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History and American Studies: Obtaining Background Material

A research guide to finding books, articles, and other resources in History and American Studies

Using Reference Books

Use Reference books to:

♦  Obtain background material to help familiarize yourself with your topic

♦  Locate definitions of terms and concepts

♦  Find bibliographies suggesting additional resources on your topic

Location:

Reference books are on the first floor of Simpson Library

Don't forget!  If you need assistance, stop at the Information Desk (located to the right as you enter Simpson Library's front door).

Citing Your Sources

While writing research papers, you may need to:

  List your sources in bibliographies or works cited, and

♦  Provide either footnotes or endnotes.

Here is a link to the UMW Libraries' Guide to Citing Resources.

Navigation Menu

When looking for background information related to any of the following topics, either click on these links or scroll down for reference books found on the first floor of Simpson Library:

Directories and Guides

General Histories and Chronologies

The World

Europe

Africa

Middle East and Asia

United States

United States Foreign Relations

Latin America

Race, Ethnicity, and Multiculturalism

War and Military History

Women

Historians

Material and Popular Culture

Directories and Guides

The American Historical Association's Guide to Historical Literature
REFB D 13 .A48x 1995
 
Harvard Guide to American History
REFB E 175.8 .F77 1974
 
The History Highway: A 21st Century Guide to Internet Resources
REFB D 16.255 .C65 H58 2006
 
Index to America: Life and Customs (for 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries)
REFB E 178 .I73x
 
Reference Sources in History
REFB D 20 .F72 2004
 
Term Paper Resource Guide to Nineteenth-Century U.S. History
REFB E 337.5 .C73 2008
 
Material Culture in America:  Understanding Everyday Life
REFB GN 560 .U6 M37 2008

General Histories and Chronologies

American Chronicle
REFB E 169.1 .G664 1999
 
American Decades
REFB E 169.12 .A42
(Online access available through Salem History)
 
American Eras
REFB E 162 .A5144 - E 168 .A5118
 
Chronology of World History
REFB D 11 .M39 1999
 
Day by Day
REFB D 11 .D391 .D396
 
Great Events
REFB D 421 .G627 2002
 
Great Events from History: North American Series
REFB E 45 .G74 1997
(Online access available through Salem History)
 
This Fabulous Century
REFB E 161 .T55
 
The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World
REFB D 205 .O94 2008
 
The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events
REFB D 11 .G78 2005

The World

Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History
REFB D 23 .B45 2005
 
Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations: Ethnic and National Groups Around the World
REFB D 860 .M56 2002
 
Encyclopedia of the Interwar Years: From 1919 to 1939
REFB D 727 .G745 2000
 
The Greenwood Dictionary of World History
REFB D 9 .B88 2006
 
Provides online access to the Encyclopedia of American Business, the Encyclopedia of American Immigration, Decades (individual volumes cover the twenties through the nineties in America), Great Events from History (includes GLBT Events volume), Great Lives from History (includes volumes for Ancient History, the Renaissance, and Notorious Lives), Milestone Documents, (includes documents for African American History and World History), and Weapons & Warfare.  Simpson Library also owns the physical volumes of these reference works.

The Sea in World History: Exploration, Travel, and Trade
REFB G 80 .S39 2017
 
World Monarchies and Dynasties
REFB D 21 .W929 2004

Europe

All Things Medieval: An Encyclopedia of the Medieval World
REFB CB 351 .J675 2011
 
Ancient Europe, 8000 B.C. - A.D. 1000
REFB D 62 .A52 2004
 
Austria-Hungary and the Successor States: A Reference Guide
DB 33 .R66 2003
 
The Crusades: An Encyclopedia
REFB D 155 .C78 2006
 
Dictionary of the Middle Ages
REFB D 114 .D5 1982
 
Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece
REFB DF 16 .E52 2006
 
Encyclopedia of European Peoples
REFB D 1056 .W35 2006
 
Encyclopedia of Irish History and Culture
REFB DA 912 .E53 2004
 
Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages
REFB D 114 .E53 2000

Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire
REFB DR 486 .A375 2008
 
Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire
REFB DG 270 .B86 2002
 
Encyclopedia of the Victorian Era
REFB DA 550 .E527 2004
 
Encyclopedia of Western Colonialism since 1450
REFB JV 22 .E535 2007
 
Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World
REFB D 209 .E97 2004
 
Europe, 1789 to 1914: Encyclopedia of the Age of Industry and Empire
REFB D 299 .E735 2006
 
