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Encyclopedias: A Quick & Easy Way to Pick a Topic and Start Your Research: How to Find Specialized Encyclopedias

The advantages of using encyclopedias as a starting point in research and guidance in locating them. Includes links.

How to Find Specialized Encyclopedias


Here is an easy technique for finding specialized encyclopedias:

On the Libraries home page at http://www,, click on the "Catalog" tab, then below the box, click on the words "Assisted Search."

In Assisted Search:

  • just put encyc* in first box,
  • then put whatever broad subject terms you want in box(es) below. For example:




For a more thorough research:

1. Instead of encyc? do other searches using diction? (for dictionary) or manual or handbook or companion.

2. Use a star to multiply your search terms, all in the same search: histor* searches on all possible endings, such as history, historical, historian, historicity, etc.  (This is called truncation.)

Subject Guide