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Encyclopedias & Dictionaries: Finding Individual Encyclopedas Or Dictionaries

How to find encyclopedias or dictionaries on specialized subjects

Why Look for Specialized Reference Books?

Specialized encyclopedias can be an excellent source for an bulltetintroduction to a subject.  They can also help you bulletfocus your interest to a topic within a larger subject area.  For example, instead of trying to write about a large subject like "posttraumatic stress disorder" you might browse in the Encyclopedia of Trauma and Traumatic Stress Disorders and decide to focus your interest on the use of  "imagery rehearsal therapy" in treating PTSD.

Specialized encyclopedias are bulleta great source for key terms you can use to search for further information on your topic.  Key terms can include names of people associated with a subject, specialized terminology used to describe concepts in that subject, names of organizations, and so forth.

Specialized dictionaries can help you bulletinterpret scholarly books and articles. Scholarly literature usually includes a lot of specialized terminology.

Finding Specialized Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

  1. Use the search space in the Search for Books box on this page.
  2. Type a word that describes your subject with "dictionar*" or "encycloped*."
           art AND dictionar*
    The asterisk (*) is a truncation character that tells the computer to find any word that begins with "dictionar" or "encycloped." That is: dictionary, dictionaries; encyclopedia, encyclopedias, encyclopedic.
  3. In the list of results, the location of a physical book, including the call number, follows Available at. The book will probably be in the Reference section, shelved according to the call number.
  4. In the list of results, an electronic book will be distinguished by Online access. Click the View tab to see a link to the book.

If the library does not have a subject dictionary or encyclopedia on the specialized subject, try a slightly broader search. For example, if your topic is emeralds, you will find that Chemeketa has encyclopedias of gemstones, but no dictionaries of gemstones. You might try a keyword search for "mineral* dictionar*" to help you find a pertinent dictionary.

Search for Books

Use this search box to find library materials on your subject.

Note on the Library Search

If you use the library search with a scope that includes articles in the results (such as the default search), articles in reference books appear in the results.  They are identifiable by the resource type Reference entry printed under the icon to one side of the result list item:

Picture of open book icon with words reference entry beneathThe View links for most reference entries connect to the database at the book level. You will then need to repeat the search within the book to find the reference article.

Getting Reference Help

 

 

 

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