Encyclopedias are collections of short, factual entries often written by different contributors who are knowledgeable about the topic.

There are two types of encyclopedias -- general and subject. General encyclopedias provide concise overviews on a wide variety of topics, Subject encyclopedias contain in-depth entries focusing on one field of study.

The best place to find an encyclopedia is in a library. However, more and more encyclopedias can be found on the Web.


You may use an encyclopedia

  • when looking for background information on a topic.
  • when trying to find key ideas, important dates or concepts.

Examples of encyclopedias