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Using Reference Works
Reference books are excellent tools, especially when you are beginning a research project. They give broad overviews, orienting you to the larger context in which your topic occurs. They can provide definitions and give you ideas for search words. They might also clue you in to the major thinkers in your area. Sometimes they provide resources for further reading, giving you an instant source list. Reference books are on the main floor of the library facing Beck Hall.
Recommended Reference Works
Anchor Bible Dictionary - Ref BS 440 .A54 (6 vol)
This definitive and current work covers not only names, places, and events of the Bible, but also includes cultural history, social institutions, archeological sites, and other topics of particular interest to Biblical scholars today.
Atlas of Medieval Jewish History - Ref G 1034 .B413 1992
Covers the time period from the 5th century to the mid 17th.
Dictionary of the Middle Ages - Ref D 114 .D5 1982
13 vols. A scholarly, readable, and beautifully laid-out encyclopedia covering people, events, ideas, movements, texts, and cultural features of the medieval world. Articles are often illustrated with period art work and are followed by bibliographies of primary and secondary sources.
Dictionary of Judaism in the Biblical Period - Ref BM 50 .D525 1996 (2 vols.)
Brief entries provide overviews of topics related to the era when the sacred writings of Judaism and Christianity were formulated, from about 450 B.C.E. - 600 C.E.
Encyclopaedia Judaica - Ref DS 102.8 .E496 2007
An excellent source for information on the Jewish people and religion, offering scholarly and in-depth articles, recently updated to include current research on historical and contemporary topics.
Encyclopedia of Judaism - Ref BM 50 .E63 1999 (3 vols.)
Essays provide excellent overviews of major themes within Judaism, including doctrine, practice and teachings.
Encyclopedia of Religion - Ref BL 31 .E46 2005
Covers religions from around the world and through history as well as people and ideas related to religion. The articles are written by experts in their fields and include excellent bibliographies. This new edition includes hundreds of new articles, thoroughly revised coverage of all topics in religion, and a handful of "visual essays" that illustrate visual culture as a significant aspect of religion.
Harper's Bible Commentary - Ref BS 491.2 .H37 1988
Follows the arrangement of the Bible, giving a brief introduction to each book of the Bible, then a short explanation of major passages. It is very good at making the language of the Bible clear, explaining context, and linking related passages together.
Jewish Religion: A Companion - Ref BM 50 .J28 1995
This one-volume source provides concise definitions of concepts related to Judaism, including Jewish beliefs, practices and figures.
Medieval Jewish Civilization - Ref DS 124 .M386 2003
Contains detailed entries on all aspects of medieval Jewish civilization.
New Catholic Encyclopedia - Ref BX 841 .N44 2002
This recently-revised encyclopedia covers many general topics, but is particularly thorough in its coverage of Catholic doctrine, history, and traditional practice. Includes many illustrations.
New Encyclopedia of Judaism - Ref BM 50 .E63 2002
Useful for overviews and definitions of figures and teachings in Judaism.
NRSV Concordance - Ref BS 425 .K645 1991
One of several concordances available in the library, this volume provides an index of all occurrences of all words in the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.
, Film and Media Studies
, Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies
, Sociology and Anthropology
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