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AMST 1101: Introduction to American Studies (Fall 2017): Subject
Encyclopedias

A library research guide for Mary Pat Brady's class

Olin Reference Collection

Olin Library Reference Collection

Subject Encyclopedias are great for:

  • choosing a topic
  • educating yourself quickly
  • perspective on a topic
  • variant spellings, vocabulary, terminology
  • bibliographies of critical sources

American Social & Cultural History

The list is only a selection. Browse the shelves adjacent to a given title for more.


Regional Culture and History

The list is only a selection. Browse the shelves adjacent to a given title for more.  The Reference collection also contains encyclopedias devoted to individual states and major cities.


Some Basic Research Tools

Use authoritative dictionaries and reference sources.

Wikipedia might be a handy tool in some cases, but it's not what your professors would call a reliable or authoritative reference source. The library resources listed below provide access to scholarly information on a range of subjects. Use the Library Subject Guides to find many more.


Multidisciplinary Reference Sources

Oxford Reference Online
Searchable database of 100 language and subject dictionaries and reference works of Oxford University Press. Each topical division contains searchable versions of the latest editions of published dictionaries and encyclopedias.Covers general reference, language, science and medicine, humanities and social sciences, business and professional subjects.
Oxford Bibliographies Online
Offers peer-reviewed annotated bibliographies on specific topics in a growing range of subject areas. There are at least 50 specific topical bibliographies in each subject area. Each of these features an introduction to the topic. Bibliographies are browsable by subject area and keyword searchable.
Reference Universe
A searchable database of back-of-the-book indexes to subject encyclopedias and other reference works in a wide variety of subject areas. Search the contents of more than 6,000 reference titles.
Sage Reference Online
A database of reference books published by SAGE, including such areas as African American studies, aging & anthropology, business and management, communication and media studies, counseling and psychotherapy, criminology and criminal justice, economics, education, environment, family studies, gender & sexuality studies, geography, health and social welfare, history, politics and international relations, psychology, research methods and evaluation, science, philosophy, and theology, sociology, and urban studies and planning

Race & Ethnicity

The list is only a selection. Browse the shelves adjacent to a given title for more.

For American Indian history, see the Reference Sources page of the American Indian Studies guide.