Specialized, subject encyclopedias can help a researcher save a lot of time. Before diving into dense books or peer-reviewed journals, introductory articles found in reference material provide an overviewe of a topic and can help a researcher get a grounding and context to a research topic. Browsing entries in these encyclopedic works can help refine a search.
Search through reference works from Alkek Library:
Selected Education Reference Materials
Subject dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks typically provide background essays, definitions, broad overviews of various topics, or other pertinent facts. They also provide a quick overview of authors and their works.
- In-depth, unbiased coverage of health, social trends, criminal justice, international affairs, education, the environment, technology, and the economy from 1960 - Present. Reports are published weekly in print and online 44 times a year by CQ Press, a division of Congressional Quarterly Inc. Each single-themed, 12,000-word report is researched and written by a seasoned journalist. Reports include an introductory overview; background and chronology on the topic; an assessment of the current situation; tables and maps; pro/con statements from representatives of opposing positions; and bibliographies of key sources.
Facts on File (1941 to the present) — Reference D410.F3
- Current 5 years in Reference Collection; older volumes on 5th floor under same call number.
Great Speeches for Criticism and Analysis — Reference PN6122 .G74
Index to American Women Speakers 1828-1978 — Reference PN6121.M36
Landmark American Speeches — Reference PS662 .L36
Newspapers of record.
- The following newspapers often print entire speeches or long excerpts of important speeches: New York Times, LA Times, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor.
Nobel Lectures, Literature — PN 771 .L74
Penguin Book of 20th Century Speeches — Reference D411.P46
The Penguin book of historic speeches — PN6121 .P39 (missing?)
- This database covers the current content of the original print index, covering 1982- and may print important speech texts or excerpts. Indexes Vital Speeches of the Day.
- A database containing comprehensive indexing of the most popular general-interest periodicals published in the United States and reflects the history of 20th century America. The complete database covers the years 1890 through 1982.
Representative American Speeches — Reference H35 .R4
- Current 3 years in the Reference Collection; older editions (1937 to present) on 5th floor. Indexed in Speech Index.
- Indexes Vital Speeches of the Day and Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents as well as several major journals and newspapers. Includes some full text.
- Browsing may be helpful if no specific speech is sought. Useful call number ranges for shelf browsing are:
- General collections — PN 4199-4355 & PN 6121-6129, 6th Floor
- British Speeches — PR 1321-1329, 6th Floor
- American Speeches — PS 660-668, 6th Floor
- Sermons — BV 4240-4316, 5th Floor
Speech Index, 1935-1980 — Reference PN6121 .S85
Speeches of the American Presidents Reference J81.4 .S64
Vital Speeches Of the Day Reference PN6121 .V52
- Includes speeches made by executives, politicians, and other national figures. An annual index appears in the November issue. Bound copies from 1935-1986; Microfilm copies from 1984 to current; printed indexes covering 1934-1984 are located in Reference.
We Shall Be Heard: Index to Speeches by American Women 1978-1985 — Reference PN6121 .M37 1988
What They Said (1969-1991) — D410.W46
- Use to find excerpts of speeches. Gives citation to resource containing full text of speech.
Government Documents Collection, 4th floor
The Government Documents collection houses the following publications from the federal government. Ask at that service desk for help locating items:
Messages of the Presidents, 1789-1897 — Y 4.P93/1:3/1-10, 4th Floor
Public Papers of the Presidents — AE 2.114:, 4th Floor
Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents
- Current issues in Gov Docs AE 2.109; Back issues on microfilm, J80.A24, 3rd floor
Congressional Information Service (CIS)
- 1970 to present. Indexes speeches made at Congressional hearings.
Congressional Record (and its earlier titles)
- Like the CIS above, the Congressional Record may also access Congressional speeches. 1789-1960 on microfilm, 3rd floor; 1873-present, in Government Documents, 4th floor
Quotations or Passages from Speeches
Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations — Reference PN6081 .B27
Strong's New Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible — Reference BS425 .S8
- Indicates where words are mentioned in the Bible.
Granger's Index to Poetry — Reference PN1022 .G7
Current Biography (1940 to present) — Reference CT100 .C8
- Lengthy articles on prominent people. Also available via Biography Reference Bank database.
Dictionary of American Biography — Reference E176 .D56
- Information about deceased prominent Americans from 1776-20th century.
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography — Reference DA28 .O95
- Information about deceased prominent Britons.
Who Was Who in America — Reference E176 .W64
- Information about prominent deceased Americans from 1607-1989.
Who's Who — Reference DA28 .W6
- Information about prominent Britons. 1971-1994; older volumes on 5th Floor under same call number.
Who's Who in America — Reference E663 .W56
- Information about prominent living Americans. Editions from 1970 to present; older volumes on 5th Floor under same call number.
Who's Who in the World — Reference CT120 .W5
- Information about prominent people worldwide.
Criticism or Background Information
- Indexes scholarly journals AND popular magazines from a variety of disciplines and/or interests. Includes some full-text articles.
- Day By Day, The Forties — Reference D427.L4
- Day By Day, The Fifties — Reference D842.5.M47
- Day By Day, The Sixties — Reference D840.P27
- Day By Day, The Seventies — Reference D848.L4
- Day by Day, The Eighties — Reference D 848.M45
- Chronicle of the Twentieth Century — Reference D422.C57
- Chronicle of the World — Reference D11.C56
- Contains abstracts of articles published in 63 of the primary professional journals of the communications fields, including mass communication, journalism, mass media, and speech communication.
- CMMC offers cover-to-cover indexing and abstracts for over 300 core journals, and selective coverage of over 100 more Furthermore, this database includes full text for nearly 200 journals. Many major journals have indexing, abstracts, PDFs and searchable citations from their first issues to the present (dating as far back as 1915).
- The following are good sources of background on Congressional events and text of some speeches. Covers 1945 to the present.
- CQ Weekly Report — Reference JK1.C15
- Congressional Quarterly Almanac — Reference JK1 .C67
- Congress and the Nation — Reference JK1 .C66
Facts on File — Reference D410.F3
Great Events From History series; Brief essays on the background of historical events:
- G E f H: American Series — Reference E178.M72
- G E f H: Ancient and Medieval Series — Reference D59.M26
- G E f H II: Science & Technology Series — Reference Q125.G825 1991
- G E f H: Modern European Series — Reference D209.M29
- G E f H: Worldwide 20th Century Series — Reference D421 .G63
Historical Statistics of the United States — Reference HA202 .H57 2006
Historical Statistics of the States of the United States: Two Centuries of the Census, 1790-1990 — Reference HA214 .D63 1993
People's Chronology — Reference D11.T83 1992
- Indexes more than 600 periodicals reflecting a wide variety of topics and current events. General and academic periodicals are included, some of which are full-text.
- Over 1,000 statistical tables. Older editions also available.
- Full text newspaper articles dated 1970 to 1991 taken from major national and regional newspapers.
World Almanac and Book of Facts — Reference AY67 .N5 W7
- Current year in Reference. Older editions on 5th floor.
Jan Tidwell, Reference/Instruction Librarian