Finding & Focusing a Topic: Encyclopedias, Companions & General Histories

The Library has a large number of subject specific online encyclopedias with short, well-written overview essays. These essays can be helpful in defining and focusing a topic. They generally have bibliographies which include important authors who have published on the subject. To discover encyclopedias with essays on your topic, go to the catalog, select Articles & more, type keywords which describe your topic into the searchbox and select the format facet Reference on the results screen (see screenshot below) or ask your librarian for suggestions.


Encyclopedia of Ancient History (Wiley-Blackwell)
Geographic coverage: ancient Near East, pharaonic Egypt, classical Greece, and the Roman empire.

Gale Virtual Reference Library
A large selection of encyclopedias, including Science and Its Times.

Science and Its Times
Introductions to calendars, medicine, mathematics, architecture, and agriculture of early civilizations.

Daily Life in ... [Ancient Civilizations] Series
Books about all aspects of daily life in Mayan, Aztec, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Babylonian society.



Falvey Library Catalog (Books & Media)
Keyword and subject searches in the Library's catalog are good starting points when first exploring a topic. Search results can be narrowed with facets such as topic, era, language or region. Facets are located on the right hand side of the results screen.

Examples of Library of Congress subjects:
Indus script
Indus civilization
Mathematics, Chinese
Mayas - Calendar
Agriculture - Origin

Examples of keyword searches:
architecture and Mesopotamia
Mayas and writing
WorldCat (FirstSearch)
Presents a combined catalog of the catalogs of more than 10,000 libraries worldwide. WorldCat highlights publications available at Villanova University. Other items can be requested via an inter-library loan request form.

E-ZBorrow and Interlibrary Loan
Interlibrary loans are only available for books and journals which are not owned by Falvey. The E-ZBorrow service can be used for books which the library owns, but which are currently checked out. E-ZBorrow books are provided by a local library network and tend to arrive faster than interlibrary loans.

Journal Articles

JSTOR is an archive of important core journals in the humanities. Current content is generally not available. JSTOR records indicate which years are covered.
The Advanced Search feature has journal limits by discipline such as Classical Studies and Archaeology. You can further limit to keywords in title, abstract, or author field. Item type, language and publication date range are other available search limits.

green_pin.gifTrying to decipher a journal abbreviation?
Check the journal abbreviations lists below for the full journal title:
Abbreviations for titles of Classical/Medieval Studies journals (Indiana University Libraries, based on L'Annee Philologique)
Bibliographical Abbreviations (compiled for the Egyptologists' Electronic Forum)

Library Catalog / Articles & more

Find scholarly journal articles by selecting Articles & more from the drop down menu of the Library's search box. Enter your keywords and limit search results to peer-reviewed journals and journal articles.



Citing Your Sources

Chicago Manual of Style Online, 17th ed.
The 16th edition of the standard style manual used by writers and editors of scholarly books and journals.
Available online and in print. For a quick introduction watch the online tutorial A Brief Introduction to the Chicago Manual of Style.
Use the Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide for easy reference.


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