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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.
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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.
American Historical Association Guide to Historical Literature - Ref D 20 .A54 1995
New York: Oxford Unversity Press 1995 3rd Ed. edition
Offers 27,000 citations to important historical literature, arranged in 48 sections covering theory, international history, and regional history. An indispensable guide; note it doesn't include the most recently published scholarship.
• Location(s): Ref D 20 .A54 1995
American National Biography - Ref CT 213 .A68 1999 (24 vols + suppl)
New York: Oxford University Press 1999
Offers over 17,000 scholarly biographical sketches of significant Americans who died before 1996. The definitive source for American biography.
Dictionary of American History - Ref E 174 .D52 2003 (9 vols.)
New York: Scribner's 2003 3rd ed. edition
An encyclopedia of political, cultural, social, economic, and military history in the United States. The ninth volume contains historical maps and primary documents.
Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History: the Black Experience in the Americas - Ref E 185 .E54 2006
A wide-ranging encyclopedia covering people, places, events, concepts, and topics of all sorts. Articles are written by specialists and have useful bibliographies.
Encyclopedia of American Social History - Ref HN 57 .E58 1993 (3 vols.)
Filling in the holes left in conventional political/biographical history sources, this set covers topics such as religion, class, gender, race, popular culture, regionalism, and everyday life from pre-Columbian to modern times in lengthy and well-documented articles.
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 American Studies - Ref E 169.1 .E625 2001 (4 vols.)
Published under the auspices of the American Studies Association, this est covers concepts key to the interdisciplinary field, issues related to class, race and ethnicity, cultural institutions, popular culture, social history and more.
Encyclopedia of Asian History - Ref DS 31 .E53 1987
New York: Scribner 1988
Discusses people, places, events, and topics in detailed and well-documented essays, covering Central Asia, South Asia, and the Far East.
Encyclopedia of European Social History from 1350 to 2000 - Ref HN373 .E63 2001
New York: Scribner 2001
6 vols. Offers substantial, well-documented survey essays on topics such as social change, urban and rural life, gender, popular culture, religion, and everyday life.
Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture - Ref F 1406 .E53 2008
New York: Scribner's 1996 2nd edition
The 5,000+ articles in this resource give a remarkably complete overview of current knowledge about the region. Entries are arranged alphabetically by country, by topic (such as slavery, art, Asians in Latin America), and biographically. Articles are written by experts and are followed by selective bibliographies.
Encyclopedia of the Holocaust - Ref D 804.3 .E53 1990 (4 vols.)
New York: Macmillan Publishing Co. 1990
Offers lengthy articles on topics, each followed by a selective bibliography of useful sources. Covers people, places, events, and concepts.
Encyclopedia of the Renaissance - Ref CB 361 .E52 1999 (6 vols.)
New York: Scribner's 1999
Covers nearly 1,200 cultural and historical topics relating to Europe from 1350 to the early seventeenth century.
Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century - Ref E 169.1 .E626 2001 (3 vols.)
Covers major ideas and issues in American social, political, and military history with articles as specific as "The Chinese Exclusion Act" and as broad as "Domestic Life."
Encyclopedia of the United States in the Twentieth Century - Ref E740.7 .E53 1996 (4 vols.)
An ambitious survey of American cultural, social and intellectual history in broad articles arranged topically. Each essay/article is followed by a thorough and very useful bibliography for further research.
St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture - Ref E 169.1 .S764 2000 (5 vols.)
A compendium of short articles on figures and ideas that were a common part of the American experience in the twentieth century.
Women in World History - Ref HQ1115 .W6 1999 (17 vols.)
Waterford, CT: Yorkin Publications 1999
A biographical encyclopedia offering entries on 10,000 women from around the world. Includes indexes by era, geography, occupation, and name.
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