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SSI2-132: Wild Things: Background Sources

Consulting Subject Encyclopedias

Subject encyclopedias, handbooks and overviews are scholarly, tertiary works written by experts on a variety of topics and are designed to be consulted early on in a research project. The entries are written by scholars and typically provide an overview of both the topic and the ways that scholars have interpreted this topic. These resources can help you with:

  • Understanding the scope of a topic
  • Suggesting ideas for narrowing a topic
  • Identifying key concepts, terms, dates and names
  • Listing subject areas related to a topic
  • Recommending sources for further exploration***

In Collins Library, the print reference collection is located on the first floor, and most of the online reference collection is available in one of the database collections listed on the right.  Use Primo to identify subject encyclopedias in either format; or ask a librarian for recommendations.

Featured Resources for Literature & Culture

Featured Resources for Science, Nature, and the Environment

Online Reference Collections

Not sure where to look?  Each of these online collections will introduce you to a wealth of encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other tertiary sources.