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HIST 121: United States History to 1877 (Becker, Spring 2024)

Reference Sources

Reference materials are designed to provide overviews on a topic, or give recommendations on where else to find information, or to provide a short burst of general information on a topic. These materials include dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, guides, and bibliographies. Our physical collection of reference materials are on the main floor, but most are currently online. NOTE: reference sources are often written by experts, but are not considered peer reviewed articles/chapters. They are meant to direct you to peer reviewed literature, not serve as a substitution for it.

These are some key reference resources:

Finding reference sources in the library catalog

In the library catalog, search your topic keyword in one box, then in the second search:

(Dictionar* OR encyclopedia OR handbook) 

Be sure to limit results to books and ebooks

You can also use a normal search for your topic, then limit your results to "Reference Entries"



Finding Encyclopedias in the Catalog

  • In the top box, search Encyclopedia* as a Subject
  • In the second box, type in your topic (Ex. women AND education)

Skim the Collection!

Though many of our print encyclopedias have been replaced with digital editions, we still have quite a few volumes in the main library. Start in the call number D section.

Map to reference section in library