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Addlestone Library is open to the College of Charleston community and affiliates via card access. Visitors may access Addlestone Library Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, and must present a government issued ID and sign in upon entry.
Why background research helps
Getting background information and general facts about your topic is a good way to start your research. This not only helps you better understand your topic, but it also helps you formulate the boundaries of your research and key terms for your thesis statement. It can be a helpful guide to begin to narrow down your topic into a coherent and specific area.
Definition: Tertiary Sources
Tertiary sources consist of information which is a distillation and collection of primary and secondary sources.
- Bibliographies (also considered secondary)
- Dictionaries and Encyclopedias (also considered secondary)
- Fact books
- Indexes, abstracts, bibliographies used to locate primary and secondary sources
- Textbooks (also considered secondary)
Online Encyclopedias and Dictionaries
Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages
A comprehensive volume of reference with contributions from over 600 scholars, this book improves with each edition. It was published first in French, and with each new edition there have been additions to the contents. It addresses political and economic features as well as religion, the history of ideas and cultural developments, and progress in technology and the superb artistic achievements of the time. It justly claims to provide `a magisterial sweep' with `a fresh approach' ensuring its constant use as a modern work of reference.
Historical Dictionary of the Renaissance
The Historical Dictionary of the Renaissance covers the history of Western and Central Europe from about 1350 to the early 17th century. It emphasizes those persons, movements, and places that are especially important in the growth of the humanistic culture and the new artistic and musical styles that are the most important aspects of European history in this period. The heart of the book is the alphabetically organized dictionary.
Encyclopedia of Africa
The Encyclopedia of Africa presents the most up-to-date and thorough reference on this region of ever-growing importance in world history, politics, and culture. Its core is comprised of the entries focusing on African history and culture from 2005's acclaimed five-volume Africana - nearlytwo-thirds of these 1,300 entries have been updated, revised, and expanded to reflect the most recent scholarship.Organized in an A-Z format, the articles cover prominent individuals, events, trends, places, political movements, art forms, business and trade, religions, ethnic groups, organizations, and countries throughout Africa. There are articles on contemporary nations of sub-Saharan Africa, ethnic groupsfrom various regions of Africa, and European colonial powers. Other examples include Congo River, Ivory trade, Mau Mau rebellion, and Pastoralism. The Encyclopedia of Africa is sure to become the essential resource in the field.
Enclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered History in America
A three-volume survey of more than 400 years of lesbian and gay history and culture in the United States, presented through over 500 alphabetically arranged entries. Coverage includes people, public policy, economics, social issues, identities, and culture, among many others. For students, researchers, and general readers.
A Dictionary of Twentieth-Century World History
Authoritative and up-to-date, A Dictionary of Twentieth-Century World History provides in-depth coverage of the major historical figures and events of this century. Over 2,500 entries span political, diplomatic, and military history as well as offering both fact and analysis of these areas. Author Jan Palmowski combines full international coverage with detailed entries for every country in the world. Some of the special features of this volume are the biographies of such world leaders as Stalin, Kennedy, Thatcher, Yeltsin, Mandela, Rabin, and Netanyahu and the coverage of political events and movements from the rise and demise of communism to the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and from the end of apartheid to the Whitewater scandal. Key battles are highlighted from Yprès to the Gulf War campaign to the Bosnian Civil War and events such as the Chernobyl disaster. Comprehensive attention is paid to major treaties and political agreements from Versailles to Maastricht, and from the Anglo-Irish Agreement to the Dayton Accords. Useful tables including lists of office-holders for countries and organizations and winners of the Nobel Peace Prize are also provided. A Dictionary of Twentieth-Century World History is an invaluable reference work for student, teachers, and anyone with an interest in the major figures and events of our modern world.
General Reference Databases
Credo Reference This link opens in a new window
Librarian-curated collection of award-winning reference works with extensive subject coverage.
Oxford Reference Online This link opens in a new window
Includes digitized, continuously updated entries from Oxfords dictionaries, companions, and encyclopedias, spanning 25 different subject areas including archaeology, classical studies, linguistics, philosophy, and more.
U.S. History Reference Databases
African American Experience This link opens in a new window
An American Mosaic Online Resource. Developed with the guidance of African American librarians and subject specialists, The African American Experience is both a broad and deep online database collection on African American history and culture. Providing thesis-driven, peer-reviewed scholarly essays, as well as primary source documents and classroom resources, it is a collection that taps a tremendous variety of sources essential to understanding African American history and its relation to greater U.S. history.
Latino American Experience This link opens in a new window
Comprehensive, informative database dedicated to the history and culture of Latinos.
latino history, hispanic history, latin american & caribbean studies
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