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Hist 316 Civil War America, 1856-1877: Background Information

Information for students taking the History 316: Civil War America, 1846-1877 course.

Background Information

Background Information:

Overview resources such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, almanacs, and biographical compilations are helpful reference tools providing summaries and background information, definitions, facts, biographic information, and more. Individual entries often include a bibliography and cross-listings that refer to related terms or articles elsewhere in the resource. These types of works can prove helpful in narrowing research topics or in fostering ideas for potential research topics. Look up encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference books with keyword searches in the library catalog by adding a term like "encyclopedia" or "dictionary" to the keyword phrase search.

Following are selected reference resources in electronic and print formats that Regent Library holds. These resources either focus solely on the United States Civil War or have well-developed entries on the Civil War within the work.

American Civil War: The essential reference guide Edited by James Arnold and Roberta Wiener, Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO. 2011. [eBook; Regent user ID and password required to access content which is made available from the eBook Collection (EBSCOhost)].

Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A political, social, and military history Edited by David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler, Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio, 2000. [Electronic resource; Regent user ID and password required to access content which is made available through the Credo Reference online collection].

A comprehensive resource of over 1,700 Civil War topical entries describe and explain every aspect of the war, including coverage of the "coming of the war, its conduct, and its consequences in a political, military, and social context." In addition, complete biographies are included of war figures along with descriptions of major military engagements and important skirmishes. 

You can search within this resource for information on Civil War history any of the following three ways:

(1) Enter a term(s) in the 'Search for' box located towards the top of the screen; or,

(2) Browse through headings or people arranged alphabetically; or,

(3) Enter heading keyword(s) in the 'Headings contains' box.

Search tip: Search for proper names of Civil War figures, concepts, and themes. Look to related content on the left sidebar and/or the 'See also' topics given at the end of the entry to discover additional topics to explore within this resource.   

Oxford Companion to the United States history Editor in Chief, Paul S. Boyer, New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2001. [Electronic resource and print; Regentl user ID and password required to access contents in the electronic resource which is made available through the Oxford Reference online collection].

Includes an extensive multi-part overview article on the Civil War covering causes, military and diplomatic course, domestic effects, and changing interpretations. In addition, bibliographic profiles of major Civil War figures are given.

You can search the print version for information on Civil War history by browsing entries organized alphabetically or searching the index, as no table of contents is included. You can search within the electronic resource for information on Civil War history any of the following three ways:

(1) Enter a term(s) in the 'Search within work' box located at the right of the screen; or,

(2) Browse through entries or people arranged alphabetically; or,

(3) Enter keyword(s) in the 'Starting with' box.

Search tip: Start with the multi-part overview article on the Civil War and then use the links to related content (on the left sidebar) and/or the 'See also' topics given at the end of the entry to narrow the subject area.

Hutchinson Dictionary of American History Abingdon, GBR: Helicon Publishing, 2005. 

[Electronic resource; Regent user ID and password required to access content which is made available through the ebrary e-reference collection].

Although not specific to the United States Civil War, this resource defines a substantial number of words and terms related to the Civil War, such as abolitionism, confederacy, union, reconstruction, emancipation, and many biographical entries of Civil War figures. Neither guide to pronunciation nor etymology is given.

You can search by browsing through the table of contents which lists all the entries alphabetically, or by entering a search term(s) in the 'Search Document' box.

Oxford Encyclopedia of the Civil War  Author, William L. Barney, New York, NY: 

[Electronic resource; Regent user ID and password required to access content which is made available through the ebrary e-reference collection].