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The Reference Collection: What is it good for?
The reference collection on the main floor of Gustavus Library is a great first stop on your journey towards learning about any topic related to authors and texts in the class. Reference works such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, and bibliographies can offer a brief overview of a wide variety of topics you may be interested in researching, quickly bringing you up-to-speed on the history of research (or historiography) of your chosen topic, pointing the way to other important primary and secondary sources, and allowing you engage in the broader scholarly conversation about that topic.
Unlike books in the general collection, books in the reference collection don't circulate and can't be checked out -- that way they're always ready at hand for anyone in the library who wants to use them!
More Author Reference Sources
Women in World History : a biographical encyclopedia by
Call Number: Reference HQ1115 .W6 1999 v.1-v.17
Publication Date: 1999-10-08
"With more than 10,000 biographical entries, this is the most comprehensive women's history encyclopedia available. This ambitious work profiles women throughout time and throughout the world. More than 2,500 signed articles written by academics, up to 5,000 words in length, highlight a particular woman's personal background and significance in history. Shorter entries spotlight historically important women who are less frequently researched or for whom less information is available. [...] This encyclopedia features women from all walks of life, including: rulers, royalty, lawyers, politicians, soldiers, heroines, pacifists, resistance fighters, financiers, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, investors, authors and more. Coverage includes many women for whom profiles are not included in traditional sources."
The following index entries show where to find the main articles for authors on the course syllabus. Volume number is in [brackets], followed by the page number. For more mentions of each author, consult the index of persons in Volume 17.
- Spofford, Harriet Prescott (1835-1921),  657-658
- Dickinson, Emily (1830-1886),  618-625
- Harper, Frances E.W. (1825-1911),  811-815
- Wilson, Harriet E. Adams (c. 1827-c.1870)  626-627
Black Women in America by
Call Number: Reference E185.86 .B542 2005
Publication Date: 2005-05-19
"Women such as Venus and Serena Williams, Condoleezza Rice, Carol Moseley Braun, Ruth Simmons, and Ann Fudge have become household names for their remarkable contributions to sports, politics, academia, and business. In nearly 600 entries, Black Women in America celebrates the remarkable achievements of black women throughout history, highlights their ongoing contributions in America today, and represents the new research the first edition helped to generate." - Publisher description
See these entries:
- Harper, Frances Ellen Watkins, v. 2, pp. 22-25
- Wilson, Harriet E., v.3, pp. 363-366
See also the entries and bibliographies for Slavery, Abolition Movement, Religion, and more.
The Natural World
American Nature Writers by
Call Number: Reference PS 163 .A6 1996
Publication Date: 1996-10-01
The following index entries show where to find authors on the course syllabus. Volume number is in [brackets], followed by the page number.
- Emerson, Ralph Waldo -  287-307  724, 933, 934, 935-936, 1042, 1059, 1079, 1080, 1081, 1086, 1091, 1095, 1107, 1108, 1109, 1117, 1118, 1119
- Thoreau, Henry David -  127-128, 288, 487-488  672, 698, 701, 704, 708, 724, 901-902, 933-950, 1041, 1059, 1107, 1108, 1118-1119, 1129, 1158
- Dickinson, Emily  1080, 1081-1803
- Bishop, Elizabeth -  1090-1091
- Le Guin, Ursula K. -  1024, 1041, 1054-1057
American Environmental Leaders by
Call Number: Reference GE 55 .B43 2000
Publication Date: 2001-09-09
"This book presents more than 350 biographies of men and women who have devoted their lives to studying, debating, and organizing controversial environmental issues over the last 200 years. In addition to the scientists who have analyzed how human actions affect nature, we are introduced to poets, landscape architects, presidents, painters, activists, even sanitation engineers, and others who have forever altered how we think about the environment. The easy to use A-Z format provides instant access to these individuals, and frequent cross references indicate others with whom individuals worked (and sometimes clashed). End of entry references provide users with a starting point for further research." - Publisher description
Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy by
Call Number: Reference GE 42 .E533 2009
Publication Date: 2008-10-15
"The field of environmental ethics is a new but now well-established sub-discipline of philosophy. Emerging in the mid-1970s, the field coalesced with the inaugural volume of the journal Environmental Ethics in 1979 and developed rapidly. By the turn of the century, most colleges and universities offered courses, if not major programs of study, in this important discipline. The Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy addresses the needs of upper high school students, undergraduate researchers, teachers and professors, as well as general readers by examining the philosophical and ethical issues underlying contemporary and historical environmental issues, policies, and debates. More than 300 peer-reviewed articles cover concepts, institutions, topics, events and people, including global warming, animal rights, environmental movements, alternative energy, green chemistry, industrial ecology, and eco-sabotage. Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy joins the suite of other Macmillan applied ethics titles: Encyclopedia of Bioethics and the Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics. Additional features include 200 photographs and illustrations, thematic outline, annotated bibliography, and a comprehensive index." - Publisher description
Encyclopedia of Religion in America by
Call Number: Reference BL 2520 .E52 2010
Publication Date: 2010-06-01
"Explores the origins, development, influence, and interrelations of the many faiths practiced in North America, including major world religions and emerging sects, cults and movements." - Publisher description
Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature by
Call Number: Reference BL31 .E465 2005
Publication Date: 2005-05-31
"The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature is a landmark work in the burgeoning field of religion and nature. [...] The Encyclopedia critically explores the relationships among human beings, their environments, and the religious dimensions of life. This wide-ranging work, chronologically, geographically, and religiously, includes 1,000 entries from 520 international contributors. In addition to the standard, scholarly entry, this highly-accessible reference is creatively enriched through two unique, additional genres: scholarly perspectives articles wherein authors advance an argument or reflect on their own role in or views regarding the religion and nature field; and practitioner entries, which are written by well-known figures who have had an impact in the issues the encyclopedia engages." - Publisher description
Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619-1895 by
Call Number: Reference E185 .E545 2006
Publication Date: 2006-04-06
"In nearly 700 entries, this set documents the full range of the African American experience during the period from the arrival of the first slave ship to the death of Frederick Douglass, and shows how all aspects of American culture, history, and national identity have been profoundly influenced by the experience of African Americans." - Publisher description
Slavery in America : from colonial times to the Civil War : an eyewitness history by
Call Number: Reference E441 .S36 2000
Publication Date: 2000-08-01
"The history of the enslavement of African Americans in North America stretches from the beginning of European colonization and lasted until the end of the Civil War. Slavery in America recounts this history by examining, chapter by chapter, many of its aspects: the slave catchers and their coffles in Africa, the crowded slave ships that transported Africans along the triangular trade routes to America, slave auctions, life and labor on a plantation, escape attempts and insurrections, and finally the Civil War and eventual emancipation. The authors capture the complexities and the extent of slavery and document the wide differences in the ways people reacted to this terrible institution."--Jacket.
