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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".
Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century by
Call Number: UC Merced eBook
Publication Date: 2000-12-13
While other resources focus on different aspects of the 19th century, such as the Civil War or immigration, this is the first truly comprehensive treatment to cover all aspects of 19th-century history including: population, politics and government, economy and work, society and culture, religion, social problems and reform, everyday life and foreign policy. This set includes more than 600 A-to-Z articles illustrated with more than 400 illustrations and maps, an exhaustive year-by-year chronology, original documents, tables and a complete index. Articles such as Exploration and Explorers, Slavery, Party Organization, Women's Rights, Education and more fulfill curriculum requirements of the National Standards for U.S. History.
Background Information Databases
Provides access to a collection of reference books including encyclopedias, dictionaries, measurement conversions and more.
Oxford Reference Online
Search over 250 dictionaries and reference titles covering the complete subject spectrum: from General Reference and Language to Science and Medicine, and from Humanities and Social Sciences to Business and Professional.
GOTS Credo Reference Tutorial
When you open the tutorial, follow the instructions on the left hand of the screen and, as directed, complete activities in the main screen (right). You don't have to email the quiz results to yourself or your professor.
Credo Reference Tutorial >> http://gots.ucmercedlibrary.info/tutorial/credo-reference