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.
Getting Started With Subject Encyclopedias
Subject encyclopedias, handbooks and overviews are scholarly, tertiary works written by experts on a variety of topics. The articles are typically longer and more detailed than those found in general encyclopedias. The background information provides a good starting point as you begin the research process. These resources can help you with:
- Understanding the scope of a topic
- Suggesting ideas for narrowing a topic
- Identifying key concepts, terms, dates and names
- Listing subject areas related to a topic
- Recommending sources for further exploration
In Collins Library, the print reference collection is located on the first floor, and most of the online reference collection is available in one of the databases listed below. Use Collins Library Primo Search to identify subject encyclopedias in either format; or ask a librarian for recommendations.
Literature Resource Center
Full-text database of bio-critical essays on authors, along with representative examples of book reviews (both popular and scholarly) and literary criticism.
Poetry & Short Story Reference Center
A collection of full-text poetry, short stories, and supplemental content, as well as biographies and authoritative essays on such topics as poetic forms, movements and techniques.
Provides full text access to over 100 encyclopedias, with strengths in the arts, humanities, and medicine.
Provides full text access to hundreds of Oxford reference titles, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks.
Featured Tertiary Sources
A sampling of potentially relevant books is listed below.
The New Oxford Companion to Literature in French by
Call Number: PQ41 .N48 1995 Reference
Publication Date: 1995
Click on the title above for online access. Surveys literature in French from all over the world, identifying writers from many countries, intellectual and cultural movements, and literary and theatrical genres.
The Cambridge History of French Literature by
Call Number: PQ103 .C26 2011 Print Books
This History covers French literature from its beginnings to the present day. With equal attention to all genres, historical periods and registers, this is the most comprehensive guide to literature written in French ever produced in English, and the first in decades to offer such an array of topics and perspectives.
The Cambridge Companion to French Literature by
Call Number: PQ103 .L95 2016 Print Books
In this authoritative and accessible account of French literature, sixteen essays by leading specialists offer provocative insights into French literary culture, its genres, movements, themes, and historic turning points, including the cultural and linguistic challenges of today's multi-ethnic France.
The Cambridge Introduction to Francophone Literature by
Call Number: PQ3809 .C67 2007 Print Books
Publication Date: 2007
This book provides an introduction to the literatures that have emerged in the French-speaking countries and regions of the world in recent decades, illustrating their astonishing breadth and diversity, and exploring their constant state of tension with the literature of France.
A History of Modern French Literature by
Call Number: PQ103 .H57 2017 Print Books
Publication Date: 2017
An accessible and authoritative new history of French literature from the Renaissance through the twentieth century.