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.
Credo is a library database containing digital versions of encyclopedias and other reference works. Think of it as an academic Wikipedia, only curated by librarians instead of the general public.