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Countries: Background Information

Locate background and detailed information on countries (other than the U.S.); see the Federal Government Resources Guide for U.S. information.

Background Resources

A number of directories and other reference tools are available to provide background information concerning specific countries. In addition to general encyclopedias (shelved in the AE 5 section of the Reference Collection on the 2nd floor west wing of Young Library), a number of specialized tools are available--see the "Country Resources in InfoKat Discovery" tab above.

The following guides are available electronically:

Reference Sources

You may want to read historical or other background information on your country; some of the items above will help you do that, especially Country Studies (Area Handbooks). General encyclopedias (see the AE 5 section of the Reference collection in Young Library, 2nd floor, west wing) are useful, and InfoKat Discovery will help you locate more focused material: e.g., search your country's name as a subject and add the term "encyclopedias" or "description and travel."

The following are some of the encyclopedias available electronically through the Gale Virtual Reference Library, Oxford Reference and SAGE Knowledge:

Current Events

Many of the databases in this guide cover current events, but the resources listed below are excellent starting points.

For current events and coverage of core research journals in most subject areas, use

Another excellent source of current information, particularly about the relationships among various countries, is

Other Current Events Sources

Also consider newspapers for current events and analysis; see the

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