World Book

Reliable and accessible information, nicely laid out with paragraph breaks, clear subtopics, and an outline for each article; great charts, maps and graphics; clear straight-forward writing at an accessible reading level; much easier to use than some encyclopedias which don't break up the text, and are written in academic language.

Encyclopedia Britannica

Reliable and venerable, this massive encyclopedia, first published in the 1770s in Edinburgh, Scotland, remains a classic. It has three reading levels, is user-friendly, and provides access to thousands of articles, images, and links..Also included are a read-aloud feature, useful for ESL students, a separate collection of articles about Canada, entitled Canada in Focus, and a citation for each article to help you create your bibliography. (For username and password for home use, see list in the learning commons or email Mrs. Graham: See Info. and Contact page on left.)

Britannica Images

Amazing! Fifty collections and three million images: all copyright free so you can just go ahead and use them; you still need to cite your source, but you don't need to worry about copyright, or about asking permission to use an image. Start your image search here! (For username and password for home use, see list in the learning commons or email Mrs. Graham: See Info. and Contact page on left.)


Ebsco is a large and varied database. It provides access to full journal articles, to Novelist, which has a lot of information on books, and to a Canadian Points of View collection that provides articles and critical thinking on a wide range of issues. There is much more. It takes time to know what these larger databases have to offer. Consider exploring one section at a time. This is an excellent place to look for journal articles. (For username and password for home use, see list in the learning commons or email Mrs. Graham: See Info. and Contact page on left.)

Gale Databases
Canada In Context
Gale Virtual Reference Library
Global Issues In Context
National Geographic Kids
Science In Context
Password: student or teacher

This is a massive database,comprised of a number of quality database, and our district has a subscription. The Gale Databases include Global Issues in Context, Canadian Periodicals, Science in Context, and GREENR: Global Reference on the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources.

Gale Virtual Reference Library is included also, which is an incredible collection of reference resources for every subject area: history, science, art, law, medicine, literature, etc. Here you will find up-to-date encyclopedias of in depth information.

Gale Databases.. ahhhmazing....

Global Issues in Context

Here is a separate link to this part of the Gale Databases. This site has up-to-date facts, discussions, articles and other resources on global issues. If you are researching any kind of global issue, be it from global warming to unrest in the middle east, gun control in the U.S., ocean pollution, or issues in education, look here first. This site includes links to current news articles on issues explored as well. Look for facts, opinions and bias.

Learn 360

Our school district has a license to this resource. Here you will find videos for the K-12 curriculum, video clips, speeches, learning guides and much more. This site boasts 1100 English feature films and more than 900 French feature films. You may stream these movies and are permitted to download them for 24 hours. Then you are to erase/delete your copy. The Learn 360 Silverlight Plug-in and Player is required. This is a two-step download from the site to install what you need on your computer. (For username and password for home use, see list in the learning commons or email Mrs. Graham: See Info. and Contact page on left.)

Wolfram/Alpha: Computations

This amazing "computational knowledge engine" doesn't just convert miles to kilometres. Using external databases, it calculates and generates information on a multitude of topics: weather, history, music, countries, people, astronomy, mathematics, health...just about anything you might want to find out about. It's a great place to find a conversion or help with mathematical concepts, and much of the other information is excellent. Be aware, though, that Alpha takes its data from both academic and commercial sources. Unless it is a computation, you should consult one or several additional reliable sources, to confirm the information you have found. Also, even though Alpha is more than just a search engine, just as with search engines, you cannot cite Wolfram Alpha as a source. You must look at the sources they used (sources are provided), and find the info. in that specific source. You then cite that source - the source Alpha drew from. This is similar to using Wikipedia, in that Wikipedia is not the source of the information. The sources are listed at the bottom of the articles. Alpha and Wikipedia are also similar in that they are good starting points for research, but you need to go further to produce quality research.

