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Michigan State University

British Victorian Period Research: General Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

This is a guide to doing research on topics about 19th-century Britain and Ireland, meant to be be useful to students in English literature and in history. Last updated 06-01-2023

General Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Encyclopedia of Empire

Part of Wiley-Blackwell online.   Enormous four volume set.  Try the Browse by Topic approach. 

Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World

Covers 1750 to the present, providing special attention to social, economic, cultural and political topics applicable to the time. Articles on countries, regions, and ethnic groups; themes involving social history, demography, family life, politics, economics, religion, thought, education, science and technology, and culture; events such as major wars; and extensive coverage of the United States.  50 maps. Provides information about and interpretation of major developments across particular regions both salient events and regional perspectives on common themes such as politics, demography, social class, and gender.

Nations and Nationalism: a Global Historical Overview

Covers all aspects of nationalism, in all parts of the world, from the time of the French Revolution to the present day.

Great Events from History: the 19th Century

D 358 .G74 2007 v. 1-4 Remote Storage
Chronological presentation, by decade, of short chapters on the major events in western world history. For each event succinct information is presented on the place it occurred, the key people involved, a summary of what happened, the significance of the event, and further reading references. Appendixes at back of 4th volume: time line, glossary of terms, extensive bibliography of print resources, annotated bibliography of web sites (both free and subscription based), list of events by country and region, list of events by category: broad subject, topic, discipline.

Encyclopedia of Western Colonialism

British Empire was one of the biggest and much studied colonial empires of all time.

Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature

PR 19 .O95 2006 v. 1-5 Main

Encyclopedia of Victorian Literature

Four volumes.  Covers 1832-1901, with alphabetically arranged entries varying in length from one thousand to seven thousand words. Offers a comprehensive, scholarly, authoritative, and critical overview of literature and theory comprising individual entries covering key literary genres, periods, and sub-disciplines. Allows for exploration of major topics including the novel, plays, poetry, and global Victorian studies, alongside succinct entries on themes such as cosmopolitanism, journalism, race, sexuality, and reading.  Allows for exploration of the global influence of this literary era on countries and continents from Australia, Afghanistan, and the Arctic, to Africa, China, and the Caribbean.

New Encyclopedia Britannica

AE 5 .E38 1989 Main

Oxford English Dictionary.  See Link at bottom of this page.

Encyclopedia of the Literature of Empire  Reference PN 56 .I465 S66 2010

Berg Fashion Library  corresponds to the Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion in Fine Arts, Art Ref. GT 507 .E54 2010 v. 1-10.  Search by place, time period, topic, material, etc. Some journal material also contents of some museum collections.  Has images.

Encyclopedia of Love, Courtship, and Sexuality through History  Reference HQ 21 .G67125 2008 v. 1-6

Historical Dictionary of British Theatre: Early Period  Main PN 2581 .G73 2013

Victorian World: Facts and Fictions  Main DA 533 .F76 2018

Daily Life of Women an Encyclopedia from Ancient Times to the Present