Steely Library phone number: 859.572.5457
In addition to general encyclopedias, such as Britannica, Grolier's and World Book (found in the Steely Library print Reference Collection under the call number "A"), Steely Library's print Reference Collection (third floor) and electronic collection have many subject encyclopedias. These specialized encyclopedias range from one to many volumes and are extremely helpful in exploring a topic, learning more about its subtopics, finding experts or famous names connected with a field, important dates or milestones, and classic works or a bibliography for your topic.
There are at least three ways to find subject encyclopedias or specialized dictionaries at Steely:
Search Credo Reference.
Credo Reference provides full-text electronic access to almost 300 reference titles on a wide variety of subjects. Available titles include The Encyclopedia of African History, The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music, The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, and many more. You can browse titles alphabetically by subject through Credo's main page or browse titles in the library catalog - NKUIRE: All Credo Reference E-books. You can also search NKUIRE for Credo reference titles by subject:
For example, typing "alexander hamilton" into the search box will bring up a list of electronic reference titles related to Alexander Hamilton. You can then click on a title that looks useful for your project and access it by clicking the "Credo Reference e-Book - Click Here to View" link. As an electronic resource, Credo allows you to do keyword searches in individual titles, a selection of titles from one or more subjects, or all titles at once. Credo also includes a concept map feature that allows you to explore a topic visually through a series of thematic clusters.
Browse the Print Reference Collection.
Browse the collection, using the Library of Congress Classification and Subject Headings locations in Steely Library to locate the Reference subject area closest to your topic. (Look just at the A - Z descriptions and ignore the floor locations - all Reference books are on the third floor.) For example, when looking for something about "Batman in film," since this is in the subject area of motion pictures, go near the PN area of Reference to look for some of the film encyclopedias. One example is The Encyclopedia of Superheroes on Film and Television (REF PN1995.9.S76 M85 2004). Use the index to locate all the articles/pages related to "Batman." When you get to an area in Reference, you may see other specialized sources that could be helpful too.
Search by Keyword in NKUIRE.
Do a "keyword" search in the library catalog - NKUIRE as follows:
- Type in the word "encyclopedia?" or the word "dictionar?"
- Type in a word or two related to your topic such as: psychology
- Note: words may be in any order in a "keyword" search. Also, if your first topic-related word doesn't work, try a broader word as you did when browsing the collection in Step 1.
- Be sure the "and" button is selected before you hit Return or Search.
The results should show a number of subject encyclopedias or specialized handbooks for the field of psychology in the Reference and circulating collections (such as human emotions, human growth and development, child psychology, etc.) Get the call number/s and go directly to the one you want; follow the link to open any e-book. Remember, when using any of these books or sets, you'll find the most on your topic if you use the index to locate all related pages.
Steely Library has subject encyclopedias from Anthropology to Zoology, such as:
- Gale Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained REF BF1025.S79 2003 v.1-3
- Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas REF E184.S75 O97 2005 v.1-4
- Encyclopedia of Food and Culture REF GT2850.E53 2003 v.1-3
- Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society REF HQ767.84.E53 2004 v.1-3
- Encyclopedia of Punk Music and Culture REF ML102.R6 C64 2006
- Encyclopedia of Bioethics REF QH332.E52 2004 v.1-5.
By browsing appropriate subject areas in Reference, doing keyword searches in the library catalog - NKUIRE, or searching Credo Reference, you should be able to locate one or more of these specialized books. You'll be able to refine your topic, quickly learn some important information about it, and be able to move ahead with your project.
Steely Library phone number: 859.572.5457