Background exploration of a topic is crucial to good research. Reference encyclopedias, dictionaries, and handbooks are the tools to use if you need an overview of a subject, definitions of terms, biographical information on a key figure in the field, or recommended lists of readings.
Look at some of the background sources recommended, whether they are individual print or electronic titles or collections in a database.
These are examples of some specialized reference encyclopedias for history. Additional titles are indexed in the catalog and can be searched by subject or keyword.
Blackwell E of Amer. Rev. Colonial America Documents of American History
Ref 973.303 B568 Ref 973.203 C7184a Ref 973 C735d
Early Republic Enc.of American Constitution Enc. of American Social History
Ref 973.3003 ea765r Ref 973.3003 Ea765r Ref 301 En10sh
Encyclopedia of the Cold War Enc.. of Women's History Louisiana Purchase
Ref 909.82 Ar56e Ref 305.4097303 C897ew Ref 973.46 L9307p
New Encyclopedia of the American West PostWar America: An Encyclopedia
Ref 978.003 N420lle Ref 973.9203 P8471a