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About Background Information

Finding background information at the beginning of your research will help you find pertinent scholarly sources and write a more convincing argument.  Background information in reference books or databases can provide:

  • Introduction to key issues
  • Major dates and events
  • Quick definitions or descriptions
  • Keywords and subject-specific vocabulary terms that can be used for database searches
  • Bibliographies that lead to additional resources.

Reference Sources


e-Reference Books

Print Reference

e-Reference Databases

These databases below allow you to search across entries from hundreds of scholarly encyclopedias, dictionaries, and handbooks at once.

For Ancient Art

These 2 e-Reference databases and 1 print book are recommended for getting a quick orientation to topics related to ancient art.