Europe since 1945: An Encyclopedia
REFB D 1058 .E8754 2001
 
France: A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present
REFB, DC 35 .R64 2004
 
Great Britain: A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present
REFB DA 30 .T66 2003
 
Icons of the Middle Ages: Rulers, Writers, Rebels, and Saints
REFB CT 114 .I36 2012
 
Italy:  A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present
REFB DG 461 .S27 2004
 
Medieval Germany: An Encyclopedia
REFB DD 157 .M43 2001
 
Medieval Italy: An Encyclopedia
REFB DG 443 .M43 2004
 
Reader's Guide to British History
REFB DA 34 .R43 2003
 
Women and Gender in Medieval Europe: An Encyclopedia
REFB HQ 1147 .E85 W66 2006

Africa

An African Biographical Dictionary
REFB DT 18 .B76 2006
 
Encyclopedia of African History
REFB DT 20 .E53 2005
 
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt
REFB DT 58 .O94 2001

Middle East and Asia

Encyclopedia of Modern Asia
REFB DS 4 .E53 2002
 
Encyclopedia of Russian History
REFB DK 14 .E53 2004
 
Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire
REFB DR 486 .A375 2008
 
The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World
REFB DS 35.53 .O95 1995
 
Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa
REFB DS 43 .E53 2004
 
Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia
REFB DS 36.85 .M434 2006
 
Russia: A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present
REFB DK 36 .B59 2004
 
Southeast Asia: A Historical Encyclopedia from Angkor Wat to East Timor
REFB DS 524 .S68 2004

United States

American Heritage 50-Year Cumulative Index
REFB E 171 .A44a Index

American Political Culture: An Encyclopedia
REFB E 169.12 .A428 2015
 
American Pop: Popular Culture Decade by Decade
REFB E 169.1 .A4475
 
Atlas of American History
REFB E 179.5 .N37 2007
 
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Social Change: America in the Twentieth Century
REFB PN 59.2 .B43 2001
 
Bowling, Beatniks, and Bell-Bottoms: Pop Culture of 20th-Century America
REFB E 169.1 .B7825 2002
 
Civil War America, 1850 to 1875
REFB E 468 .S45 2006
 
Colonial America: An Encyclopedia of Social, Political, Cultural, & Economic History
REFB E 162 .C68 2006
 
Complete American Presidents Sourcebook
REFB E 176.1 .M387 2001
 
Conflicts in American History: A Documentary Encyclopedia
REFB E 174 .C655 2010
 
Conspiracy Theories in American History
REFB E 179 .C66 2003
 
Dictionary of American History
REFB E 174 .D52 2003
 
Encyclopedia of American Cultural and Intellectual History
REFB E 169.1 .E624 2001
 
Encyclopedia of American Folklife
REFB GR 105 .E53 2006
 
Encyclopedia of American History
REFB E 174 .E53 2010
 
Encyclopedia of American Immigration
REFB JV 6465 .E53 2010
(Online access available through Salem History)
 
Encyclopedia of American Social Movements
REFB HN 57 .E594
 
Encyclopedia of Immigration and Migration in the American West
REFB HB 1965 .E53 2006
 
Encyclopedia of Rural America: The Land and People
REFB E 169.12 .E5 1997
 
Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History
REFB E 468 .E53 2000
 
Encyclopedia of the American West
REFB F 591 .E485 1996
 
Encyclopedia of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
REFB E 661 .E53 2005
 
Encyclopedia of the New American Nation
REFB E 301 .E53 2006
 
Encyclopedia of the Reconstruction Era
REFB E 668 .E53 2006
 
Encyclopedia of the Veteran in America
REFB UB 357 .E53 2009
 
Encyclopedia of United States National Security
REFB UA 23 .E57124 2006
 
Encyclopedia of Western Colonialism since 1450
REFB JV 22 .E535 2007
 
The Greenwood Guide to American Popular Culture
REFB E 169.1 .G7555 2002
 
History of American Presidential Elections, 1789-2008
REFB E 183 .H58 2012
 
The Home Front Encyclopedia: United States, Britain, and Canada in World Wars I and II
REFB D 570 .H54 2000
 
