Try an Academic Encyclopedia
Subject Encyclopedias are great for:
- choosing a topic
- getting an overview of the timeline
- gaining new terminology about the issue
- finding more sources on a topic through the bibliographies
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.
- Oxford Reference OnlineSearchable 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 OnlineOffers 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.
- Sage Reference OnlineA 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
American Social & Cultural History
The list is only a selection. Browse the shelves adjacent to a given title for more.
- Encyclopedia of American StudiesCovers the history, philosophy, arts, and cultures of the United States in relation to the world, from pre-colonial days to the present, from various perspectives and the global American Studies movement. With over 800 online, searchable articles and accompanying bibliographies, related websites, illustrations, and supplemental material, the Encyclopedia of American Studies is the leading reference work for American Studies.
- Encyclopedia of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history in AmericaA three-volume survey of more than 400 years of lesbian and gay history and culture in the United States, presented through over 500 alphabetically arranged entries. Coverage includes people, public policy, economics, social issues, identities, and culture, among many others. For students, researchers, and general readers.
- St. James Encyclopedia of Popular CultureDetroit : St. James Press, c2000. 5 volumes
Also available in print: Call number: Olin Library Reference, E169.1 S764x 2000 +
- Encyclopedia of U.S. labor and working-class historyArticles focus on states, regions, periods, economic sectors and occupations, race-relations, ethnicity, and religion, concepts and developments in labor economics, environmentalism, globalization, legal history, trade unions, strikes, organizations, individuals, management relations, and government agencies and commissions. Articles cover such issues as immigration and migratory labor, women and labor, labor in every war effort, slavery and the slave-trade, union-resistance by corporations such as Wal-Mart, and the history of cronyism and corruption, and the mafia within elements of labor history. Labor history is also considered in its representation in film, music, literature, and education. Important articles cover the perception of working-class culture, such as the surge in sympathy for the working class following September 11, 2001. Written as an objective social history, the Encyclopedia encapsulates the rise and decline, and continuous change of US labor history into the twenty-first century.
- Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and HistoryA five-volume set and supplement covering all aspects of the African-American experience from 1619 to the present day. Using biographies, historical essays, and thematic pieces, many written by foremost scholars, it addresses a wide array of subjects in over 2,300 articles to define in one source the cultural roots, participation in American life, and current condition of the African-American community.