SPA 390: Background Info

Resources for researching slavery in the Caribbean area.

Where Should I Begin?

Good background information may be found in reference sources. 

Reference sources (dictionaries, encyclopedias, manuals, guides) provide the following types of information on virtually any topic:

  • Reliable background information;
  • Articles written by subject experts;
  • Dates, timelines, events, people, definitions related to your topic;
  • Statistics;
  • A list of further readings, normally found at the end of encyclopedia articles.  Use these references as springboards for further research.

Find additional reference sources by searching Bishop Library's Catalog.  Click on Advanced Search, choose Type, choose Reference.

Image Source:  Advertisement for slave sale.  New Orleans, May 13, 1835.  New York Historical Society #46628, as shown on, compiled by Jeromy Handler and Michael Tuite and sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the University of Virginia Library.


Print subject encyclopedias, available in Bishop Library, behind the DVDs.