Background reference sources: Bibliographies and other reference Sources

Bibliographies provide lists of works on a specific topic or by a particular author, often with a short annotation. Useful for finding other resources on your topic and identifying key works in the field.
Various other reference sources may be useful in your research as well. To search for them in the library catalogue try a keyword search for type of source AND your topic.

Oxford Bibliographies

Oxford Bibliographies
A fantastic place to start research. List of suggested readings on various topics, selected and annotated by experts.

Cambridge Dictionaries Online

Oxford Art Online
Comprehensive reference source for anything relating to visual art.


SFU Libraries have print and online bibliographies on many topics. Search in the Library Catalogue for bibliograph* AND your topic to find more. Since many bibliographies are older works, be sure the resources and information they list are still relevant.


Other types of reference sources

Chronologies list historical events in the order they happened. Useful for placing events and people in their historical context.

Concordances list the words used by an author in a particular work or a body of work and their immediate context. Useful for close textual analysis.

Digests are a summarized collection of works in a subject area, most often used for summaries of legal cases on a particular topic.

Directories provide listings and contact information for organizations or individuals in a particular field.

Thesauri list words with similar meanings (synonyms) and sometimes opposite meanings as well (antonyms). Specialized thesauri can also be used to find additional keywords to search with in particular disciplines or databases.