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History (General)

Research guide for History

Why would I want to use reference books?

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.

Reference Books in the Muntz Library

All reference books are held in the Robert R. Muntz Library on the 2nd (main) floor. Most history books fall into the C, D, E, and F call number areas, but they may be found throughout the collection. You may also look up reference books online.

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.
  • Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States  Ref. E184.S75 O97 2005.
  • Statistical Record of Black America  Ref. E185.5 .S7 1990.
  • Historical Statistics of the United States  Ref. HA202 .H57 2006.
  • Encyclopedia of American Social History  Ref. HN57 .E58 1993.
  • Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History in America  Ref. HQ76.3 .U5 E53 2004.
  • Women and Gender in Medieval Europe: An Encyclopedia  Ref. HQ1147.E85 W66 2006.
  • Historical Atlas of American Crime  Ref. HV6779 .R67 2005.
  • Guide to the History of Texas  Ref. Z1339 .G84 1988.

Handbook of Texas Online

"A multidisciplinary encyclopedia of Texas history, geography, and culture. It comprises more than 23,000 articles on people, places, events, historical themes, institutions, and a host of other topic categories. The scope is broad and inclusive, designed to provide readers with concise, authoritative, and accessible articles that provide factual, nonpartisan accounts on virtually every aspect of Texas history and culture."  Most entries are signed and include short bibliographies.  Absolutely essential for anyone researching Texas or Texans.

Online Reference Books--Gale Virtual Reference Library

UT Tyler students and faculty also have access to a number of reference books online, whether through our subscriptions to Gale Virtual Reference Library.

Gale Virtual Reference Library offers approximately 150+ 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: