There are many types of background materials: encyclopedias (both general and subject specific), handbooks, and bibliographies. These are sometimes known as tertiary sources. Tertiary sources are books and articles that synthesize and report on secondary sources for general readers, such as text books, articles in encyclopedias, and articles in popular publications.
Why uses a background source? It can save you time by helping you with the groundwork below:
To locate a handbook, try the sample search in using the advanced search option in Library Catalog as shown below
To locate an encyclopedia
To locate a bibliography