Brandel Library

HIST 1000: Modern Era


What's a Tertiary Source?

Tertiary sources survey and organize information on a given topic, without including original research or analysis. They are typically based on secondary sources. You can think of them as overview or background sources. Encyclopedias are the most common tertiary sources you will encounter. 

Background Sources

Online Encyclopedias

Print Encyclopedias

The library has a collection of print encyclopedias and other reference sources on the first floor, right next to the librarians' offices. You can browse for what you need or ask a librarian to point you in the right direction.


Start Your Research with Reference Sources

Reference sources can help you jumpstart your research project by:

  • providing a quick overview of a topic,
  • identifying key questions that can shape your research,
  • pointing you towards other sources on the topic.

Check the Bibliography

Reference articles typically end with a bibliography or works cited, which you can use to find key books and articles on the topic.