In Mozart’s opera ‘The Marriage of Figaro’, who married Figaro?

State Library Victoria members can access hundreds of databases from home (if your home is in Victoria). That’s millions of articles, magazines, archives, ebooks, videos, songs, audiobooks and more, available through the catalogue anytime. We’re taking a closer look at new and/or interesting databases as well as hidden gems from our collections. Read on for top picks and tips from Librarians. 

Not a member yet? Sign up online first and reward your curiosity. 

Today we’re looking at Oxford Reference Online

What makes this database so great?

The world of Oxford Reference works is now at your fingertips!
This wide array of subjects are comprehensively covered in over 300 titles, plus reference titles including bilingual pocket dictionaries, English dictionaries and thesauri, encyclopedias and world maps. While not rich in illustrations, you can use these resources as a solid base from which to expand your research.
Content is arranged alphabetically and searchable within a single title, or across the whole database. Within the title you can limit your search terms to entry title, person, bibliography, etc. – or all categories. Entries can include links in the text to further material, subject categories plus additional resources.
Related overviews will draw together content from across Oxford reference online.

list of subjects: humanities arts social sciences science technology

Database highlights

The answer to our opening question, plus many others can be found in A book of opera characters – a comprehensive guide to characters in opera. The Encyclopedia of dance includes over 2000 essays, covering all types of dance – historical and contemporary, companies, cultural traditions, performers, and more.
The dictionary of film studies covers film theory, history and criticism, and includes different national film traditions.

Over 60 titles are available in the literature category, with just a small selection shown here. Unpack the characters and stories across a wide spectrum of literary traditions – from the classical period to contemporary children’s literature – with a wide range of studies of national literatures in between.

For exploring the inner mind and outer space, plus the workings of the human body, a comprehensive collection of resources are available. The companion to cosmology travels from the Hubble space telescope, to quasars and beyond as cosmological theory and knowledge is expertly covered. The dictionary of biology defines processes and terms, with further resources to follow up. The dictionary of psychology will be helpful alongside readings in the topic with definitions and contextual information.

Exploring a range of stories, traditions and practices that can help with understanding the world we live in – these are just a few titles that provide a breadth of topics, key figures and stories and encompassing the richness of Eastern and Western traditions of philosopy and mytholgy. Complemented by the Dictionary of sociology, which will aid exploring the study of human social behaviour in a variety of contexts.

We hope you enjoy exploring Oxford Reference Online.

The library subscribes to 14 other Oxford University Press databases, including Oxford music online, Oxford art online, Oxford dictionary of national biography and the Oxford English dictionary.

Have a research question or questions on how to use our online collections? Ask a Librarian

We always welcome your recommendations for database trials – let us know what you’d like to see.
*Susanna married Figaro in W.A. Mozart’s opera, The marriage of Figaro. The barber of Seville, by Rossini, is a prequel to Mozarts’s opera.

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