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Reference books are useful for getting an overview of a topic, finding references to other sources on the topic, and for finding background information, on say, and author and her work. Here are just a few examples of reference works that might be helpful for some of the topics you might explore for your "Angels Report" assignment.
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.
American Decades Primary Sources - Ref E169.1 .A471977 (10 vols.)
This resource provides excerpts from primary sources for each decade from 1900-1999. Topics covered range from the arts to science and technology. Although this set does not contain whole documents, it does provide an introduction to each document and explains its significance.
Encyclopedia of Plague and Pestilence: From Ancient Times to the Present - Ref RA649 .E53 2001
Provides over 700 entries tracing the course of epidemics throughout history. Includes a timetable of epidemics and bibliography for further reading.
Encyclopedia of Religion in America - Ref BL 2520 .E52 2010 (4 vols.)
Covers a broad range of historical and contemporary topics related to religion in America and includes extensive bibliographies
Featured Reference Work
American Decades by
Publication Date: 1994-03-18
In brief, our library catalog is the search engine that will tell you what books we have and where they are shelved. You can search by "all fields" (that is, the information in the catalog, not all of the contents of the book) or by author, title, or subject. Because catalogers describe the subject of books as a whole - rather than going into detail about everything the book contains - your searches will work best if you keep your search terms quite general.
Once you have a list of results, look for the call number - a letter and number combination that indicates where the book is shelved. Some books are shelved on the upper level and the rest are on the main floor. (There's more information available on how call numbers work. They take a little getting used to.)
Once you've located a book that looks interesting, browse the shelves around it. The Library of Congress classification system used in this library puts books on the same subject together; because you can look directly at the books while choosing, browsing is an effective way to discover useful sources.
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