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Background Information: dictionaries, encyclopedias and more!: Introduction

Need a word defined? A reliable encyclopedia article? Reliable statistics? Background information? Reference sources can help!


This guide is meant to help you find "reference" resources, for example atlases, dictionaries, encyclopedias and so on. But there are many more of these sorts of things than you might realize, so we made this guide to help you find them! There are "subject" dictionary & encyclopedias for example, reference sets all about history, or law, or fashion etc.

You probably know how helpful something like Wikipedia is, but it is hardly the only game in town! These pages point primarily to the reference materials we have online, but there are many more in our print reference collection. Ask any of us to learn more!

Reference Chat

Chat with the librarian at the Reference Desk: