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Encyclopedias, historical dictionaries, biographies and other types of reference books are indispensable sources of information that establish what is "common knowledge" in your area of research, as well as provide keywords, subject headings, and bibliographies that will further your research.
The library catalog has a filter for "Reference" set up. You can use this to narrow our collection to these types of sources. On the Advanced Search page, selecting the Location "internet" will additionally limit your search to ebooks.