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Why Reference Sources?
As you are starting to explore a new research topic, reference sources are a good way to gain background information on your topic. High quality, academic, multivolume sets, will often give you the beginnings of scholarly research on a subject by providing a short bibliography of important works on the subject.
Even with advanced subject knowledge of an area, you will run across unfamiliar people, places and events. Library reference sources will allow you to quickly fill in those gaps and improve your contextual knowledge with more reliability than a Wikipedia article.
Encyclopedia of Emancipation and Abolition by
This unique A-Z encyclopedia examines every effort to end slavery in the United States and the transatlantic world. It focuses on massive, broad-based movements, as well as specific incidents, events, and developments, and pulls together in one place information previously available only in a wide variety of sources. While it centers on th United States, the set also includes authoritative accounts of emancipation and abolition in Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America.
It features primary source documents, a map of the transatlantic slave trade, illustrations, cross-references, a comprehensive chronology and bibliography, and covers a wide range of individuals and the major themes and ideas that motivated them to confront and abolish slavery.
Encyclopedia of the United States in the nineteenth century by
Call Number: VW Reference 1st Floor E169.1 .E626 2001
While other resources focus on different aspects of this century, such as the Civil War or immigration, this is the first truly comprehensive treatment to cover all aspects of 19th century history: population, politics and government, economy and work, society and culture, religion, social problems and reform, everyday life, and foreign policy are explored in many A-to-Z articles. Complete with more than 400 illustrations and maps, this set includes an exhaustive year-by-year chronology, original documents, and tables