Dictionary of Afro-American Slavery by
Call Number: Reference E441 .D53 1988
Publication Date: 1988-11-15
"This dictionary is the first comprehensive reference on Afro-American slavery to appear since the 1960s. It fills a great gap in the historiography of slavery that has been created by the proliferation of modern slavery studies in the past twenty-five years, and provides the opportunity for synthesizing the best literature on the many and diverse topics relating to the slavery experience in North America. Miller and Smith include essays on the social, institutional, intellectual, and political aspects of slavery, written by leading experts in the field. The book covers a wide selection of materials in almost 300 articles that examine regional and geographical differences and changes in slavery from the first English settlement in North America to Reconstruction. The contributors offer both narrative summaries and interpretive arguments, and the editors have provided an explanatory introduction and a comprehensive subject index. Special care has been taken to include suggestions for further reading for each entry, and the topics have been selected for their importance to both specialists and nonspecialists." - Publisher description
Historical Dictionary of the Civil War and Reconstruction by
Call Number: Reference E468 .R53 2012
Publication Date: 2011-12-01
"This book includes hundreds of cross-referenced dictionary entries on persons, places, events, institutions, battles, and campaigns of the Civil War. A detailed, 39-page chronology begins with the acceptance by Congress of the Missouri Compromise in 1820 and ends with the surrender of the Confederate ship Shenandoah in fall 1865. The introduction offers a concise overview of the subject, ending with a 3-page discussion of the legacy of the war. The 1,700 entries in the dictionary section include obvious inclusions, such as Gettysburg and Robert E. Lee, to those that are more obscure, such as the ill-fated Mud March and the Quaker guns." - Publisher description
Women's rights in the United States : a comprehensive encyclopedia of issues, events, and people by
Call Number: Reference HQ1236.5.U6 W677 2015 v.1-4
Publication Date: 2014-12-09
"Few realize that the origin of the discussion on women's rights emerged out of the anti-slavery movement of the 19th century, and that suffragists were active in the peace and labor movements long after the right to vote was granted. Thus began the confluence of activism in our country, where the rights of women both followed―and led―the social and political discourse in America. Through 4 volumes and more than 800 entries, editor Tiffany K. Wayne, with advising editor Lois Banner, examine the issues, people, and events of women's activism, from the early period of American history to the present time. This comprehensive reference not only traces the historical evolution of the movement, but also covers current issues affecting women, such as reproductive freedom, political participation, pay equity, violence against women, and gay civil rights." - Publisher description
The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Cultural and Intellectual History by
Call Number: Reference E169.1 .O945 2013 v.1-2
Publication Date: 2013-03-26
"The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Cultural and Intellectual History offers a record of the nation's values, aspirations, anxieties, and beliefs as expressed in both everyday life and formal bodies of thought. The encyclopedia incorporates popular entertainment ranging from minstrel shows to video games, middlebrow ventures like Chautauqua lectures and book clubs, and preoccupations such as "perfectionism" and "wellness" that have shaped Americans' behavior at various points in the past and that continue to influence attitudes in the present. The work also make available recent scholarly insights into the writings of political scientists, philosophers, feminist theorists, social reformers, and other thinkers whose works have furnished the underpinnings of Americans' civic activities and personal concerns." - Publisher description
Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century by
Call Number: Reference E169.1 .E626 2001 v.1-3
Publication Date: 2000-12-13
"The 19th century was arguably the most important in the nation's history, making the publication of this first-rate encyclopedia a significant event. Students using this 600-entry work, which is conveniently keyed to the National Standards for United States History, will find the entries easy to follow and enjoyable to read. It is an essential purchase for all public and academic libraries."--"Outstanding Reference Sources," American Libraries, May 2002.
The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures by
Call Number: Reference E179.5 .G744 2004 v.1-8
Publication Date: 2004-12-22
"Each volume describes the art, architecture, ecology and environment, ethnicity, fashion, film and theater, folkore, food, language, literature, music, religion and sports and recreation of a region of the United States."- Publisher description
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License