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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Ethnic Studies: Multicultural America

Reference Materials: Encyclopedias, Handbooks, etc.

Reference materials are a good way to begin your research:








  • Helps to brainstorm for topic ideas
  • Provides a topic overview
  • Helps with formulating your topic (how to think about your topic)
  • Heading provide different ways to break down your topic (relevant issues)
  • Uses topic specific vocabulary/terms (use when searching for additional sources) 
  • Provides a bibliography leading to additional relevant books and/or articles

Print Encyclopedias and Handbooks

The African American Encyclopedia 2nd edition (2001)

Reference  E 185 .A253 2001 v.1-10

American Immigrant Cultures: Builders of a Nation (1997)  

Reference  E 184 .A1 A63448 1997 v.1-2

The Asian American Encyclopedia (1995)

Reference E 184 .O6 A827 1995 v.1-6

Encyclopedia of Minorities in American Politics (2000)

Reference E 184 .A1 E574 2000  v.1-2

Encyclopedia of Multicultural Psychology (2006)

GN502 .E63 2006

Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America (2000)  

Reference E 184 .A1 G14 2000

Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups (1980)

Reference E 184 .A1 H35 1980

Immigrants in American History: Arrival, Adaptation and Integration (2013)   

Reference Desk JV6450 .I5536 2013 v. 1-4

Japanese American History: An A-to-Z Reference from 1868 to the Present (1993)

Reference E 184 .J3 J3355 1993

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in Contemporary Politics, Law, and Social Movements (2015)

Reserve Room (3 hour loan inside our Library) E184 .S75 O969 2015

‚ÄčThe Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States (2005) 

Stacks  E184 .S75 O97 2005 v.1-4

Reference Library of Black America (2003)

Reference E 185 .R455 2003 v. 1-5

Online Encyclopedias

Reference Databases:

Gale eBooks

  • Provides a multitude of encyclopedias on Multicultural America
  • Works on individual ethnic/religious/racial communities
  • Click the Multicultural Studies link to view individual titles

International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavior Sciences

  • Authoritative interdisciplinary articles providing a foundation across the wide range of behavioral and social sciences fields

Oxford Bibliographies

  • Authoritative research guides by scholars and librarians worldwide
  • Annotated bibliographies with subject introductions
  • Search for entries on key academic concepts in addition to specific ethnic groups 

Oxford Reference

  • Online reference database bringing together dictionaries, handbooks and encyclopedias spanning 25 different subject areas
  • Browse through or search under their list of specialized subjects

Sage Knowledge--Reference 

  • Search Sage Reference Sociology section in particular to find overview articles on ethnic studies related topics


Online Encyclopedia Titles:

Asian American History and Culture: An Encyclopedia (2010)

  • History of myriad ethnic groups that make up the population of Asians in America
  • Political, social, and cultural history of immigrants from East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Pacific Islands
  • Asian American communities, families, and individuals in contemporary United States

Asian American Society: An Encyclopedia (2014)

  • Asian Americans, from over 30 distinctive Asian-origin subgroups, defy simplistic descriptions or generalizations
  • Discussions of a wide range of issues and problems within Asian American communities

Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History: The Black Experience in the Americas, 2nd edition (2006)

  • Aspects of the African-American experience from 1619 to the present

Encyclopedia of Immigration and Migration in the American West (2006)

  • Immigrant contribution to the history of the American West.
  • Biographies, community histories, economic enterprise analysis, and demographic studies.
  • Role of American Indians, African Americans, women and more in development of the American West.

Encyclopedia of Race and Racism (2009)

  • Examines the anthropological, sociological, historical, economic and scientific theories of race and racism in the modern era
  • Biographies of theorists, political and social leaders and notorious racists

Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, Society (2008)

  • Articles on numerous racial and ethnic communities living in the United States from the Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity and Society.  Search under the racial, ethnic or nationality's name
  • Topics related to race and ethnicity in contemporary American society

Ethnic Dress in the United States : A Cultural Encyclopedia (2014) 

  • Exploration of 150 distinct items of ethnic dress along with history and cultural significance within the United States

Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America (2014)

  • 152 ethnic, racial and religious cultures in the United States

Hispanic American Religious Cultures (2009)

  • Hispanic American religiosity
  • Role of Latino and Latina Americans within U.S. religious culture

Immigrants in American History: Arrival, Adaptation and Integration  (2013)

  •  A chronological study of the migration of various ethnic groups to the United States from 1500 to the present day

The Italian American Experience: An Encyclopedia (1999)

  • Encyclopedic account of the Italian experience in the United States.
  • Topics relating to the arts, history, religion, community organizations, archival depositories, literature, pop culture, social science/politics, sports, wartime military and home front activities, and science and technology.

Mexican American Experience: An Encyclopedia (2003)

  • Comprehensive coverage of the Mexican American experience.
  • Historical approach tracing Mexican Americans' experience in the United States

Oxford The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States (2005)

  • Diverse experiences of Latinos and Latinas from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Central America, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East
  • Topics include identity, art, politics, religion, education, health, and history