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General History: Reference Sources

Encyclopedias are useful

Beginning your research

Encyclopedias are excellent reference sources to consult as you begin your research papers. They provide an overview, give background, major events and people, and a brief list of sources to help you get started. The Libraries have an extensive collection of older encyclopedias in print as well as newer ones online.

 Encyclopedias can be general,

such as the Encyclopedia Britannica,

or subject-specific,

such as American history (Oxford research encyclopedias)

Search the UF Libraries Catalog for subject encyclopedias with a keyword search:

[your topic] and the word "encyclopedia." 

Examples:  encyclopedia and "civil war;" encyclopedia and women; encyclopedia and immigration

General Reference Materials

Reference Universe: 1975-2020

Reference Universe is an online tool that allows users to search across the wide variety and type of print and online reference sources available in the Smathers Libraries' collections.  One can search for encyclopedia articles, books, chapters in books and other content that is otherwise hard to identify. "It provides researchers with a  place to start on any research topic," Paratext.

Oxford Handbooks Online: History

This history handbook offers thorough introductions to topics and a critical survey of the current state of scholarship. Handbook articles review the key issues and cutting-edge debates, as well as providing arguments for how those debates might evolve.

Gale Virtual Reference Library

The Gale Virtual Reference LIbrary a collection of encyclopedias and other reference sources which covers a variety of topics including history, literature, gender and sexuality, religion, the arts, the sciences, and the social sciences.  Search across all publications or browse and choose specific publications. 

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