Start your research by using the Histories, Encyclopedias and Dictionaries available in the reference room. The General Humanities and Social Sciences Reference Room is located on the 1st fl. or Bobst. If you are just getting starting on a topic these tools will acquaint you with the terms and ideas in your topic. Many of these are available online. Histories are a chronological record of events, as of the life or development of a people or institution, often including an explanation of or commentary on those events. Encyclopedias are a comprehensive reference works containing articles on a wide range of subjects or on numerous aspects of a particular field, usually arranged alphabetically. Dictionaries are a reference books containing an alphabetical list of words, with information given for each word, usually including meaning, pronunciation, and etymology.
A bibliography is a list of writings that share a common factor: this may be a topic, a language, a period, or some other theme. The list may be comprehensive or selective. One particular instance of this is the list of sources used or considered in preparing a work, sometimes called a reference list. A bibliography may be arranged by author, topic, or some other scheme. Annotated bibliographies give descriptions about how each source is useful to an author in constructing a paper or argument. These descriptions, usually a few sentences long, provide a summary of the source and describe its relevance. Reference management software, such as http://www.refworks.com/, may be used to keep track of references and generate bibliographies as required. Indexes are an alphabetical list of names or subjects dealt with in a book, indicating where they are referred to a file or catalogue in a library which enables a book or reference to be found. You will find a number of Indexes in the Finding Articles & Databases tab of this guide, however the ones listed here are only available in print.