Reference resources are a great place to begin your research. They can help you define terms as well as to find background information about a topic, a chronicle of its history, theories, key people and sometimes a bibliography of additional sources.
There are many different types of reference sources, which include dictionaries, encyclopedias, thesauri, bibliographies, handbooks, style manuals to name a few.
Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment
This four volume set largely focuses on British and North American perspectives of the enlightenment.
Longman Companions to History (Series)
Stauffer Library (call number varies)
Good starting point for research to a major area of historical study.
Check Omni under title, Longman Companions to History, to get a complete list of titles. Go to Advanced Search....
The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is the national record of men and women who have shaped British history and culture, worldwide, from the Romans to the 21st century.
Oxford Bibliographies offers peer-reviewed annotated bibliographies which will help you to narrow the vast number of citations to the best scholarship on a given topic.
Bibliographies are browseable by subject area and keyword searchable. For example, there is a bibliography on the Renaissance and Reformation
There are essays on the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, Industrialization, Russian Revolutions and Civil War, 1917-1921, to name a few. .