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Most books in the Reference Collection are tertiary works that give readers a broad topical overview. If you are new to researching and writing about history and need more background, these are a good place to start.
Image from the College and Lutheran Church Archives, Digital Collections, College Photographs
Recommended Reference Works
American Decades - Ref E 169.12 .A419 1994 (10 vols.)
Presents social and cultural history in ten-year periods, covering the arts, business, fashion, law, medicine, religion, and more.
Civil Rights in the United States - Ref E184.A1 C47 2000
Entries include biographical sketches, organizations, legislation, major historical events and terms related to civil rights.
Encyclopedia of American Indian Civil Rights - Ref KF8210.C5 E53 1997
More than 600 entries cover a variety of perspectives, issues, individuals, incidents, and court cases central to an understanding of the history of civil rights among American Indian peoples. The issue is a complicated one, expanding over a period of more than a century.
Encyclopedia of American Social Movements - Ref HN 57 .E594 2004
Organized by topic rather than alphabetically, this set covers the antislavery movement, civil rights, the women's movement, labor, Native American, religious and Utopian, antiwar and student movements, LGBT, environmental, and global justice movements, each with in-depth chronological coverage and analysis.
Encyclopedia of Popular Music - Ref ML 102 .P66 G84 2006 (10 vols)
Offers brief information on musicians, bands, musicals, and record labels. Includes a song title index.
Leaders from the 1960s: A Biographical Sourcebook of American Activism - Ref HN59 .L43 1994
With major sections on racial democracy, peace and freedom, sexuality and gender, the environment, radical culture, and visions of alternative societies, Leaders from the 1960s includes entries on a wide selection of nationally prominent activists of the 1960s. In addition to those who dominated only the sixties, the volume includes earlier activists who came into prominence in the 1960s and activists of the era who came into prominence since the 1960s. Each entry provides a biographical sketch, but the focus of the entries is on the person's basic concepts or the essence of his or her work and the public response it generated. Included are extensive bibliographies on the individuals and the period.
The Columbia Guide to America in the 1960s - Ref E841 .C575 2001
The first section gives a lively narrative overview of the decade's major policies, events, and cultural changes. The second presents ten original interpretative essays from prominent historians about significant and controversial issues from the Vietnam War to the sexual revolution, followed by a concise encyclopedia articles organized alphabetically. This section could stand as a reference work in itself and serves to supplement the narrative. Subsequent sections include short topical essays, special subjects, a brief chronology, and finally an extensive annotated bibliography with ample information on books, films, and electronic resources for further exploration.
The Sixties in America - Ref E841 .S55 1999
Here is a set covering, in 554 articles, the sweep of issues, events, culture, and individuals of a momentous decade.
Twentieth-Century Teen Culture by the Decades: A Reference Guide - Ref HQ799.U65 R65 1999
This resource offers an overview of all aspects of American teenagers' lives from 1900 to 1999, as they evolved through the century. Using a variety of sources from sociological studies to popular magazines, this work shows how teens have responded to the political events that have characterized each decade. It also describes the patterns that have affected their home, work, and school lives, patterns of dating and sex, trends in alcohol and drug use, and teen tastes in books and movies and use of slang and fashions.
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