Reference tools provide background information for any topic. They include subject and biographical dictionaries and encyclopedias, almanacs, chronologies, directories and atlases. Many are now available online. However, other sources like historical atlases and chronologies are only available in print.
- Blackwell reference online
- CQ Press Electronic Library
- CQ Press Electronic Library (CQEL) is the definitive reference resource for research in American government, politics, history, public policy, and current affairs. The suite includes the online version of the CQ Researcher, CQ Weekely, and the CQ Political Reference Suite.
- Encyclopaedia Britannica online
- Oxford reference online Premium
- 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 highly suspect when it comes to "how and why" questions especially those concerning intense conflicts. 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). Browsing the reference collection using the examples listed below as starting points can be very effective.
- The Statesman's Yearbook. JA51 .ST29
- [CIA] World Fact Book. Documents Center, SuDoc (Lower Level Hesburgh) - PREX 3.15
STATISTICS and DATA
- Proquest Statistical Datasets (data sets & graphs)
- Proquest Statistical (stats, charts & tables)
- Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) (data sets)
- United Nations Statistics Division (demongraphic stats)
- UNESCO Institute for Statistics (cultural stats)
- International Financial Statistics Online Service (IMF financial stats)
- World Development Indicators (economic stats)
- Infonation Advanced (stats and graphs)
- OECD iLibrary (economic stats)
- Finding data & statistics (Subject Guide)