Getting Started: encyclopedias and dictionaries that provide background information. Pay attention to the "works cited" or "references". TIP: Searching for a specific person is often a good way to get great results.
Professionally developed subject encyclopedia collection. Similar to Wikipedia yet with articles written by known subject experts.
Credo Reference is a multidisciplinary collection of subject encyclopedias and dictionaries. Developed with beginning researchers in mind, it includes resources to help develop search terms, as well as bibliographies that directly link to the library catalog. A strength is the robust quality of the articles written, while a weakness is that it is missing obscure topics. Subscription.
Broad selection of books for reliable, brief entries on many subjects.
Oxford Reference is a collection of electronic encyclopedias and dictionaries published by Oxford University Press. Its strength comes from Oxford University Press reputation, but many of the results are very short entries. Subscription.