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Useful Websites

Looking for information about a particular subject? The following websites have been carefully selected by the reference staff of the Santa Barbara Public Library System. Be sure to also visit our online databases to find more resources available for library card holders.

**Please note that these websites are not accessible from the Catalog computers inside of the library.

Arts & Entertainment  |  Business  | Consumer Resources
Countries & Geography  |  Dictionaries & Thesauri
Directories  |  Education & Careers  |  Green Building
Health & Medicine | Legal Resources & Tax Forms
Patent & Copyright   |   Santa Barbara  | Santa Barbara History  |
State & Federal Government
Travel & Transportation

Arts & Entertainment

  • Art Sales Index - An art price guide from that offers fifty years of auction sales prices for fine art.
  • -Over 25,000 brief biographies of notable personalities
  • Web Gallery of Art - A virtual museum and searchable database of European painting and sculpture from the 12th to mid-19th centuries

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  • BigCharts - Current and historical stock quotes
  • California Business PortalSearch for information on existing corporations, or follow the step-by-step guide for starting a new business
  • Hoovers - Information on companies, industries and executives
  • Survey of Current Business - Bureau of Economic Analysis' definitive source of information about its economic accounts. Articles in the Survey present the latest national, international, regional, and industry estimates.

Selected Resources for Starting a Business:

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Consumer Resources

  • California Dept. Of Insurance - Information about insurance companies that offer policies in California - health, life, auto, residential, business and more.
  • ConsumerSearch - Summarizes reviews for a variety of products, from computers to home appliances. Includes lists of the top-rated products in each category

  • Edmunds - Pricing for new, used and certified cars. Also includes car news, previews and reviews
  • Kelley Blue Book - Offers pricing for new and used automobiles, watercraft, snowmobiles, and motorcycles. Also includes reviews and ratings

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Countries & Geography

  • Background NotesFacts about the people, economy, and government of many different countries, from the U.S. Department of State
  • CIA World FactbookCurrent information on more than 200 countries
  • USGS Earthquake Center – Current and historic earthquake ShakeMaps from the U.S. Geological Survey

  • U.N. Data - Bringing UN statistical databases within easy reach of users through a single entry point from which users can now search and download a variety of statistical resources of the UN System.

  • Yearbook of the United Nations (1946-2005) - The principal reference work of the United Nations providing a detailed overview of the Organization's activities.

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Dictionaries & Thesauri

  • Cook's Thesaurus - A cooking encyclopedia that covers thousands of ingredients and kitchen tools

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  • International Dialing Codes If you need to make a phone call to someone in another country and you are not quite sure how to dial the number.
  • ZabaSearchFree search engine for locating phone numbers and addresses

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Education & Careers

  • Career One Stop - A U.S. Department of Labor sponsored Web site that offers career resources and workforce information to job seekers, students, businesses, and workforce professionals to foster talent development in a global economy.

  • ERIC - Education Resources Information Center. Access to bibliographic records of journal articles and other education-related materials, some with full text

  • Explore Health Careers - A free, multi-disciplinary, interactive health careers website designed to explain the array of health professions and provide easy access to students seeking information about health careers.

  • - From Action Without Borders; connecting people, organizations, and resources to help build a world where all people can live free and dignified lives.
  • National Center for Education Statistics
  • Occupational Information Network - The O*NET system serves as the nation's primary source of occupational information, providing comprehensive information on key attributes and characteristics of workers and occupations.
  • Public Policy Institute of CaliforniaA nonprofit organization conducting independent research on a range of subjects, including education, immigration, and the environment  

  • Study Guides and Strategies - An international, learner-centric, educational public service helping learners to succeed since 1996.

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Green Building

Click here for a listing of local & state green building resources.


Health & Medicine

  • California Health Care Options Matrix - Are you or someone you know eligible for free or low-cost health coverage? The Foundation for Health Coverage Education® (FHCE) offers four unique ways to help you find health coverage in your area.
  • DoctorFinder - Basic professional information on licensed physicians in the United States, from the American Medical Association
  • HealthFinder -A resource developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Lab Tests Online - A public resource on clinical lab testing from the laboratory professionals who do the testing.
  • Nursing Home Ratings - An online tool from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) using a five star ratiing system to help people compare Nursing Homes.

  • PDRhealth - Consumer-friendly explanations of diseases, conditions, prescription and non-prescription drugs, and herbal medicines

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Legal Resources & Tax Forms

  • AARP Tax Assistance From February 1 through April 15th each year, the AARP Tax-Aide program offers free one-on-one counselling, as well as assistance on the telephone and internet to help individuals prepare basic tax forms, including the 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ and other standard schedules. You can search by zip code to find AARP Tax-Aide site near you.
  • Judicial Council forms - The Judicial Council of California has created many forms to standardize the preparation of court documents.
  • MartindaleLocate lawyers and law firms worldwide
  • Public Library of Law - PLoL is the largest free law library in the world, assembling law available for free scattered across many different sites -- all in one place.

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Patent & Copyright

  • ASCAP The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers


Santa Barbara

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Santa Barbara History

  • Carriage and Western Arts Museum  - Top western museum, second only to the Smithsonian. Their spectacular $10 million dollar collection includes 86 "antique" (working and rentable) carriages, and 55 historic saddles (Clark Gable, etc.).
  • Elverhoj Museum of History & Art - One of few museums outside Denmark devoted solely to the Danish culture and Danish-American experience.  A spacious art gallery rotates exhibits of regional and international Danish art, and showcases many traditional fold arts including weaving, needlework, lace making, wood carving, and paper cutting.
  • Santa Barbara Earthquake History 1800-1960 - Includes photos, personal accounts of the quake, and a catalog of the times, sizes, and felt effects of pre-instrumental earthquakes that have been felt in the Santa Barbara and Ventura area.
  • Santa Maria Museum of Flight - Hancock Aviation School and U.S.A.A.F. air base memorabilia, topping collection of 19 history of aviation diaramas.
  • Santa Ynez Valley  Historical Society Museum  - The historical museum houses facinating exhibits from the Chumash period through 20th Century ranching days. The Museum features displays of Native American, pioneer and early Valley ranch artifacts.  The adjacent Parks-Janeway Carriage house is home to one of the largest horse-drawn carriage and stagecoach collections in the U.S.
  • Susan Quinlan Doll and Teddy Bear Museum and Library - One of largest collections of dolls & teddy bears (3,000) in the US. Highlights California's artists and manufacturers. Research library of 10,000 volumes and periodicals is by appointment only. Gift shop offers a variety of dolls, teddy bears, books, and collectibles. 

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State & Federal Government

  • THOMAS - Federal legislative information from the Library of Congress. Find bill summaries, the Congressional Record, roll call votes, House and Senate Committee reports, and more
  • - Official information and services from the U.S. government

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Travel & Transportation

  • Caltrans Road Information – Check on current California highway conditions and planned work
  • FlightAwareFlight tracking and airport information
  • Travel.State.GovPassport information, tips for traveling abroad, the latest travel warnings, and more

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