ABSTRACT

Encyclopedias, dictionaries, and handbooks are all designed to provide easily accessible information on a broad range of topics. Often housed in reference collections, or highlighted as links in online library reference guides, researchers will fi nd these resources useful as they prepare for and complete projects. The subject encyclopedias listed in this chapter include sources in printed and online format. Their overviews of regions or topics, and summaries of literature, are written by subject scholars and often include brief bibliographies, maps, and illustrations. Multivolume encyclopedias offer scholarship on many topics connected to a specifi c fi eld, and their articles written by subject authorities can provide a basic understanding of a focused area. This can be especially useful during early stages of research. Dictionary entries are typically shorter than those found in encyclopedias, and the topical dictionaries listed in this chapter are used more often for quick reference purposes. A handbook is often identifi ed as a concise and authoritative compendium of information and is associated with fact-checking. Some of the subject handbooks listed in this chapter, though, are actually quite comprehensive sources, and will be useful for detailed background work as well.