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Historical Research

A general guide to historical research

Encyclopedias & Reference Sources

You may want to begin your research with subject-specific encyclopedias or reference books to explore topics, find background information, discover leads to more in-depth resources, and locate statistics.

Use InfoKat Discovery to locate general, subject-specific, or data-focused reference books. 

Consider these examples below and apply them to your research and topic focus.

In your search, combine relevant keyword(s) + "reference"  OR  try relevant keyword(s) + "encyclopedia" and so forth.

  • Great Britain history reference
  • Great Britain social history encyclopedia
  • Great Britain history military encyclopedia
  • Great Britain World War 1 historiography

You can also try performing a subject heading search in InfoKat Discovery, if you know a Library of Congress subject heading such as:

  • World War, 1914-1918 -- Historiography
  • Great Britain -- History -- Encyclopedias
  • Queens -- Great Britain -- Biography​

Once you get a list of results, you may want to select the Resource Type --> Books to further filter the list (left hand side of the page).

OR begin your search in the Library Catalog to save some time.

Reference Databases