New Cambridge Modern History
This 14 volume set is the "most important general modern history" which covers the period from the Renaissance to 1945.
There are many different types of reference sources, which include dictionaries, encyclopedias, thesauri, bibliographies, handbooks, style manuals to name a few.
Encyclopedias and dictionaries provide a general overview of a subject and information such as names, dates, and facts. They also provide historical and political events that may have impacted a person's work and the society and culture in which they lived and worked.