Background sources (e.g., reference databases, encyclopedias) provide overviews of topics. They can help you:
The library has general encyclopedias and reference databases (like those listed in the next section), as well as more subject-specific encyclopedias and reference sources. In many cases, if a person has a fairly specific topic, a more subject-specific encyclopedia may be more helpful (though often it’s worth looking at both more general and more subject- specific encyclopedias).
Use the Library Search (available from the Campbell Library homepage). Experiment with different keywords.
From the Library Search results page you can refine your results. For example:
For general encyclopedias reference databases, the Library has Britannica Academic and Credo Reference. These are available through links at the top of this page, as well as from the Library A-Z Databases List. These library databases on are accessible to RU students, faculty, and staff.
Use a timeline to get a perspective on your topic.