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Getting Started with Subject Encyclopedias
Subject encyclopedias, handbooks and overviews are scholarly, tertiary works written by experts on a variety of topics. An hour spent with one or more subject encyclopedias early on in the research process will save you hours of wasted time! Articles in subject encyclopedias are written by scholars who have deep specialization in the topic and the articles themselves go through a stringent editing process. Here's what subject encyclopedias provide:
- a broad overview of a topic that is more in-depth than in general encyclopedias
- Discussion of how scholars have approached, explored, and debated the topic over time (historiography)
- words, phrases, names, dates, and events that can be used as keywords when searching a database
- bibliographies in articles to find other sources (both primary and secondary)
- cross-references to find related topics
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 database collections listed below. Use Primo to identify subject encyclopedias in either format; or ask a librarian for recommendations.
The Cambridge Histories series is an indispensable reference collection with over 300 titles spanning 15 subject areas. Each (often multi-volume) history provides a big-picture perspective of its subject, introduces readers to existing scholarship, and proposes new trends in the field.
Featured Subject Encyclopedias
Start with these subject encyclopedias and branch out as needed.
The Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes by
Call Number: E77 .G15 1998 Reference
Publication Date: 1998
Providing essays on the history, culture and current status of approximately 400 Native American groups, this work is divided into four geographic volumes. An overview essay introduces each of the ten regions covered, giving a geographic perspective on the tribes covered, as well as insights on cultural and tribal communalities. Individual tribal entries follow alphabetically.
A Native American Encyclopedia: history, culture, and peoples by
Call Number: E76.2 .P75 1998 Reference
Publication Date: 2000
Dispelling myths, answering questions, and stimulating thoughtful avenues for further inquiry, this highly absorbing reference provides a wealth of specific information about over 200 North American Indian groups in Canada and the United States.
Native Americans: an encyclopedia of history, culture, and peoples by
Call Number: E77 .P89 1998 v. 1-2 Reference
Contains essays that provide historical and contemporary data on over two hundred Native American groups in Canada and the United States, listed alphabetically within ten culture groups; and includes illustrations, maps, a bibliography, glossary, and an index.
Handbook of North American Indians by
Call Number: E77 .H25 v. 2-17
A comprehensive, scholarly resource with detailed volumes on themes such as Indians in contemporary society, environment, origins, and population, history of Indian-White relations, and languages, as well as volumes on tribes in specific geographic regions: Arctic, Subarctic, Northwest coast, California, Southwest, Great Basin, Plateau, Plains, Southeast, and Northeast.
Native American Issues by
Call Number: E98.T77 T56 2005 Print Books
Publication Date: 2005
This handbook provides an in-depth assessment of the struggles, successes, and status of Native Americans in what is now the United States from the time of the first European settlers to the present.
Encyclopedia of United States Indian Policy and Law by
Call Number: Click on the title above for online access
Publication Date: 2009
An essential reference on the reciprocal role that U.S. and Native policy and law have played in American political development.
Treaties with American Indians: an encyclopedia of rights, conflicts, and sovereignty by
Call Number: KF8203.6 .T74 2008 Print Books
Publication Date: 2007
A comprehensive introduction to the treaties that promised land, self-government, financial assistance, and cultural protections to many of the over 500 tribes of North America (including Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada). Alphabetically organized entries cover key individuals, events, laws, court cases, and other topics.
Dictionary of American History by
Call Number: Click title above for online access
Features updated and revised entries from previous editions, as well as more than 800 new entries covering recent events and topics not covered previously. This authoritative work serves students, scholars, and general readers interested in a wide range of topics in American history, from the well studied and familiar to the obscure.
Encyclopedia of American Indian Wars by
Call Number: E81 .K44 1997 Reference
An insightful and valuable resource on the major conflicts between American Indian tribes and Euro-American settlers from the arrival of Columbus to the Battle of Wounded Knee.
The Encyclopedia of Native American Religions by
Call Number: E98.R3 H73 1992 Reference
Covers major native North American religious systems, selected native American leaders and missionaries, ceremonies, legislation and court cases affecting native religions.
Online Reference Collections
Provides full text access to several dozen subject encyclopedias, with strengths in the arts, humanities, and medicine.
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.
Provides full text access to hundreds of Oxford reference titles, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks.
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 dozens of Sage reference books, with a strong emphasis on the social sciences.
Primo is a library search tool for finding materials in the Collins Library and Summit libraries. You can search for books, selected articles and more in a single search box.
General Primo Search Tips
- Use the pull-down scoping options to search Collins, Summit and Articles OR Collins and Summit, OR just Collins.
- Use quotes to search for "exact titles".
- Use the filters on the right side to quickly narrow your search.
- Sign in with your Puget Sound username and password to gain access to online resources and request items from other libraries.
Indians of the North Pacific Coast: studies in selected topics by
Call Number: E78.N78 I53 1992 Print Books
Publication Date: 2003
The writings of prominent anthropologists are collected in this volume, to provide a multi-faceted look at the native peoples of the North Pacific Coast, including the Tlingit, the Haida, the Bella Coola and the Salish.
An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States by
Call Number: E76.8 .D86 2014 Print Books
Publication Date: 2015
Acclaimed historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz offers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the US empire.
A full text database comprised of articles from alternative and independent press newspapers, magazines and journals.
Full-text ethnic, minority, and native publications
Search the most recent U.S. news content, featuring newspapers, newswires, blogs, and news sites in active full-text format.
Native American News Outlets:
Indian Country News
Native American news, videos and information from Indigenous communities, First Nations and Aboriginal people through out the world.
Indian Country Today
A daily digital news platform that covers the Indigenous world, including American Indians, Alaska Natives and First Nations.
National Native News
Provides relevant, timely coverage on Native American and Indigenous communities.
Additional Sources for Native American History and Culture:
American Indians of the Pacific Northwest
Digital collection of original photographs and documents about the Northwest Coast and Plateau Indian cultures, complemented by essays about both particular tribes and cross-cultural topics. From the UW Libraries.
Bureau of Indian Affairs
An agency of the federal government of the United States within the U.S. Department of the Interior.
National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)
The National Congress of American Indians, founded in 1944, is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization serving the broad interests of tribal governments and communities.
American Indian Digital History Project
A growing collection of digitized newspapers, photographs, and archival materials from all across Native North America.
National Museum of the American Indian
Large searchable digital collections of photographs and artifacts, made available from the Smithsonian.