Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

ENGL 01A Truesdale: Reference Databases & Reference Books

College Composition and Reading

Reference Books

  • While some of the reference books below are eBooks, some are only available in print
  • Print reference books don't leave the library
  • To access reference eBooks, use your Portal sign in information
  • Some eBooks only allow one user at a time, and some allow for multiple users at a time

Reference Databases

You will need to run searches for specific concepts, events, and people. Consider that your searches should resemble searches you would do in a resource like Wikipedia.The results from these databases are from electronic encyclopedias and other types of reference books.

PopCulture Universe also allows you to browse by time period.

Research Tips

  • Use an encyclopedia's index to learn if the subject you're interested in is covered in the source.
  • Located at the back of a book, the index is an alphabetical list of the specific subjects covered in the book, along with the corresponding page numbers. Browsing an index is a great way to identify exactly where relevant information is located in a book.
  • Electronic encyclopedias often have a searchable index.
  • Some encyclopedia entries have individual authors, and some don't. If there is an author, you can usually find a name either at the beginning or very end of an entry. Encyclopedias are usually compiled into a book or several volumes by an editor or editors. This impacts the way you cite an encyclopedia entry.

Index Example

Screenshot of a book index