Reference tools provide background information, the who, what, where and when -- and a bit of the how and why -- for any topic. They include subject and biographical dictionaries and encyclopedias, almanacs, chronologies, directories and atlases. Many, especially dictionaries and encyclopedias, are now available online. Many others, especially historical atlases and chronologies are still only available in print.
- Encyclopaedia Britannica online
- Oxford international encyclopedia of peace
- CQ global researcher
- Europa world year book online
- Wikipedia can be a great quick help in identifying the "who, what, when and where" of any given issue -- subject to later verification. Librarians use it all the time. However, it can be very suspect when it comes to "how and why" questions especially those involving conflict situations. Use it but use it with caution!
Selected examples of print reference sources. All titles are located in the General Reference Collection (1st floor, Hesburgh Library).
- Encyclopedia of the stateless nations: ethnic and national groups around the world. D 860 .M56 2002
- Conflict in Northern Ireland: an encyclopedia. DA 990 .U46 E44 1999
- Encyclopedia of conflict resolution. HM 136 .B783 1997
- Encyclopaedia of war, peace and global security. JZ 5588 .E53 2005
- Religion and violence: an encyclopedia of faith and conflict. BL 65 .V55 R45555 2011
- Global directory of peace studies and conflict resolution programs. JZ 5534 .G58
- SIPRI yearbook: world armaments and disarmament. UA 10 .I55
Examples of specialized atlases available in the Hesburgh Library Reference Collection.
- Historical dictionary of the Arab-Israeli conflict. DS 119.7 .K85 2006
- The state of the Middle East: an atlas of conflict and resolution. G 2205 .S6 2008
- Global geopolitical flashpoints: an atlas of conflict. JC 319 .A52 2000
- A to Z maps online (political, physical, outline & others)
- United Nations Cartographic Section (all regions but not all countries)
- Google Earth (no printing)