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FYSEM 110PS: Self-Portraiture

Why background information?

Encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference resources help you to discover basic information—names, dates, definitions, summaries, etc. These are good places to start when beginning research on an unfamiliar subject, and when choosing or narrowing a paper topic.

General reference

Find basic information on all topics.

Authors

Biographical reference works

Interviews and profiles

For more recent individuals who are less famous or have yet to make it into reference works or other books, newspapers and magazines are a possible source of information. Some news databases even allow you to limit your search to interviews and biographical information.

Countries

Literary Terms and Concepts

How to find more reference works

There are a couple of ways to find more reference works in the library collection:

  • Do an Advanced search in the Five College Library Catalog on terms that describe your topic (e.g., comics or graphic novels) and the terms encyclopedia or dictionary or handbook or companion.
  • In the Five College Catalog, restrict your search to just Mount Holyoke, click into the Advanced search form, enter the terms for your topic (e.g., history science) and use the Location drop down menu to select MH Reference:
Springshare's information on Accessibility in Libguides - - MHC Accessibility Barriers Form