Reading background information helps fill in knowledge gaps. Virtually everyone, even experts, can benefit from reading authoritative summaries of the historic background, current developments, major players, and primary issues of a chosen topic. These summaries sometimes include basic bibliographies that help to jump start research projects.
Major sources of authoritative summaries are subject dictionaries and encyclopedias. Other background information may be obtained from biographical and statistical sources and other reference works such as handbooks and directories.
Search one or more databases for biographical information about a particular person. See especially:
Or, try one of these selected biographical ebooks:
Search the library catalog for biographies. Try searching by:
Search the library catalog for subject dictionaries and encyclopedias. Here are some sample searches to try:
See also David Bauer's opens new windowEssential Bible Study Tools for Ministry, especially the "Highly Recommended" sections of his selected lists of commentaries for each book of the Bible. Ask for this at the One-Stop Library Services Desk.
Statistics related to religion: opens new window
Other sources of statistical information