Material Culture in America:  Understanding Everyday Life
REFB GN 560 .U6 M37 2008
 
Postwar America: An Encyclopedia of Social, Political, Cultural, and Economic History
REFB E 169.12 .P654 2006
 
Slavery in the United States
REFB E 441 .S635 2007

Social History of the United States (online)
Archives HN 57 .S6236 2009
 
Social Issues in America: An Encyclopedia
REFB HN 57 .S624 2006
 
St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture
REFB E 169.1 .S764 2000

United States Foreign Relations

American Foreign Relations since 1600: A Guide to the Literature
REFB E 183.7 .G84x 2003
 
Chronological History of U.S. Foreign Relations
REFB E 183.7 .B745 2003
 
Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy
REFB E 183.7 .H28 2004
 
Guide to U.S. Foreign Policy: A Diplomatic History
REFB 183.7 .C7 2012

Latin America

Concise Encyclopedia of Mexico
REFB F 1210 .E632 2001
 
Encyclopedia of Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Cultures
REFB E 1406 .E515 2000
 
Encyclopedia of Cuba
REFB F 1754 .E53 2003
 
Encyclopedia of Latin American Politics
REFB F 1410 .E56 2001
 
Encyclopedia of Modern Mexico
REFB F 1234 .D364 2002
 
Encyclopedia of Western Colonialism since 1450
REFB JV 22 .E535 2007
 
Historical Dictionary of U.S.-Latin American Relations
REFB F 1418 .F457 2005
 
Latin American History and Culture
REFB F 1406 .E53 2008
 
Mexico: An Encyclopedia of Contemporary Culture and History
REFB 1234 .C67 2004
 
The Peoples of the Caribbean
REFB F 1619 .S38 2005
 
A Reference Guide to Latin American History
REFB F 1410 .R395 2000

Race, Ethnicity, and Multiculturalism

The African American Years: Chronologies of American History & Experience
REFB E 185 .S797 2003
 
American Indian Culture
REFB E 98 .S7 A44 2004
 
American Indian History
REFB E 77 .A496 2003
 
American Indian Religious Traditions
REFB E 98 .R3 C755 2005
 
The Asian American Encyclopedia
REFB E 184 .O6 A827 1995
 
Black Women in America
REFB E 185.86 .B542 2005
 
Encyclopedia Latina: History, Culture, and Society in the United States
REFB E 184 .S75 E587 2005
 
Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History
REFB E 185 .E54 2006
 
Encyclopedia of African American History
REFB E 185 .E545 2006
 
Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes
REFB E 76.2 .W35 2006
 
Encyclopedia of Japanese American History
REFB 184 .J3 E53 2001
 
Encyclopedia of Minorities in American Politics
REFB E 184 .A1 E574 2000
 
Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America
REFB E 184 .A1 G14 2000
 
The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Civil Rights
REFB E 185.61 .E54 2003
 
The Hispanic American Almanac
REFB E 184 .S75 H557 2003
 
The Italian American Experience
REFB E 184 .I8 I673 2000
 
The Mexican American Experience: An Encyclopedia
REFB E 184 .M5 M4535 2003
 
Multiculturalism in the United States: A Comparative Guide to Acculturation & Ethnicity
REFB E 184 .A1 M85 2005
 
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States
REFB E 184 .S75 O97 2005
 
Race and Ethnic Diversity: Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, & Whites
REFB E 184 .A1 R78 2000
 
United States History:  A Multicultural, Interdisciplinary Guide to Information Sources
REFB E 178 .B57 2003

War and Military History

African Americans at War: An Encyclopedia
REFB U 52 .S88 2004
 
The Age of Wars of Religion, 1000-1650: An Encyclopedia of Global Warfare & Civilization
REFB D 114 .N66 2006
 
American Military Leaders: From Colonial Times to the Present
REFB E 181 .F84 1999
 
Americans at War:  Society, Culture, and the Homefront
REFB E 181 .A453 2005
 
Besieged: An Encyclopedia of Great Sieges from Ancient Times to the Present
REFB D 25.5 .D32 2001
 
