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Why use reference sources?
Consulting reference sources (tertiary sources) is a good strategy to start a research project.. They provide overviews of topics, facts and figures, and list of suggested readings. They are a good place to get:
- ideas for your paper
- overviews of a topic
- a list of recommended resources (primary and secondary sources)
Some types of reference sources include:
- Biographical dictionaries
- General and subject dictionaries
- General and subject encyclopedias
- Statistical handbooks
How to search for reference sources
In the Williams library search engine (catalog)
- Do a Browse Search by Subject for Tokyo
- Look for subject headings identifying types of references sources (e.g. encyclopedias, dictionaries)
While there are many online reference sources, quite a few of the core sources remain available in print only. Don't skip the print sources, as they might contain unique materials and references not listed any other places. Print reference sources are primarily located in the Sawyer Reference collection (on Level 3), but some may also be in the circulating collection.
Reference Sources on Tokyo
Reference Sources on Japan
Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan
Call Number: SAWYER REFERENCE DS805 .K633 1983
This nine-volume reference work contains over 10,000 articles exploring every aspect of Japanese society, history, politics, economy, thought and culture. Longer articles include a bibliography.
Cambridge History of Japan
Call Number: SAWYER DS835 .C36 1988
Volume 4 covers early modern Japan from 1550 to 1800 and Volume 5 covers the 19th century. Both volumes contain essays by American and Japanese scholars providing overviews of topics related to the time period.
Japan (World Bibliographical Series, v. 103)
Call Number: SAWYER REFERENCE DS806 .S54 1989
An annotated English-language bibliography covering all major fields of knowledge relating to Japan. Includes extensive list of references including primary sources.
Japanese History and Culture from Ancient to Modern Times
Call Number: SAWYER REFERENCE DS835 .D69 1995
Bibliography of English-language primary and secondary sources. Chapter 2 covers Early Modern Japan with sections devoted to Tokugawa economic, intellectual, popular culture, ways of the warrior, and first-hand materials.
Japan. An Illustrated Encyclopedia
Call Number: Sawyer REFERENCE DS805 .J263 1993
The value of this encyclopedia is in its lengthy bibliography which includes primary and secondary sources.