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What's a tertiary source?
Tertiary sources are excellent starting points! They consist of information synthesized from primary and secondary sources. Examples include:
- Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
- Fact books
- Indexes, abstracts, bibliographies used to locate primary and secondary sources
These resources give you succinct overviews of your topic, explain scholarly arguments, point out interesting questions, and refer you to especially key sources.
Liaison Librarian Information
Recommended Starting Points
Subject Encyclopedias are scholarly works written by experts on a variety of topics. The articles are typically longer and more detailed than general encyclopedias. The background information provides a good starting point as you begin the research process. Here are some of the ways a subject encyclopedia can help guide you:
- Understand the scope of the topic
- Suggest ideas for narrowing the topic
- Identify key concepts, terms, dates,and names
- List subject areas related to the topic
- Recommend sources for further exploration
Music Subject Encyclopedias & Reference Sources
Oxford Music Online
Provides articles on composers, performers, conductors, instruments and notation, forms and genres, and individual works.
Access limited to 3 simultaneous users.
This collection includes The Grove Book of Opera Singers, A Dictionary of Opera Characters, The Grove Book of Operas, The Oxford Companion to Music, The Oxford Companion to the American Musical, and The Oxford Encyclopaedia of the Music of India.