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Encylopedias, etc.: Getting Started

A guide for background information to form a solid research base for your topic.

Research Foundations

Why use Encyclopedias and Handbooks?

Your time is valuable.

If you're struggling for a research topic, subject-specific encyclopedias are a huge catalog of them. They condense the most important parts of a topic into an introductory entry. Names of important researchers and significant works are often listed. They also often provide an overview of research trends or historical events integral to the evolution of the topic or issue.

If you've already chosen a topic and struggling for search terms to refine it, encyclopedias will help find them.

Find Reference E-Books

Use these databases to access online reference materials. Get started by clicking a logo below.

Literati Academic by Credo Reference
Oxford Reference
Gale Virtual Reference Library 
Sage Knowledge 

Other Guides & Resources

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  • Password: 6-digit birth date  (MMDDYY)

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What's New!

Apr. 25: This week is Money Smart Week, so we'll be holding a series of events in the Library to help you get smart with your money. Find out more and RSVP here!

Apr. 18: Researching hot topics and recent issues? Check out CQ Researcher! This databases offers in-depth, investigative reports on many important issues. Learn more here.

Apr. 15: The Library will remain open tomorrow on Easter Sunday for our normal hours of operation. You might even spot a bunny or two (in the parking lot, anyway). Feel free to stop by! Library staff will be accepting any sweets that come our way.

Mar. 28: We've just released the Spring 2017 edition of the Library Times. You'll find some of the latest news, updates, and more from the Library. We hope you like it! Pick up a paper copy in the Library, or check out the digital version here.

More updates and news...