When taking an interdisciplinary approach to a topic, you may face the challenge of needing to familiarize yourself with a field of study that's new to you. A quick way to orient yourself is to consult reference works in that field. These can provide a helpful overview, information about key concepts and figures, and even bibliographies for further reading. If your background is mainly in English, the reference sources in the Music box below will help you familiarize yourself with topics in music. However, if your background is in music, see the Literature box for reference sources that can help you get up to speed on the study of literature.
Below are a selected few reference works on literature. See the English Research Guide's Background Info page for even more.
Sometimes basic background information can provide you with better context for a novel you're reading. For example, a brief history of the country in which it's set or a particular people or culture that it covers. General reference works can help.
There are a couple of ways to find more reference works in the library collection: