Skip to Main Content

History: Europe

History of European nations from the Middle Ages to the present including primary sources

Historical dictionaries

A historical dictionary may differ from a regular dictionary by holding more than definitions of words.  It may include entries on important people, places, events, political parties, and institutions, as well as major political, economic, social, and cultural aspects.  These entries can also be cross-referenced within the dictionary.

Other aspects of a historical dictionary include:

  • Bibliographies of important works,
  • Facts and statistics,
  • Chronologies that cover major historical events.

To discover dictionaries about an area, you can search by keyword or subject term of "dictionaries" e.g. France history revolution dictionaries, will find, among other results, the Historical dictionary of the French Revolution.

Remember to keep your keywords or subject terms broad when you are searching for dictionaries or encyclopedias.

Please note that not all dictionaries will have the term of "dictionary" in their title.  Some may only have the term in their subject heading e.g. France: a reference guide from the Renaissance to the present.


Historical encyclopedias will usually have longer entries than historical dictionaries which may include expansive essays.  They can range across all areas within a time period such as information on the archaeology and prehistory, the politics and culture, economics, institutions and organizations, wars and conflicts, and religions.

To discover encyclopedias about an area, you can search by keyword or subject term of "encyclopedias" and a geographical or subject area area e.g. "Europe" and "encyclopedia" will find Europe, 1450 to 1789: encyclopedia of the early modern world.  Or, enlightenment and encyclopedias will find Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment.