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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.

Example

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

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

GOTS graphic