Civil War America, 1850 to 1875
REFB E 468 .S45 2006
 
The Cold War, 1945-1991
REFB D 839.5 .C65 1992
 
Colonial Wars of North America, 1512-1763
REFB 46.5 .C65 1996
 
Conflict in Afghanistan: A Historical Encyclopedia
REFB DS 351 .C4 2003
 
The Crusades: An Encyclopedia
REFB D 155 .C78 2006
 
An Encyclopedia of American Women at War
REFB UB 418 .W65 E53 2013
 
Encyclopedia of American Military History
REFB E 181 .E63 2003
 
Encyclopedia of Battles in North America, 1517 to 1916
REFB E 46.5 .P87 2000
 
Encyclopedia of Conflicts since World War II
REFB D 843 .C568 2007
 
Encyclopedia of Invasions and Conquests from Ancient Times to the Present
REFB D 25 .A2 D38 1996
 
Encyclopedia of Native American Wars and Warfare
REFB E 81 .E98 2005
 
Encyclopedia of Prisoners of War and Internment
REFB UB 800 .E53 2000
 
Encyclopedia of Religion and War
REFB BL 80.3 .E53 2004
 
Encyclopedia of the American Armed Forces
REFB UA 23 .A875 2005
 
Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History
REFB E 468 .E53 2000
 
Encyclopedia of the American Revolution
REFB E 208 .B68 2006
 
The Encyclopedia of the American Revolutionary War
REFB E 208 .E64 2006
 
The Encyclopedia of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars
REFB DC 220 .E53 2006
 
Encyclopedia of the Korean War: A Political, Social, and Military History
REFB DS 918 .E53 2000
 
Encyclopedia of the Persian Gulf War
REFB UF 500 .G8 1995
 
Encyclopedia of the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars
REFB E 715 .K27 2001
 
Encyclopedia of the Veteran in America
REFB UB 357 .E53 2009
 
Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War
REFB DS 557.7 .E53 1998
 
The Encyclopedia of the War of 1812
REFB E 354 .E53 2012
 
Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses
REFB DA 250 250 .W34 2001
 
Encyclopedia of United States National Security
REFB UA 23 .E57124 2006
 
Encyclopedia of War and American Society
REFB E 181 .E634 2006
 
Encyclopedia of Warrior Peoples and Fighting Groups
REFB D 25.9 .D38 1998
 
Encyclopedia of Wars
REFB D 25 .A2 P49 2004
 
The Encyclopedia of World War I
REFB D 510 .E53 2005
 
The Encyclopedia of World War II
REFB D 740 .E516 2005
 
Encyclopedia of Youth and War: Young People As Participants and Victims
REFB HQ 784 .W3 S54 2000
 
Every Day of the Civil War: A Chronological Encyclopedia
REFB E 468.3 .H35 2010
 
A Global Chronology of Conflict
REFB D 25 .A2 G57 2020
 
The Greenwood Library of American War Reporting
REFB D 25 .G84 2005
 
Harbottle's Dictionary of Battles
REFB D 25 .A2 H2 1981
 
History Behind the Headlines: The Origins of Conflicts Worldwide
REFB D 410 .O44 2001
 
The Home Front Encyclopedia: United States, Britain, and Canada in World Wars I & II
REFB D 570 .H54 2000
 
International Encyclopedia of Military History
REFB D 25 .A2 I58 2006
 
Magill's Guide to Military History
REFB D 25 .A2 M34 2001
 
Naval Warfare: An International Encyclopedia
REFB V 23 .N32 2002
 
Official Military Historical Offices and Sources
REFB D 25.5 .O34 2000
 
Reader's Guide to Military History
REFB D 25 .R42 2001
 
Reference Guide to United States Military History, 1815-1865
REFB E 181 .R34 1991
 
Revolutionary Movements in World History
REFB D 295 .R49 2006
 
The Victorians at War, 1815-1914: An Encyclopedia of British Military History
REFB DA 68 .R38 2004
 
War and American Popular Culture
REFB E 181 .W26 1989
 
Wars of the Americas
REFB E 18.75 .M374 2008
 
Weapons and Warfare
REFB UF 500 .W48 2010
(Online access available through Salem History)
 
Women and War: A Historical Encyclopedia from Antiquity to the Present
REFB U 24 .W69 2006

Women

An online index to millions of biographical sketches in hundreds of reference books and other sources. To use the index, 1) Look up your name. 2) Note the various titles that contain information on the person. 3) Use the Libraries' online catalog to locate the reference works. An excellent place to begin biographical research on living and deceased persons from around the world.

