Skip to Main Content

HIST 231: World War II

Why Consult a Reference Resource?

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.

Oxford Companion to World War II

Cambridge History of the Second World War
Volume One: Fighting the War
Volume Two: Politics and Ideology
Volume Three: Total War: Economy, Society and Culture

The D-Day Encyclopedia
Folio D756.5 .N6 D22 1994t

The Holocaust Encyclopedia
D804.25 .H66 2001

World War II in the Pacific: an Encyclopedia

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....

Some titles retrieved include:
  • Longman Companion to Nazi Germany
  • Longman Companion to America, Russia and the Cold War, 1941-1998
  • Longman Companion to European Decolonisation in the Twentieth Century
The "History" collection of reference works is one component in the Oxford Reference Online database, a huge and comprehensive resource which contains the full text of over 120 dictionaries, companions and other reference publications covering the complete subject spectrum.


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.

American National Biography
Includes over 19,000 biographies of significant and influential figures who lived in the U.S. from the Colonlal Period to the present.

Canadian National Biography
Documents persons who died between the years 1000 and 1930 (covering volumes 1-XV of the ongoing print version) or whose last known date of activity falls within these years. From 1930 to 2000, there are limited biographical coverage.


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 bibliographies on International Relations and  Military History.

There are essays on Britain and the Blitz, Cold War, 1945-1990, Dominion Armies in World War II, German Army, Germany in World War II, Soviet Union in World War II, and Winston Churchill to name a few.

The Cambridge History of the Second World War Volume 1

The Cambridge History of the Second World War Volume 2

The Cambridge History of the Second World War Volume 3