Encyclopedias contain factual articles on many subjects. Although encyclopedias may have been a major source for research in high school, in college you'll use sources that contain more depth.

There are two types of encyclopedias--general and subject.
General encyclopedias
provide overviews on a wide variety of topics.
Subject encyclopedias
contain entries focusing on one field of study.

At Alumni Library, encyclopedias are available in print or electronic format.

Use an Encyclopedia...
  • when looking for background information on a topic.
  • when trying to find key ideas, important dates or concepts.
Examples of Encyclopedias:
  • Encyclopedia Americana (general encyclopedia)
  • Encyclopedia of Architectural and Engineering Feats (subject encyclopedia)
  • The Encyclopedia Britannica Online (an online general encyclopedia)