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HIST/AMST 4702 Cultural Politics of the 1970s (Fall 2015): Encyclopedias

A guide to library research


Encyclopedias are great for:

  • choosing a topic
  • quick self-education
  • perspective on a topic
  • variant spellings, vocabulary, terminology
  • bibliography



American National Biography Superb source, with excellent bibliography.

Cambridge Histories

Cambridge Histories Online
Outstanding. Provides political, economic and social history, philosophy and literature of selected countries and subjects.

Encyclopedic Collections

Oxford African American studies center
Collection of scholarship African American and African history and culture. Features articles by scholars, encyclopedias, images, a few primary sources with specially written commentaries, and biographies.

Sage knowledge Covers the social sciences and education, including such areas as African American studies, aging & gerontology, 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, social issues, social work and social policy, and sociology, and urban studies and planning.


United States History: Olin Library Reference call numbers E-F

The Oxford Companion to United States history. Oxford University Press, 2001. Also in print, (Olin Library Reference E174 .O94 2001 +).

Dictionary of American history. A classic ten volume encyclopedia. (in print--Olin Library Reference E174 .D52x 2003 +).

Encyclopedia of American foreign policy. Thomson/Gale, 2002. 2nd ed. Also in print, (Olin Library Reference E183.7 .E52x 2002 +).

Encyclopedia of American Religions. Detroit: Gale, 1987. (Olin Reference BL2530.058 M52+ 1987).

Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. 5 vols. New York: Macmillan Library Reference, 1996. (Olin and Africana Reference E 185 E54 1996).

Encyclopedia of American Cultural & Intellectual History.  New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001. (Olin Library Reference E169.1 .E624x 2001)

Encyclopedia of American Social History. 3 vols. New York: Scribner's, 1992. (Olin Reference HN 57 .E56 1992).

Encyclopedia of American Political History. 3 vols. New York: Scribner, 1984. (Uris and Olin Reference E 183 .E56).



20th Century

St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. 5 vols. Detroit, MI: St. James Press, c2000. (Olin Reference E 169.1 S764x 2000) Five volumes.

Encyclopedia of the United States in the Twentieth Century. 4 vols. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1996. (Olin Reference E740.7 .E56 1996).

The Encyclopedia of Civil Rights in America. Armonk, NY: Sharpe Reference, 1998. 3 volumes. (Olin Reference E185.61 E544x 1998).

CQ Press library Focuses on American government, politics, history, public policy, and current affairs. CQ's coverage includes the Congress Collection, CQ Almanac, CQ Researcher, CQ Weekly, Political handbook of the world, Politics in America, Supreme Court yearbook, and the Voting and elections collection.


Flicker photo by teachernz

Superior to Wikipedia on most topics & disciplines:


Gale virtual reference library 

Sage Reference Online

Oxford Reference Online