Q. How do I search for an Encyclopedia?

I need to find an article in an encyclopedia. How do I do this?


Finding an article in a reference database

You can search one of our reference databases for articles inside multiple Encylopedias. Gale Virtual Reference Library, Oxford Reference, and Access Science, are all databases that contain Encyclopedias that you may search with a more focused keyword search such as 'childhood poverty'.

Or you can look for a Print Encyclopedia. 

Finding a Print Subject Encyclopedia

You can find an article in one of over 1,000 print subject encyclopedias housed in our Reference Room. In this case, you will use Research Central to search for an encyclopedia.  Then you will go to the library, locate the encyclopedia on the shelves in the Reference collection, and look for an article within that encyclopedia on your topic.  

Conducting Your Search in Research Central

  • Below the Research Central search box, select Browse Search.  
  • When the search screen opens up, you will see another search box directly below with a dropdown menu labelled Select the list to browse.  
  • Choose By Subject
  • Type in the term encyclopedias and your broad keyword search term

Once you have found the subject encyclopedia that looks like it will work for you, note down the call number and location and stop by the WWU Library's Reference Room, find the encyclopedia on the shelves and then look at the Table of Contents (usually in the front of the first volume) or the index (usually in the back of the last volume), or browse through the articles--usually listed by title in alphabetical order. 

An article from a print encyclopedia should be more than one page in length.  If it isn't, you need to look for something else.  If you are using it for an assignment you may need to note the location and call number information for your professor.

  • Last Updated Jun 06, 2017
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  • Answered By [Unclaimed]

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