Background sources (or “reference” works) are great places to start in building your secondary bibliographies. Reference works include scholarly encyclopedias, handbooks, scholarly “companions," and similar sources that contain essays providing background information on a topic and overviews of the relevant scholarship. Citations to the secondary literature will always be included, and often so too will citations to primary sources. Here are some of these recommended resources:
A useful collection of many handbooks, each with numerous articles. Browse and search for your topic. You may find a single article or an entire handbook that is helpful.
Titles include The Oxford Handbook of Cities in World History, The Oxford Handbook of Urban Planning, The Oxford Handbook of Material Culture Studies, and The Oxford Handbook of Contextual Political Analysis.
Scholarly encyclopedias that are often an excellent starting point for research. Articles usually cite many primary and secondary sources. Examples of articles include "Tourism and Connoisseurship in the Collection Histories of Haitian Art in the United States," "Architecture in Mexico City, 1940-1980," "Urban Tourism in the U.S. since 1800," and "Tourism in the History of U.S. Foreign Relations."
Surveys such as the book What is Urban History? are also great places to start and can often be found listed in reference works or by searching the library catalog.
This guide is intended for students in Professor Jacinda Tran's course and provides an overview of key resources in the Yale Library.