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Check Bryn Mawr's, Haverford's, or Swarthmore's library websites for additional resources during COVID-19.

WRPR 164: Materiality and Spectacle in 19th C. U.S. (HC) Spring 2020

Writing Program 164: Materiality and Spectacle in 19th Century United States (Snyder) Spring 2020

Finding Background Information

The following sources provide overviews of topics in American history and culture.  They are a quick way to find out the basic facts and pick up on current points of debate.

When using an article in an encyclopedia or handbook, check the bibliography for further reading at the end of the entry. It will provide a selective list of books, articles, and, sometimes, Web resources considered to be the most authoritative.

Historical Guides

Biographical Information

Art and Artifacts

Literature Reviews

Literature reviews are a particularly useful resource when doing research.  They address the issues involved in a particular question and the debates among scholars.  They map out the intellectual terrain succinctly and give you the major landmarks in terms of key authors and significant titles for greater understanding.