Churchill though?

Owen Grey

Triborough Reference Librarian

Further information