Skip to main content
Michigan State University

Iberia 1400-1700: English Language Resources: Subject Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Contains reference sources about the history of Spain and Portugal and their empires from 1400-1700.

Subject Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

These are subject dictionaries and encyclopedias.  Use them to learn about a new topic, to discover how to broaden or narrow a topic, and to find further reading references.  Some are available online; others may be found in Reference on the first floor in the lobby area by the Desk, or in the Main stacks, as noted.

For encyclopedias and dictionaries in the religion field see the research guides called Global Catholicism in the Age of Discovery or Religions of the World.

For encyclopedias and dictionaries about Spanish literature see the research guide called Selected Resources for Peninsular Spanish Literature.

Historical Dictionary of the Spanish Empire, 1402-1975.  Reference DP 56 .H57 1992

“Offers brief essays written by scholars on ‘colonies, individuals, political institutions, legislation, treaties, conferences, wars, revolutions, technologies, social and religious groups, and military battles.’—Pref. Cross-references within the text are indicated by asterisks. Most articles have a few bibliographic references at the end, not all of which are cited in the select bibliography. Appendix: "Chronology and colonial viceroys, 1535–1824."

Historical Dictionary of Spain Reference DP 12 .S59 2009

Historical Dictionary of Portugal Reference DP 535 .W44 2002

Historical Dictionary of the Catalans  DP 302 .C59 B84 2011 online

These three are part of a huge series of basic historical dictionaries on world countries and peoples.  These contain paragraph length entries on persons, topics, places, and events, chronology of the history of the country, and a bibliography of secondary works.  The bibliographies contain many works in  English.  The bibliography in the one on Portugal, while older, seems better.

Spain and Portugal, a Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present.  Main DP 66 .O78 2007

Contains a history in 66 pages, an historical dictionary with biographical and topical entries of about 400 pages, a chronology of about 23 pages, lists of rulers and statesmen, maps, and a short bibliography.  Most of the bibliography is English language sources, books, published in the last 50 years.

Europe 1450 to 1789 Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World Reference D 209 .E97 2004 v. 1-6

Over 1,150 articles about early modern Europe. Articles reflect current historiographical concerns with much material on cultural history, as well as entries reflecting anthropological influences ("Ritual, civic and royal"; "Race, theories of"), social class distinctions ("Equality and inequality"), and global concerns ("Sugar"). Overview articles treat not only countries and major concepts but also pull together instances of broader social phenomena ("Refugees, exiles, and emigres"). The 450 people profiled are those of greatest importance for the period; the articles generally present the figures in a balanced fashion, with coverage given to their actions, ideas, and historical contexts. The editor defines Europe broadly, including articles and general coverage on Russia, Eastern Europe, and the Ottoman Empire, as well as European colonies throughout the world.  Select bibliographies, with both primary and secondary sources, accompany the articles. Cross-references identify related articles in the encyclopedia. Reproductions of artwork, maps, and graphs are scattered throughout.

Encyclopedia of Exploration to 1800 Main G 80 .H68 2003

“A comprehensive reference guide to the history and literature of exploration, travel and colonization from the earliest times to the year 1800.” “The best reference work on the history of exploration. Contains 2,327 entries and nearly 20,000 bibliographic citations. ‘It is a tour de force of descriptive, biographic, and bibliographic documentation. Entries are arranged alphabetically, primarily by explorer name, and articles and bibliographies on thematic issues are scattered throughout the work.’” All entries by the author, Raymond John Howgego.

Encyclopedia of Exploration  Main G 80 .W33 2004 v. 1-2

v. 1 The Explorers is biographical entries.  It has appendices: explorers by occupation, by region of activity, by nationality or sponsoring country.  V. 2 Places, Technologies, and Cultural Trends is organized by geographical areas, the continents, water routes, ancient routes.  Has a chronology of exploration, a list of subject entries, and the further reading references for both volumes.  Set contains black and white illustrations and maps.   Most entries are by Carl Waldman, Alan Wexler, and Jon Cunningham. 

Explorers and Discoverers of the World Reference G 200 f.E96 1993

Biographical dictionary arranged alphabetically by name.  Includes a list of explorers by area of the world explored and by place of birth.  Chronology of exploration. Maps. Glossary.  Bibliographic references conclude each article.  Some black and white illustrations.

New Dictionary of the History of Ideas Reference CB 9 .N49 2005 v. 1-6

New edition adds many articles on non-Western European topics.  Articles of substantial length, contributed by an international roster of scholars, on a wide range of topics in intellectual history, emphasizing interdisciplinary connections and cross-cultural relations. Neither edition has biographical articles.

Encyclopedia of the Renaissance Reference CB 361 .E53 1999 v. 1-6

Produced in association with the Renaissance Society of America. Presents nearly 1,200 entries by over 600 scholars. Articles range from less than 1 page to 25 ("Humanism") and 46 ("Renaissance") pages. Contents cover the full range of culture and history. Time span begins with Italy in 1350, adds the rest of Europe by 1450, and ends in the early 17th century. Addresses trends in recent Renaissance historiography (including humanism throughout Europe, increased emphasis on social history, and the study of women) and has thoroughly incorporated them into the text. Bibliographies often feature a section of primary sources and secondary materials. Many illustrations, including colored plates, maps of regions, countries, and cities, a chronology, and genealogical tables.

Encyclopedia of European Social History from 1350 to 2000.  Reference HN 373 .E63 2001 v. 1-6

See the chapter in volume one, pp. 307-319 on the Iberian peninsula.  Bibliography at end of article.  Other volumes cover processes of social change, population and geography, cities and urbanization, rural life, state and society, social structure, social protest, devians and crime, social problems and reform, gender, family, sexuality, body and mind, work, popular culture, recreation and leisure, religion, education, everyday life, and biographical articles.  Much is about post 1700.

Companion to Latin American History.  Main F 1410 .C727 2008

Part of Blackwell Reference Online.  Chapters by various scholars with bibliographies.  Chapters 4-11 cover Portuguese and Spanish in the age of European expansion, exploration and conquest, colonial Brazil, Hapsburg era institutions in the Spanish American empire, indigenous peoples, slavery, religion, society and culture in the colonial era.

Reference Guide to Latin American History.  Reference F 1410 .R395 2000

See Part I Colonial Latin America, which covers Iberian expansion, Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, Northern South America, Peru, Chile, Rio de la Plata, and Brazil showing what happened in various years.  Politics and government and economic development during the colonial period are treated in Part II as are aspects of culture and society.  Biographies: “300 Notable Figures of Latin American History.” Selected bibliography and maps.

 

 

Michigan State University