The Library has a large collection of reference works, most of them in electronic format. Use the custom search box below to search across most of the Library's electronic encyclopedias, handbooks, and companions or go directly to one of the recommended resources.
Contains a selection of information sources ranging from the authoritative Encyclopedia of African American History to the African American National Biography project. Selected primary sources, maps, images, charts, and tables round out the collection.
Gale Virtual Reference Library
Offers access to a collection of digital encyclopedias, handbooks, dictionaries, and directories in the arts, social sciences, business, and sciences.
Oxford Research Encyclopedias (Oxford University Press)
Offers peer-reviewed topical introductions and literature reviews written by well-regarded authorities. Available in selected subject areas. New topics are regularly added.
Oxford Bibliographies (Oxford University Press) Tutorial
Presents peer-reviewed, annotated bibliographies and expert commentary on current scholarship in selected disciplines including African American Studies.
Oxford Handbooks Online (Oxford University Press)
Provides digital access in selected disciplines. Each handbook introduces and surveys the state of scholarship in a field of study through review articles written by leading subject specialists. Articles review key issues and debates and set the agenda for new research. Villanova University does not have access to the complete collection. Access print handbooks through the Library's print collection and/or interlibrary loan services.
Measures the social, political, and economic atmosphere in a wide range of African countries.
The World Factbook (CIA)
Provides information on the history, people and society, government, economy, energy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266 world entities.
Offers an open source web mapping system with a large library of mapping data to build custom maps. Data can be pulled from a large selection of databases with data about place names, political boundaries, languages, health, religion, the slave trade, and historical heritage sites among others.