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History and Political Science Research Guide: Reference Sources

A research guide to access hard-copy and online resources. "We are all inseparable from our times. If you don't know history, it is as if you were born yesterday." Howard Zinn, Historian

Why Start With Reference Books?

Reference sources noted in the box to the left provide background information, an overview of a topic, specialized vocabulary and terminology, and critical concepts.  They're often a great starting point.  The Library has reference materials both online and in print. 

Credo Reference Database

Credo Reference database contains more than 600 dictionaries and encyclopedias, along with thousands of topic pages, mind-maps, images, audio files and videos to help you start research projects. This is a good place to look for background information on your broader topic.

CQ Research Database

CQ Researcher (Congressional Quarterly) is both a database and a periodical published 44 times a year that provides in-depth, non-biased coverage of political and social issues. There are regular reports on topics in health, international affairs, education, the environment, technology and the U.S. economy. It is a good resource to explore a topic in the early stages of research.

Reference Books

The following titles are representative of sources found in the Reference Area.  More history books are in the 900-999 call number range on the 3rd Floor of Ryan Library. Books on political science are in the 320-329 call number range on the 2nd Floor.