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Reference for History



This is a brief guide to material at BC providing reference (dictionaries, encyclopedia, biographies, bibliographies, indices, and more) on historical topics.

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 More Scholarly Sources

Find Background Information

Use the following resources to find reliable background information and confirm dates/names and more. Wikipedia is written by a broad public and has 1 in 10 facts wrong. Here, entries are written by experts in their respective fields.

Biographical Information


Individual Titles

Handbooks and Companions

For additional help

For additional recommendations, contact your subject liaison (Dr. Bee Lehman) at or schedule an appointment with them.