Skip to Main Content
Research Guides

Background Sources

Encyclopedias and dictionaries can provide background information and can be used to identify key people, events and dates which can then be used as search terms for finding additional information. Many also provide a jumpstart on your research by listing related readings.Two collections of online encyclopedias:


The following encyclopedias are just a selection of the many that we have in the Libraries.  Those withthe   icon are available online, those without are printed encyclopedias available in the Reference collection on the first floor of Suzzallo Library or the reference collection on the second floor of Odegaard Library.

Media Information & Directories

The following publications and directories are just a selection of resources that provide background info about the media.  Those withthe  icon are available online through the UW Libraries.