There are two ways to look things up in Wikipedia: by searching or by browsing.
If you know the name of an article you are looking for, simply type it into Wikipedia's search box and press Go, or you can search for information on a topic by typing it in the box and selecting Search.
If you would like to look around the encyclopedia to see what is on it, use Wikipedia's Contents pages. Lists and indices are examples of contents for a published work, and Wikipedia has many of each. Links to all of Wikipedia's main contents pages are presented below, and they in turn link to the more specific pages.
- 1 Wikipedia's reference lists
- 2 Wikipedia's indices
Wikipedia's reference lists
Overviews of Wikipedia
An overview is a survey of what is covered or included in an area. Overviews of Wikipedia's coverage include:
- List of overviews — key articles organized by subject
- List of academic disciplines — Wikipedia arranged like a college course curriculum
- Featured articles — What we believe to be the best articles in Wikipedia.
- Featured pictures — Images we find beautiful, shocking, impressive, and informative.
- Featured lists — What we believe to be the best lists in Wikipedia.
- Featured portals — Portals we regard as being particularly useful, attractive, and well-maintained.
- Featured topics — Topics we believe have coverage which is both comprehensive and well written.
- Featured sounds — Sounds we find beautiful, impressive, and informative.
Wikipedia has thousands of topic lists; some are even lists of other lists.
- Lists of topics — a comprehensive list of article lists, arranged by subject
- Lists of basic topics — links to key topics on major subjects
- Category:Lists — a list of lists in the category system, arranged alphabetically
Two of the broadest collections are:
- Lists of countries and many lists by country
- Lists of people including by nationality and by occupation
Glossaries are lists of terms with definitions:
- List of glossaries — a list of glossaries arranged by subject
- Category:Glossaries — glossaries in the category and subcategories, arranged alphabetically
Portals are pages that feature selected articles, images, and often news items about the Portal's theme subject. They also include topic lists, category lists, and to-do lists which are used mostly by Wikipedia's editors. Portals can be found at:
- List of portals — a list of active portals
- Category:Portals — portals in the category and subcategories, arranged alphabetically
Timelines are lists of articles organized chronologically. These are the top-level timelines and lists of timelines:
- List of timelines — a selection of historical timelines, arranged by subject. More can be found in Category:Timelines
- List of centuries — (e.g. 20th century)
- List of decades — (e.g. 1910s)
- List of historical anniversaries — (e.g. today).
- 2008 — major events this year
- Portal:Current events — featured current events and related project activities.
- Recent deaths — notable recent deaths, by month
- Category:Graphical timelines — graphical timelines in the category and subcategories, arranged alphabetically
- Complete alphabetical index — sorted by the first 2 letters of the title, e.g. "Aa Ab Ac Ad..."
Wikipedia's main categorical index system is automatically generated from information (category tags) at the bottom of each article. The category system has 3 top-end pages, which are:
- Categorical index – an index of major categories, arranged by subject - that section of the page is an exception to the category autogeneration rule, as it is crafted by hand.
- Category:Categories — the highest level or "root" category in Wikipedia - its autogenerated entries are listed at the bottom of the page.
- Category:Contents — the category equivalent to this page.
- Category:Articles — the category in which all article category systems are located.
Wikipedia's other broad categorical indices are:
- List of Dewey Decimal classes — lists the top two levels of this library classification system
- Library of Congress Classification — this article provides a reflection of its own deep linkage structure
- Wikipedia:Outline of Roget's Thesaurus — articles organised into a system based on six classes, with thousands of branches, following Roget's system
- Category:Spoken articles — articles that are available as spoken word recordings
Overviews · Topics (basic) · Academic disciplines · Glossaries · Portals · Categories
Countries · People · Timelines (centuries · decades) · 2008 · Anniversaries (today) · Current events · Deaths this year