Finding Background Information - European History

When you are doing research on a topic, you will often encounter unfamiliar terms, or familiar ones used in a specialized way. Dictionaries can provide a quick definition and often some elaboration on the uses of the term. Encyclopedias provide background information on unfamiliar subjects, leading you quickly to key ideas and sources in developing your topic. Many encyclopedia articles will also include brief bibliographies which will lead you to further sources of information.

Dictionaries and encyclopedias covering European history topics include:

A-Z of Modern Europe Since 1789

The Columbia Dictionary of European Political History Since 1914
Concentrates on those personalities, topics and events which are most commonly encountered in historical writing about 20th-century British and European history.
REFERENCE D424.C65 1992

A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution
Organized under five major headings, i.e., Events; Actors; Institutions and Creations; Ideas; and Historians and Commentators. Includes a comprehensive Index.
REFERENCE DC148.D5313 1989

Dictionary of German History, 1806-1945
Provides facts and dates on German political, social, and economic history. Includes a chronological table.
REFERENCE DD203.F47 1978

A Dictionary of Napoleon and His Times
Includes a chronological table and select classified bibliography.
REFERENCE DC203.R6 1921a

Dictionary of 20th Century European History
Entries are not only factual, but provide the historical significance of the subject, as well.
REFERENCE D419.T69 1999

An Encyclopaedia of Napoleon's Europe
A concise encyclopedia covering European political, social, and cultural history during the 1797-1815 time period.
REFERENCE DC147.P34 1984

Encyclopedia of European Social History From 1350 to 2000
Each of the 209 articles (arranged in 23 topical sections) includes a bibliography. Contains a comprehensive index (in Vol. 6) and a chronology. Also available as an e-book to the UPEI community.
REFERENCE HN373.E63 2001

Encyclopedia of the Third Reich
Covers from the rise of Nazi socialism in Germany to the end of the Third Reich in 1945. Some entries from outside the time period, but related to Hitler and the Nazis, are included. Many photographs and bibliographical references accompany the entries. A lengthy bibliography is provided.

EuroDocs: Primary Historical Documents From Western Europe
Links to Western European historical documents which have been transcribed, reproduced in facsimile, or translated.

Europe 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World
This six-vol. set includes maps, a year-by-year chronology, and a detailed index. Also available as an e-book to the UPEI community.
REFERENCE D209.E97 2004

Europe 1789 to 1914 : Encyclopedia of the Age of Industry and Empire
"A five-volume survey of European history from the onset of the French Revolution to the outbreak of World War. Alphabetically arranged entries cover the period's most significant personalities and meaningful developments in the arts, religion, politics, exploration, and warfare."

Europe Since 1914 : Encyclopedia of the Age of War and Reconstruction
"A multi-volume survey of European history from the beginning of World War I in 1914 to the present, presented through alphabetically arranged entries that focus on the period's scientific, social and cultural history as well as the political, military and economic developments."

France, 1789-1962
Includes entries for political figures, legislation, events, and authors significant to French history from 1789 to 1962. Particular attention is given to the colonial expansion of France.

Historical Dictionary of European Imperialism
Entries cover “colonies, prominent individuals, legislation, treaties, conferences, wars, revolutions, and technologies . Useful appendices give a chronology of European imperialism, and a table of island systems in the world.”
REFERENCE D217.H57 1991

Historical Dictionary of France
Includes a chronology and a select classified bibliography.

Historical Dictionary of Napoleonic France, 1799-1815
The emphasis is on Napoleon's Empire, rather than on the man himself, or on Napoleonic warfare. Includes a chronology.
REFERENCE DC201.H673 1985

Historical Dictionary of the French Fourth and Fifth Republics, 1946-1991
Intended to serve as a comprehensive, interdisciplinary reference tool for both students and scholars requiring "in-depth" information on post-war France.
REFERENCE DC401.H57 1992

Historical Dictionary of the French Revolution 1789-1799
Articles on Revolutionary personalities, events, and constitutional developments. Each article is accompanied by a bibliography. A chronology and detailed Index are provided.
REFERENCE DC147.H57 1984

Historical Dictionary of the Third French Republic, 1870-1940
Covers political, social, economic, and cultural aspects of French civilization between 1870 and 1940. Each article has a bibliography. A chronology and detailed Index are included.
REFERENCE DC337.H57 1986

The Hutchinson Encyclopedia of the Renaissance

The Middle Ages: A Concise Encyclopaedia
Aim was to ”provide both beginner and specialist with a single volume that presents a summary of current thought on the key protagonists, events and themes relating to the history of Europe...from c. 400 to c. 1500.”
STACKS CB351.M565 1989

Modern Germany: An Encyclopedia of History, People, and Culture, 1871-1990
Includes entries not only on politics, but also on “personalities, events, institutions, and issues in such diverse fields as literature, music, art, religion, science, philosophy, economics, technology, the media, and society.” Each entry includes bibliographical references, and some entries are accompanied by maps and charts. The two volume set includes a Chronology and a detailed Index.

ORB: The Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies
Provides short articles with links to other web resources about European history from the Roman Empire to 1300.

Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages
"Covers all aspects of European history, society, and culture from 500 to 1500 A.D."
REFERENCE D117.O9 2010

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation
This four-vol. scholarly set "uses the broadest possible definition of the Reformation in order to depict not only religious life but also the related societal phenomena that in one way or another had bearing on religion." A select bibliography accompanies each entry. Includes a detailed Index.
REFERENCE BR302.8.O93 1996

The Penguin Dictionary of English and European History, 1485-1789
A selective dictionary covering the ”important personalities and topics”. The articles "follow the mainstream of political history without diverging too far into economic history, cultural history and so on.”
REFERENCE D205.W55 1984

Created by: Betty Jeffery, B.A., M.L.S.
Former Instruction & Education Services Librarian
Date Created: 22-May-2002
Date Revised: 22-March-2015