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WRI 146: Constructing the Past: Background Information

Guide for using the library successfully in this writing seminar.

Reference Books

Encyclopedias, handbooks and companions are great ways to get background information to situate oneself within a broad topic, understand the terms used to describe some topics, and identify sources related to a particular topic. In addition to the online resources listed below, one can also do a Subject (browse) search in the library catalog: e.g. RENAISSANCE ENCYCLOPEDIAS, identifying any topic you can think of. ONLINE options can be filtered out, keeping in mind that titles available in the HathiTrust ETAS won't be designated as ONLINE.


Oxford Bibliographies is another great research tool for starting out, although this resource does not yet cover all disciplines. The ANTHROPOLOGY module, for example, includes a wealth of resources listed, arranged by type and with very useful annotations.  See the ARCHAEOLOGY article, with a list of additional Related Articles on the left. There is also a "Heritage Management" bibliography in the CLASSICS module, and "Cultural Landscape" and "Urban Planning and Geography" in the GEOGRAPHY module.