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The first place to look when beginning research on a topic is in reference material: specialized dictionaries, encyclopedias or handbooks. These allow you to check names, dates and places, find additional information, look up unknown terms, and check for the proper spelling of words.

They are particularly helpful for finding basic background information on a topic, and are often the only place many students may need to look to find answers to their questions. They may include bibliographies (lists of additional materials on a topic, usually considered by the author to be the best materials on that topic or at least the material that author used) that you can use to find other materials. 

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Reference Books


For circulating books on fibers, click the Books link on the left.


Walker, Adian, ed. The Encyclopedia of Wood: A Tree-by-Tree Guide to the World's Most Valuable Resource. New York: Facts on File, 1989.
REF 674.03 En19m
With color illustrations and photography, this text discusses wood anatomy and processing as well as detailing various species.
Aronson, Joseph. The Encyclopedia of Furniture. 3d ed., Completely Rev. New York: Crown Publishera, 1965.
REF 749 Ar6e3
This encyclopedia covers historical periods as well as designers and furniture makers. Includes a bibliography.
Boyce, Charles, ed. Dictionary of Furniture. 3d ed. New York: Facts on File, 2014.
REF 749.03 D561b 2014
This is a comprehensive reference with more than 2,000 illustrated entries covering styles, designs, and materials.
Edwards, Clive. Encyclopedia of Furniture Materials, Trades, and Techniques. Brookfield: Ashgate Publications, 2000.
REF 749.03 Ed95en
Edwards covers furniture history from the Renaissance through contemporary practices, extensively covering Britian and the United States.
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.