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History - 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.


Watch the following brief screencasts to see the above search tips in action.