Reference Sources will give you an overview of your topic. You should not be spending a lot of your research time with reference sources, but you should always begin the research process with them. An overview will help determine the boundaries of your topic, find subtopics, and consider which of these are most interesting to you or relevant to your assignment. As you read short reference articles, you should be looking to answer the who, what, when and where of your topic. Your reading and note-taking on reference materials will also provide you with alternate terminology that will be highly useful as you craft keyword searches to find secondary and primary sources.
Never hesitate to ask a librarian for help. We know where to find resources in our library, or beyond, if necessary. Save yourself time - we are here for you!
Below is a list of selected print reference sources available in the Garver Room (a.k.a. Silent Study). Type your specific topic (for example: "viking age") into the Reference Universe tool to find even more reference material in Garver, along with index entry pages and call numbers to locate the reference book.