Black Women in America
REFB E 185.86 .B542 2005

An Encyclopedia of American Women at War
REFB  UB 418 .W65 E53 2013

Encyclopedia of Women in American History
REFB HQ 1410 .E53 2001

Encyclopedia of Women in the American West
REFB HQ 1438 .W45 E53 2003

Encyclopedia of Women Social Reformers
REFB HQ 1236 .R29 2001

The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Women's Issues Worldwide
REFB HQ 1154 .G74 2003

A History of Women in the United States
REFB HQ 1410 .H58 2004

Index to Women of the World, From Ancient to Modern Times
REFB HQ 1123 .I7x 1970 (see also its supplement, REFB HQ 1123 .I72x 1988)

Subject Guide to Women of the World
REFB HQ 1123 .I73x 1996

Women and Gender in Medieval Europe: An Encyclopedia
REFB HQ 1147 .E85 W66 2006

Women and War: A Historical Encyclopedia from Antiquity to the Present,
REFB U 24 .W69 2006

Women in the Middle Ages: An Encyclopedia
REFB HQ 1143 .W643 2004

Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia
REFB HQ 1115 .W6 1999

Women Rulers Throughout the Ages
REFB D 107 .J32 1999

The Women's Movement Today: An Encyclopedia of Third-Wave Feminism
REFB HQ 1115 .W644 2006

Historians

An online index to millions of biographical sketches in hundreds of reference books and other sources. To use the index, 1) Look up your name. 2) Note the various titles that contain information on the person. 3) Use the Libraries' online catalog to locate the reference works. An excellent place to begin biographical research on living and deceased persons from around the world.
 
The Blackwell Dictionary of Historians
REFB D 14 .B58 1988
 
Dictionary of Literary Biography (also online in Literature Resources from Gale)
REFB PN 501 .D5x
Volume 17, Twentieth-Century American Historians
Volume 47, American Historians, 1866-1912
Volume 30, American Historians, 1607-1865
 
Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing
REFB D 14 .E58 1999x
 
Great Historians of the Modern Age: An International Dictionary
REFB D 14 .G75 1991

Material and Popular Culture

American Decades (organized by decades; each volume cataloged separately, but see REFB E 169.12)

American Decades: Primary Sources (organized by decades; each volume cataloged separately, but see REFB E 169.12)

American Icons: An Encyclopedia of the People, Places, and Things That Have Shaped Our Culture
REFB E 169.1 .A47215 2006

American Pop: Popular Culture Decade by Decade
REFB E 169.1 .A4475 2009

Bowling, Beatniks, and Bell-Bottoms: Pop Culture of 20th- Century America (organized by decades)
REFB 169.1 .B7825 2002

The Dictionary of Art
REFB N 31.D5 1996

Encyclopedia of American History (volumes organized chronologically)
REFB E 174 .E53 2010
 
Encyclopedia of Technology and Applied Sciences
REFB T 48 .E52 2000
 
The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures (each volume covers a region of the U.S. , with chapters on Architecture, Art, Ethnicity, Folklore, etc.)
REFB E 169.1 ,G718 2004
 
The Greenwood Guide to American Popular Culture
REFB E 169.1 .G7555 2002
 
Icons of Invention: The Makers of the Modern World from Gutenberg to Gates
REFB T .39 K56 2009
 
Inventions and Inventors
REFB T 20 .I59 2002
 
Material and Popular Culture: Understanding Everyday Life
REFB GN 560 .U6 M37 2008
 
This Fabulous Century (volumes organized chronologically)
REFB E 161 .T55
 
The Twenties in America, The Thirties in America, The Forties in America; The Fifties in America; The Sixties in America, The Seventies in America; The Eighties in America; The Nineties in America, The 2000s in America (each title cataloged separately)