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How to Find Reference Books: Home

Get Help: Ask a Librarian

Andersen Library Reference Desk

Phone: (262) 472-1032

Call or visit during Reference Desk Hours

Make an Appointment with any Librarian

Get help via email

Get help 24/7 with Ask a Librarian Chat*

*UW-W librarians chat Mondays 1-2 pm & 4-5 pm during the summer

Background Sources

Reference books can be a valuable source of background information on many research topics. The Library has thousands of specialized encyclopedias, dictionaries, almanacs, handbooks, and many other types of reference works. These books often include bibliographies of additional research resources on topics of interest, so they can be a good starting point for your research. And of course, the Library has all the general reference sources like Encyclopedia Britannica (print and online).

General Resources

If you are ready to jump right in, here are the main places to start:

  • Research@UWW - Find "Everything" (articles, books, & more)
    This discovery tool searches multiple resources simultaneously (articles from many disciplines, books, ebooks, videos, digital resources, government documents, etc.), or you can change from searching "Everything" to only "Articles" or just our local resources (not articles), i.e., UWW's books, media, government documents, and more.
  • A-Z Databases List
    Online research databases available through the Library. Search these resources to find articles and other information on your topic, primarily in journals, magazines, and newspapers. Databases are available via the alphabetical listing, or sorted by broad subject area using the drop-down menus at the top.
  • Google Scholar
    Google Scholar can help you find both books and articles, but if you use Google Scholar from off campus, configure the settings to use Andersen Library's full text subscription access.
  • Journals
    Use this search to find out whether the Library owns a particular journal, magazine, or newspaper, as well as the dates and formats available. Search by periodical title, as opposed to article title.
  • Reference Universe
    Find entries in reference books (encyclopedias, handbooks, etc.), whether online or in print. Helpful for understanding unfamiliar terminology!

Reference & Instruction Librarian

Carol Elsen's picture
Carol Elsen
Contact:
L2015B
262.472.5751