Background and Reference Sources for Cornell and U.S. History

Use the following sources to find background information and historical context. For other helpful titles, ask us for suggestions.

List of/Links to Encyclopedias and Reference Books on U.S. History and Culture:

Dictionary of American History.
3rd edition. 10 volumes. New York: Scribners, 2003.
(Online; also in print: Olin Reference E 174 .D52x 2003 +)

A comprehensive revision of this classic reference source originally published in 1940, it features updated and revised entries from previous editions, as well as more than 800 new entries. Short entries good for identifying major events and people in U.S. history.

Oxford Encyclopedia of American Cultural & Intellectual History.
2 volumes. New York: Oxford UP, 2013.
(Online; also in print: Olin Reference E 169.1 .O945 2013 +)

Like the Encyclopedia of American Social History, below, a source of insightful articles on many fascinating aspects of U.S. history. Helpful bibliographies of additional sources with each article.

Encyclopedia of American Social History.
3 volumes. New York: Scribners, 1992.
(Olin Reference HN 57 .E56 1992)

The first encyclopedic overview of social issues in U.S. history with insightful articles on many fascinating topics. Good place to explore paper topics. Updated by the Oxford Encyclopedia of American Social History, (online; in print: Olin Reference HN 57 .O94 2012).

Oxford Companion to United States History.
Paul S. Boyer, editor in chief. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001-2012.
(Online; also in print: Olin Reference E 174 .O94 2001 +)

Over 1,400 entries written by some 900 historians and other scholars, illuminating not only America's political, diplomatic, and military history, but also social, cultural, and intellectual trends; science, technology, and medicine; the arts; and religion.

Oxford African-American Studies Center.
New York : Oxford University Press, 2006- .

Contains more than 8,000 articles by top scholars in the field, over 1,750 images, more than 300 primary sources with specially written commentaries, nearly 150 maps, 150 charts and tables, and over 6,000 biographies. The timeline is a useful starting point.

St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture.
Edited by Thomas Riggs. 2nd ed. Detroit: St. James Press, 2013.
(Online; also 5 volumes in print: Olin Reference E169.1 .S764 2013)

Sage knowledge

A database of reference books published by SAGE covering 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.

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