Reference Resources

Dictionary and encyclopedia resources for authoritative background and overview information.

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Online Dictionary and Encyclopedia Collections

Reference -- dictionary and encyclopedia -- resources are an excellent place to begin research because they provide background information about a subject.

Checking reference resources first will help you

  • get an overview of the subject.
  • note key concepts/developments.
  • identify significant individuals.
  • see a chronology/timeline.
  • discern connections/interrelationships with other developments.
  • develop a list of search terms.
  • find bibliographies -- sources for more information.

The library has thousands of reference resources both in print and online.  The collections in the list below are often good starting points.

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