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History: Reference

Reference Materials

Reference resources are those types of resources that are generally either factual or summative in nature. Encyclopedia articles present a summary of the issues and facts surrounding an issue, person or event. Statistical sources provide data, but generally do not interpret that data. Below are listed basic background information sources such as encylopedias and broad histories.


  • Encyclopedias Provide a broad overview of a topic, identifying the key words, essential facts, principle participants and a basic bibliography. Specialized encyclopedias use language that is appropriate for scholars of all levels in the field. Some specialized encyclopedias are arranged like a dictionary, while others read like a journal article.
  • Multi-Volume Histories provide a broad, contextual overview and narrative for historical thought. Good for connecting ideas.
  • Biographical Dictionaries provide biographical information about signficant individuals
  • Statistics
  • Maps
  • Dictionaries
  • Chronologies help to fix

Digital Reference Collections