Fundamental to that process is a careful engagement with primary and secondary sources. However, if you are new to a topic, it is best to start with reference sources (sometimes called tertiary sources). These sources, such as dictionaries, handbooks, and encyclopedias, provide overviews of topics by condensing and summarizing primary and secondary sources. On this page you will find reference sources which are useful for gaining an understanding of the background and context of your topic. Such an understanding will help you frame your research project.
If you don't find what you are looking for or need help navigating this guide or any of the resources it contains, don't hesitate to contact the author of this guide or Ask a Librarian.
Provides web access to 100 major Oxford University Press dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other reference works in the humanities, social sciences, foreign languages, science, technology and medicine, the performing arts, and religion. Works can be searched separately or across the entire databases. Includes over 1.5 million entries.
47 Sage Publication eReference titles representing many disciplines within the social sciences. These electronic encyclopedias cover topics such as juvenile justice, terrorism, social theory, crime, African American society, social welfare, education and many more themes.
Call Number: Ginn Library Reference DS705 P47 1999
Publication Date: 1998
The Cambridge Encyclopedia of China by Brian Hook (Editor); Denis C. Twitchett (Editor)The Cambridge Encyclopedia of China provides an absorbing and authoritative account of China and all things Chinese - geography, politics, customs, food and drink, the arts, and a rich and colourful history, from ancient times through to the momentous events of the past decade. Brian Hook and his team of expert contributors have thoroughly revised and updated the Encyclopedia to take full account of the most recent developments in China, from the economic reforms and increased freedoms of the early 1980s to the crisis of 1989 and its aftermath. The book is thus a uniquely broad-ranging account of China for everyone with an interest in the area, which will appeal both as a highly attractive illustrated reference book and as an invaluable source of practical information on a developing superpower.
The Yale Silk Road Database presents over 11,000 images of major sites in the Silk Road region taken during faculty site seminars led by Mimi Hall Yiengpruksawan (Professor, History of Art) under the auspices of the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University in the summers of 2006-2010. The collection serves as a multi-disciplinary resource with relevance to students and faculty working in the fields of art and archaeology, religious studies, history, East Asian languages and literatures, Central Asian and Islamic studies.