The general reference collections encompass general, national and regional bibliography, encyclopaedias, general quick reference works, and general and national biographical reference works (especially those covering Western Europe).
The open shelf general reference collection (shelfmarks beginning with B) can currently be found at the north end of the Lower Reading Room in the Bodleian Old Library, where the Main Enquiry Desk is also located. The collection includes general bibliographies, quick reference works such as directories, and several general encyclopaedias. There is a section of material related to the University, including a full set of the University Calendar, and an extensive biographical section.
The majority of the collection supports study of the humanities, and most materials focus on Western Europe, complementing other Bodleian Libraries' reference collections. Print copies of the second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary and of Johnson's Dictionary are shelved in the Upper Reading Room.