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Music and Arts: Reference material

A collection of information resources and guidance for Music & Arts students

Reference material in the Drill Hall Library

Printed reference material such as dictionaries, encyclopaedias and directories are available on the shelves in the Drill Hall Library and are listed on the library catalogue. Examples:

Electronic reference material

Your university provides useful reference material online through the library portal. Some useful arts sources include:

Oxford Art Online (Kent, CCCU) provides web access to the Grove Dictionary of Art along with the Oxford Companion to Western Art, the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms and the Encyclopaedia of Aesthetics. This resource is updated quarterly.

Oxford Music Online (Kent, CCCU) includes Grove Music Online, the Oxford Dictionary of Music and the Oxford Companion to Music.

General reference resources include:

  • Oxford English Dictionary online (CCCU, Kent)
  • Oxford Reference Online (Kent) - a large collection of subject dictionaries and similar works.
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (CCCU, Kent)
  • Who's Who and Who Was Who (Greenwich, Kent) - biographical information on notobale individuals from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Freely available Reference Material


visuwords logo

Visuwords is an interesting example of a free open access English language dictionary.

It is based upon Princeton University's WordNet and enables users to look up definitions of words and then view in visual graphs which map their associations with related terms and concepts. These include broader and narrower terms, associated nouns, verbs and adverbs.

This makes the site very effective for use as a thesaurus and for tracing related synonyms. Information on sources and compilation is provided on the website.