16 reference works you never knew existed

Some of them are perfect for writers and editors, others are great for people who love bizarre trivia—such as blueprints of television houses.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

One of the greatest joys of researching is discovering unusual and obscure reference works. If you look hard enough, you’ll find a wealth of information about even the most obscure topic. Here are some of my favorites:

Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia. Referred to as “the supreme reference on world literature,” this encyclopedia contains 10,000 entries on everything from author biographies to plot synopses.

The Dictionary of Imaginary Places. Because you never know when you’ll need to look up the definition of Narnia.

Why Do We Say It? The Stories Behind the Words, Expressions and Clichés We Use. A word nerd’s dream come true.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.