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History 416: Many lives of Tokyo: Reference Sources

The Many Lives of Tokyo
Professor: Eiko Maruko Siniawer
Fall 2021

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:

  • Almanacs
  • Bibliographies
  • Biographical dictionaries
  • Chronologies
  • General and subject dictionaries
  • General  and subject encyclopedias
  • Statistical handbooks
  • Yearbooks


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