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Background Information - General
Need a quick fact or more background reading? Try one of the links below.
Encyclopedia covering a wide variety of subjects.
Gale Virtual Reference Library
Specialized online encyclopedias in a variety of fields, including history, world cultures, film, literature, food, and fashion.
Oxford Reference Online
Includes both standard dictionaries as well as more specialized titles from a variety of disciplines.
Gale Literature Resource Center
* scholarly articles from more than 360 academic journals and literary magazines
* overview essays on thousands of books and literary topics
* excerpts from books, literary correspondence, and diaries
* reviews of books of all sorts
* thousands of poems and short stories published in journals and magazines
Oxford Art Online
Comprehensive online reference resource for all aspects of the visual arts and architecture worldwide from prehistory to the 1990s.
Oxford Music Online
Encyclopedia of music that includes articles written by the world's leading music authorities with links to images and digital sound.
Background Information - Specialized
Cambridge World History of Food
Covers the full spectrum of foods that have been hunted, gathered, cultivated, and domesticated; their nutritional makeup and uses; and their impact on cultures and demography.
Encyclopedia of Food & Culture
Articles on food and its place in human culture and society. Part of GVRL. 3v., 2003.
Encyclopedia of Modern Asia
Covers subjects such as countries, cities, regions, natural features, religions, social issues, languages, people, events, customs, politics, and economics.
Encyclopedia of Modern China
Information on Chinese people, politics, economics, religion, philosophy, traditions, art, and literature from the beginning of the 19th century to the present day.
Food Cultures Of World Encyclopedia
Organized by country, with some entries for regions of countries and for ethnic groups. Each entry offers these sections: overview, food culture snapshot, major foodstuffs, cooking, typical meals, eating out, special occasions, diet and health, and further reading.
Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life
Covers cultural groups in Asia, Europe, the Americas and Africa. Five volumes, organized for quick reference by continent, cover history, politics, customs, religion, education, human rights issues, and more. Park of GVRL. 5v., 2009.
Searching the Web for Articles & News
The web offers millions of pages made by anyone, but these pages only skim the surface of what is available. The MIT Libraries subscribe to hundreds of databases that offer scholarly and professional information.
The links below are some that may be specifically useful for your projects. Some provide you with the complete text of the article, while others will give you just a short description and a link to our full-text finder, a tool that will search for the complete article in a different source.
Academic Search Complete
A multi-disciplinary database which indexes and abstracts peer-reviewed journals, magazines and more.
Indexes articles, reports, edited works, and other publications in Anthropology.
Contains full text of the publications of the American Anthropological Association. Includes current issues of the AAA's most critical peer-reviewed publications.
Bibliography of Asian Studies
Indexes books, journal articles, and book chapters about Asian studies in humanities & social sciences in English & other languages. 1971 to present.
Communication and Mass Media Complete
Indexes hundreds of communication and media journals with full-text for many articles. Excellent source for topics in media studies.
Film Literature Index
* Provides citations to articles, film reviews, and book reviews published between 1976-2001(multi-lingual).
* Citation index only. You'll need to find the source through Vera or Barton. (No SFX links.)
Google's search engine for scholarly literature.
Covers world history (excluding US & Canada), 1450-present. Indexes articles, books, essay collections, dissertations, media.
International Index to Film Periodicals Plus
Offers articles from hundreds of the world's foremost academic and popular film journals.
JSTOR: Archive of Interdisciplinary Journals
* Interdisciplinary scope covers a range of subjects, including literature, although may not be recent (last 5 years).
* All articles are full-text.
Literature Online: LION
* Has some overlap with the MLA listed above.
* Allows you to search the Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL).
Music Index Online
Indexes hundreds of music periodicals covering many musical styles and genres. 1978 to the present.
Nexis Uni provides access to the full-text of many news resources, including newspapers, magazines, and radio and TV news transcripts from the U.S. and around the world.
* Interdisciplinary scope covers a range of subjects, including literature.
* Most articles are full-text, although access to some may be through links to another source.
Proquest Global Newsstream
Access to over 2500 US and international news sources including today's issues the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, the Globe and Mail, etc. Sources include newspapers, newswires, news journals, television and radio transcripts, blogs, podcasts, and digital-only websites.
RILM Abstracts of Music Literature
Indexes and abstracts journal articles, books, and other publications that cover music. 1967 - present.
Library Databases for Primary Sources
Includes thousands of images of East Asian art and architecture.
Contemporary World Music
Steaming music can be browsed by place or cultural group.
People's Daily (Renmin Ribao)
The official daily newspaper of the central government of the People's Republic of China. 1946 - present. In Chinese.
Online Films and Documentaries
Academic Video Online (AVON)
Streaming video service with documentary, instructional, and feature films from producers such as BBC, Documentary Educational Resources (DER), Icarus, PBS, and Sony Pictures Classics.
Filmakers [Filmmakers] Library Online
Collection of roughly 1800 documentary films in a variety of subjects, available as streaming video.
Library Databases by Subject
Depending on your topic, there might be other library databases useful for your research. These guides list them by subject: