Reference books, either in print or online, are excellent support sources for research. They can be specialized dictionaries or encyclopedias, atlases or compilations of statistics, bibliographies or guides to archival resources.
* Dictionaries--Often interpretations of passages in primary documents revolve around the definition of a word or phrase within its historic context. What was the "Young America Movement" in the antebellum United States? What was a "dustoff" in the Vietnam War?
* Encyclopedias--Specialized history encyclopedias offer relatively short articles on persons, organizations, places, and concepts, usually ending with a short bibliography of additional sources. They are excellent starting points, providing summaries of topics along with ideas for possible areas for more detailed research. They, along with subject dictionaries, are also utilized for clarifying concepts and identifying persons mentioned in passing.
While dictionaries and subject encyclopedias seldom show up in bibliographies of academic papers unless quoted directly, they can still be useful in building the foundation of meaningful research.
All reference books are held in the Robert R. Muntz Library on the 2nd (main) floor, in the long row of bookshelves behind the Reference Desk. Most history books fall into the C, D, E, and F call number areas, but they may be found throughout the collection. All books are in the online catalog.
Here is a representative selection of useful history reference books:
Encyclopedia of the Renaissance. Ref. CB361 .E52 1999.
Historians and Historical Writing. Ref. D14 .E53 1999.
A Global Encyclopedia of Historical Writing. Ref. D13 .G47 1998.
Encyclopedia of the Holocaust. Ref. D804.3 .E53 1990.
Women and Gender in Medieval Europe: An Encyclopedia. Ref. HQ1147.E85 W66 2006.
UT Tyler students and faculty also have access to a number of reference books online through our subscriptions to Gale Virtual Reference Library.
Gale Virtual Reference Library offers approximately 160 recently published reference books, including 139 in history, most of which we have available in no other format. A list of the history reference books appears in the first link below, followed by a few examples: