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History 100 (Malloy): Background Information

The Historian's Craft

Background Information

Reference sources, like dictionaries, encyclopedias, and almanacs, provide you with background information on a topic.

Wikipedia, for example, is a reference source. The World Book Encyclopedia you may have used when you were young is also a reference source. However,  there are also specialized encyclopedias that focus on particular subjects or disciplines.


Using my more narrow research question, I'm curious if there are any encyclopedia articles that can give me an overview of African-Americans who were in the military during the Civil War.

I ran the search "African Americans" AND "Civil War" AND "military" in Credo, and I found an article called "African Americans" from the Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century. In the article, there is a subheading for military service, "Blacks in the Military".

Background Information Databases

LibWizard Credo Reference Tutorial

Credo Reference Tutorial

Using Credo Reference Tutorial


1. Connect to the campus network via the VPN if you are off-campus.  You will need this connection to access one or more library databases while taking the tutorial.

2. Take the short quiz at the end of the tutorial.  Enter your email address AND your professor's email address. Afterwards locate the email confirmation. These emails often go to your SPAM folder, so be sure to check there.  It is often easiest to search in your email account for the phrase "Certificate of completion" to find your email confirmation.

3. You are ready! Click on the link below to start the tutorial. Follow the instructions on the left hand of the screen and, as directed, complete activities in the main screen (right).

Credo Reference Tutorial >>