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Encyclopedias are great ways to get background information and understand the terms used to describe topics.
Encyclopaedia Britannica Online
Academic version of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, which is no longer published in print format. For a list of all editions of the Britannica held by Princeton, see the History Resource Guide
. Includes the Merriam Webster Dictionary. Antiquity+
OED Online (Oxford English Dictionary)
Considered the most authoritative and comprehensive English language dictionary in the world. Includes information on the English language, its history, and the social, cultural, and political influences that have shaped the language through the centuries.
Full-text of hundreds of dictionaries and other reference works in the humanities and social sciences, published by Oxford University Press.
Blackwell Reference Online
Full-text of approximately 300 humanities and social science reference books published by Blackwell.
While it is not advisable to use this as a source in an academic paper, it can sometimes LEAD you to other great sources, especially on contemporary topics.
Online Encyclopedias available at Princeton
We have many specialized encyclopedias covering just about every field. This links to one list, and others might be found in the Subject pages for Articles and Databases.