Canadian and BC Databases

The Canadian Encyclopedia

This is a top quality site. If you are interested in Canada and its history, geography and culture, you will have a hard time leaving this site. It has a vast array of articles, and the interactive resources are fun. For example, you'll find galleries where you click on images to find out interesting facts, a comprehensive timeline, a list of the 100 "Greatest" Events of Canadian history, and 60 or more quizzes on Canada.

Dictionary of Canadian Biography

A long-standing joint project of the University of Toronto and l'Université Laval, this is the place to look for reliable information about famous Canadians. Historical figures are put in context.

Virtual Museum of Canada

With images of artefacts, and over 600 full virtual exhibits from museums across Canada, this is another treasure trove funded by the federal government. An educators' section enables teachers to create online content, using museum resources, and a searchable database makes that content shareable with teachers across the country. This is a good place to explore if you just want to see stuff, or if you have a particular topic or theme in mind.

National Film Board

Founded in 1939, the NFB is one of the most amazing of federally funded institutions. This site offers free streaming of thousands of documentary and animated Canadian films. All Canadians may view many of these films free online from the site at home. (With a subscription, additional resources are available and these films may also be purchased.) if we ever have guaranteed good streaming of video content in the school, this would be an amazing resource for teachers to use in the classroom. Suggested search for exploring this site: Click on Films and the drop-down menu will show you New, Channels and Explore.

Canadian Periodicals

Designed for students, this site (part of our district Gale subscription), has millions of articles from reference works, magazines and newspapers, and is updated daily. SD68 students may also use this at home. The password is "student".


CANSIM stands for Canadian socieoeconomic databases. Here you'll find facts about Canadian life, including all the info. gathered by the census. Click on the Browse by Key Resource tab to find some interesting sets of info, including maps that provide visual representations of regional characteristics, differences and trends. Check the Today's Releases link to see what set of data has just been released. Opinions are more likely to be valid if they are based on facts, and having access to the socioeconomic facts of a nation is essential for sound interpretation of the reality in which people live. Public access to this sort of information is a strong indication that we live in a democratic society. In some countries, this information is not publicly available.

Encyclopedia of British Columbia

Check here first for any info. you are looking for to do with British Columbia. We have paper copies of this encyclopedia in the library, which are also excellent, but this site is updated with new information and resources.

BC Archives - Collections

This site is the place to go for primary resources on British Columbia's history. Here you can search a large collection of photos of events and of people, both famous and ordinary, from throughout BC's history. These are in the public domain, which means everyone can download and use them without worrying about copyright. It's a great way to give a socials project that authentic feel.

Royal BC Museum Learning Portal

This site is associated with the BC Archives site, above, and also offers a wealth of information on BC history, with lots of audio and visual content. Check out the section on the Gold Rush for Socials 10. Other features include a geological timeline, information on indigenous languages, and much, much more.

LearnNowBC Study Centre

Previously know as "StudyBuzz", this site provides live tutoring, video lessons by BC teachers, quizzes to assess your learning needs, free courses, and lists of resources. You need your PEN (Provincial Education Number) to set up an account. This number is on all report cards.


Although students may wish to browse through the fiction titles, this site is mainly of interest to teachers. It is a database of books and other resources that have been evaluated and recommended by BC teachers and teacher-librarians for classroom use. You can search for resources by grade level, subject area, or by course, and will find novel summaries, as well as some analysis of content in terms of theme, social considerations, etc.

Subject-Specific Databases


Encyclopedia Mythica

The work of a number of academics, this site boasts "over 7,000 entries on gods and goddesses, heroes, legendary creatures and beings from all over the world." It also includes images.

Social Studies

See above for many databases that are excellent for social studies.

National Geographic Map-Maker

The National Geographic site has many wonderful resources for students and teachers. It's an especially great place to get free maps - blank, or with the information you choose on them. Scroll down the front page of this link to see Printable One-Page Maps. Here you can select a map of a continent, country, or province, set it up with the degree of detail you wish it to display. You then print it off as a pdf, or save as an image or as a re-openable file to insert into a document: up-to-date, easy, and free.

BBC Country Profiles

This is an excellent database of current, concise and essential information about hundreds of countries around the world: an excellent place to start when researching any country.

Holocaust Encyclopedia

This site is the creation of the American Holocaust museum and is a must for anyone studying the Holocaust. The Education for Students section is excellent, and the Holocaust testimonies, both written and audio, are good examples of signiificant primary sources. To find them, click on the "History" tab and select "Personal Histories".

Science: General

Eric Weisstein's Science World

Click on Eric Weisstein's name to find out how he started amassing science and math facts as a teenager and then went on to earn a PhD, and also to create this encyclopedia. This site has info. on chemistry, math, physics and astronomy. Most sections are not very large, but the encylopedia is user-friendly and has good information. It would be useful for looking up definitions and for brief descriptions of concepts. The section of biographies of famous scientist is extensive, however, as is the math section which deals with advanced mathematics, and is also a separate site. This site is sponsored and promoted by Wolfram Research, a software development company that supports research in science for educational purposes.

Encyclopedia of Earth

This site, written and reviewed by experts, has a broad scope, covering topics from mining, to scientist biographies to environmental law to animals, geography - and much more. It is user-friendly and attractive, and will appeal to anyone interested in the environmental sciences, including ecology.


Encyclopedia of Life

Supported by numerous academic and scientific institutions, the goal of the EOL is to provide information about, and pictures of, every species on the planet. A global collaborative project, this awesome resource is already very comprehensive. Scroll to the bottom of the front page to find a handy index.

Animal Diversity Web

This site, created and run by the department of Zoology at the University of Michigan, explores the natural history of animals. It includes pictures, videos, descriptions written by students, and articles written by professional biologists. Scroll down to search by phylum. Rather than researching specific animals, you learn about the phyla and will find photos of specimens.

The Plant List

A collaborative project of English (Kew - London) and American (Missouri) botannical gardens, this site is "a working list of all plant species". This site is not concerned to describe individual species. Browse the four major plant groups, or orders, to gain a better understanding of plant taxonomy.


As the name of this site suggests, the focus of this site is on promoting the protection of endangered species. Arkive is a project of Wildscreen, a charity "working globally to promote an appreciation of biodiversity and nature through the power of wildlife imagery." This user-friendly site is informative, but also visually stunning, with over 100,000 videos. Also of interest is the section on the people who work on the site. There are many young people who have studied science, or IT, who seem to have found a very rewarding career working for this organisation.


Here you can find information on "practically all fish species known to science". This site was created in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, and is supported by the European Commission and nine research institutions, including UBC's Fisheries Centre. There is a lot of other information on this site. For example, if you search by country, you can select Canada and find out about fishing, aquaculture and fish species in Canada.


Math World

Like the Science World site above, this site is a Wolfram Research site and is the creation of Eric Weisstein. Math World is a comprehensive source on mathematics and, as such, goes well beyond high school mathematics. There is lots of useful information here for the high school math student, though, and the MathWorld Classroom link has a useful list of definitions for mathematical concepts.

MacTutor History of Mathematics

Created by the School of Mathematics and Statistics at St. Andrews University, Scotland, this truly awesome site features biographies of mathematicians, the history of mathematical theories and discoveries, the mathematics of different cultures, a page specifically on female mathematicians, quotations by mathematicians, and much, much more: an wholistic look at mathematics.


Encyclopedia of Music in Canada

This encylopedia is part of the Canadian encyclopedia and has lots of fun features. For example, you can read biographies of musicians, find out about different instrument manufacturers and read about competitions and festivals. This is also a good place to learn about record companies and distributors, and for researching music schools for studying music. One interesting feature is the link to articles on 140 French and English Canadian songs - some older traditional songs and some more recent. Information is provided about each song, and sometimes there is a link to a YouTube performance, or audio file.