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History Portal


Reference Shelf

Scholarly resources in all areas of historical research at Boston College.

General Reference

Reference materials are the texts designed to provide definitions (e.g., dictionaries), suggest additional scholarly material (e.g., bibliographies), and give background information about people, events, concepts, and more (e.g., encyclopedia and handbooks). 

This is a page with access points for BC's e-reference materials, with an emphasis on broad access points. For area specific (e.g., Irish) reference material, select the relevant sub-page or check the reference list under the relevant page of the History Research Guide.

Find Definitions


Find Background Information

Use the following resources written by experts in their respective fields to find reliable background information, confirm dates/names, and more. 

Find More Scholarly Sources

Biographical Information


Individual Titles

Handbooks and Companions

For Additional Help

For additional recommendations, contact your History Liaison, Erin, at or schedule an appointment.