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Electronic Reference : Welcome

A guide to the electronic versions and collections of the OWHL's Reference sources

About the eReference Collection

Whether in print or electronic formats, reference sources provide 
overviews of topics and subjects. They help you identify key words that will aid you in urther research such as searching the online catalog or electronic journal databases. Also, reference sources often include bibliographies that give suggestions for further reading, which can include books, articles or websites.

Not only does the OWHL purchase individual eBooks for its eReference Collection, it also subscribes to a wealth of electronic resource products which collect and contain numerous reference materials as part of their product lines.

Whether the information is accessed electronicaly or through print, the format is not as important as the material itself.

What is a QR code?

Simply put a QR Code, or Quick Response Code, is a 2D barcode designed to be read by "smart" mobile devices.  Data contained in the codes can vary, but is typically quite small.  Data usually consists of a website, photo, text, address, etc.  

How do I read a QR code?

In order to read a QR code, you will need a QR Reader app for your smart device.  There are numerous Apps available for each of the mobile operating systems. All reader apps will have the basic functionality to read and process the code. However, some readers have additional tools or emphasize particular activities like design or shopping. Below is is a list to some of the more popular apps:

QR Code Reader Apps

iOS ScanA very simple and easy to use basic reader app.
RedLaserDesigned for shopping, this scanner provides links to store circulars, price comparison websites, etc. It also scans traditional barcodes!
QR ReaderOne of the faster and most accurate scanners.

Android ScanSimple and easy to use.
QR DroidContains many features such as a way to create your own codes, a history feature, and shopping comparison tools.
Barcode ScannerDesigned for shopping, this scanner aas access to price comparisons, shopping, sites, etc.


Welcome to the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library's Electronic Reference OWHLGuide!

The purpose behind this guide is to provide a one stop solution to collect the growing electronic reference collection available through the OWHL.  Think of it as the Online Garver Room.


How to Use this Guide

  • The guide is divided up by discipline.  Simply select the discipline tab for which you need "reference-type" information and scroll through the results.
  • Most of the Discipline Pages have several different categories of reference titles.  These are:
    • QR Code Equivalent -- These titles all have print counterparts in the Garver Room.  If there is a gold star and a QR code on the printed book, it will appear in this section.
    • Reference Titles -- These are online individual reference titles available through the OWHL 
    • Other Reference Resources -- Some disicplines contain links to information portals.  These portals contain more than just a single inidividual title or two.  Rather, they are a collection of materials intended to be searched as a one "Resource."  Your results may contain results from reference titles as well as other source types.
    • Other Tools -- Each individual disciplines may have specialized reference tools particular to the subject matter.
  • If you would like to try to use QR codes from the books in the Garver room, you will need a QR Reader/Scanner.

What is a Pin Number?

A pin number is a unique number for your library account at the OWHL.  You MUST have a PIN number to get books through our NOBLE consortium and to access e-Resources from off-campus.  To get a PIN, simply bring your ID to the circulation desk.