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Online Reference & Background Resources
Reference materials such as encyclopedias and dictionaries are often an excellent starting point for research. They offer reliable background information on many issues and topics.
Background Research Resources
Full-text resources packed with good informaiton on a variety of social topics:
CQ Researcher This link opens in a new window
Original, non-partisan reports that are investigated and written by seasoned journalists and authors. Coverage ofsuch topics as health care, criminal justice, political and social trends, international affairs, education, the environment, technology and the economy.
Issues & Controversies This link opens in a new window
Issues & Controversies explore more than 800 timely, in-depth, and objective articles on topics such as politics, government, business, education, and popular culture. It is updated weekly and provides links to a 13-year backfile. Also included are links to news coverage, pros and cons statements, timelines, statistics, etc.
Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints This link opens in a new window
A one-stop source for information on a variety of social issues. Access viewpoint articles, topic overviews, statistics, primary documents, links to websites, as well as full-text magazine and newspaper articles.
Gale in Context: Biography This link opens in a new window
Biography in Context includes over 700,000 biographical entries covering more than 400,000 notable international figures from all time periods and areas of study.
General Reference Resources
Online reference resources, including dictionaries, encyclopedias and lots more. Full-Text!
Credo This link opens in a new window
Provides access to hundreds of online reference books including encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri and books of quotations from a variety of publishers. Covers both general reference and subject-specific reference titles for a variety of disciplines. Topic Pages give great background overviews on subjects.
Gale eBooks This link opens in a new window
Full-text encyclopedias and dictionaries.
Oxford African American Studies Center This link opens in a new window
The African American Studies Center contains brief articles on all aspects of the African-American experience along with images, primary sources, time lines, maps, tables, and reference resources.
Oxford Reference This link opens in a new window
Oxford Reference contains full text dictionaries and encyclopedias from the Oxford University Press. It is easy to search and contains entries on a wide array of topics from business, computing and environmental science to art, biology, literature, religion, and political science.
Reference Books Online
Selected Online Reference Resources (full-text):
A Companion to American Cultural History
This Companion offers a historiographic overview of the scholarship, with special attention to the major studies and debates that have shaped the field, and an assessment of where it is currently headed.
A Companion to African-American Studies
A groundbreaking reappraisal of the history and future of African-American Studies. Each original essay by an expert scholar in the field covers its topic with authority and clarity. This book is a definitive intervention at a critical time in the history of race relations and in the academic field of race and ethnic studies.
New Dictionary of the History of Ideas
A survey of the history of Western thought and culture, presented through 700 alphabetically arranged entries. Each entry explores the origin, cultural interpretations, and historical themes of such subjects as beauty, love, feminism, diversity, and social capital, among many others
A Companion to Racial and Ethnic Studies
This Companion offers an informed and comprehensive overview of contemporary debates and issues, at once surveying the status of race and ethnic studies and pointing out new directions.