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Recommended Reference Books
The Encyclopedia of Fantasy
Call Number: PN56 .F34 E53 1999 (Benson)
This gigantic volume covers a broad range of topics, authors, movements, themes, subgenres, and more in fantasy literature. With all of its 4,000 entries, it addresses fantasy in several different mediums of fantasy outside of literature, such as film, television, and art. As other modes of fantasy can inform your research and understanding of fantasy literature, this extensive encyclopedia is a highly useful resource. Especially recommended is its entry on "Fantasy", which explains the genre in an intelligent and clear way, with explanations of terms used in the entry, which can be read to gain more insight.
Tolkien and the Invention of Myth
Call Number: PR6039 .O32 Z839 2004 (Barton)
The eighteen essays in Tolkien and the Invention of Myth examine the ancient Greek, Latin, Old Norse, Old English, and Finnish sources from which Tolkien appropriated the concepts, images, characterizations, contexts, and theories that inform his own fictional narratives The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. A well-rounded and essential reader for any Tolkien lover, the book includes several essays that provide background and context, explaining Tolkien's literary aesthetic and his interest in folklore, his love of philology, and the philosophical and religious underpinnings of his narratives.
Online Reference Sources
Credo Reference This link opens in a new window
Information from encyclopedias and reference sources on a wide range of topics, as well as links to information in other databases. Provided by DISCUS, South Carolina's Virtual Library.
Gale eBooks This link opens in a new window
Electronic reference books for multidisciplinary research. Formerly Gale Virtual Reference Library.
Tips On Using Reference Resources
Can't see the enchanted forest for the trees? Research may seem straightforward, but sometimes it helps to have a couple of tips for maximizing efficiency and success. Here are a few:
- If you find a source you like, such as an encyclopedia or a book of literary criticism, check out the bibliography section. This points you to the sources the authors/editors of the reference work you are using, most of which you already know will be authoritative and relevant judging by their parent source.
- If in doubt about where to find a reference work, or if the library you are at doesn't have what you are looking for, ask a reference librarian. They will be more than willing to assist you, either in finding an item at another branch, through PASCAL, or with Interlibrary Loan (ILL).