University Library at St. Cloud State University

Cultures in U.S.

Online Reference Resources on Cultures
Reference books included in online Credo Reference:
International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family (online)
Encyclopedia of Gender and Society (online)
Encyclopedia of Motherhood (online)
The Multimedia Encyclopedia of Women in Today's World (online)

Locate box for Search within this title
Enter culture or ethnicity or other limiter:  Hispanics ... African American ... immigrant ... single parent .... etc.

Scroll to the bottom of an article to find citation information. Then copy and paste into your bibliography.

Credo Reference Restricted Resource Some full text availabledatabase eref ebook
Provides online access to over 500 reference books (encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, etc.) in all subject areas. This is the premier place to look up a quick fact or to search for background information on a research topic.

SAGE Reference Online Restricted Resource Some full text availabledatabase eref ebook
Provides access to 90 full-text specialized encyclopedias that offer excellent background information on a topic.
Reference Collection Resources on Cultures
The Reference Collection (1st Floor past the Reference Desk) includes a number of specialized subject encyclopedias that provide historical and contemporary information about cultures of people living in the United States. 

Most of these encyclopedias include sections on topics such as:  population; location; language; history; food; land and property; economy; social classes; political life; social issues; gender roles and status; marriage, family, kinship; child rearing; education; religion; health care; arts and humanities; and ethnic and racial challenges.

Books in the Reference Collection cannot be checked out and are therefore available in the library when needed.

When researching cultures in the United States, use the following volumes to learn an overview of the culture and discover vocabulary to further research books and articles. Note the year of publication of the following sources. You may need to update information with scholarly articles.


Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America
REF E184.A1 G15 Check MnPALS Catalog for Location and Availability
4 vols. Medium to lengthy entries for American ethnic groups. Organized by ethnic groups. Each entry includes information on history, geography, immigration, culture, religion, family structures, and more. Bibliographies are included with each entry.

Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life
REF GT31.G74 2004 (6 vols.) Check MnPALS Catalog for Location and Availability
Provides detailed information on daily life from ancient times through the present. Arranged chronologically by volume. Entries include historical overview, domestic life, economic life, intellectual life, material life, political life, recreational life, and religious life. Some primary sources are also included.
Note: Ancient times to the present
Vol. 6 Modern World

They Chose Minnesota: A Survey of the State's Ethnic Groups
F615 .A1 T45 Check MnPALS Catalog for Location and Availability
Provides narrative and historical statistics for each of the state's ethnic groups, from Swedes to the Hmong.

Ethnic Relations: a cross-cultural encyclopedia
REF GN480.B76 v4x Check MnPALS Catalog for Location and Availability
Entries providing broad coverage of topical issues and ethnic groups.    


Countries and Their Cultures
REF GN 307 .C68 2001
4 vol., arranged A-Z by culture.  Articles typically include information on history, ethnic relations, food and economy, political life, gender roles and statuses, marriage/family/kinship, socialization, medicine and health care, arts and humanities.
Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life
REF GN 33 ,W67
4 vol. (Africa, Americans, Asia and Oceania, and Europe). A-Z by culture within volume. Most articles include location, language, folklore and religion, interpersonal relations, family life, education, cultural heritage, social problems, and more.   Vol. 6 Modern World.

Encyclopedia of World Cultures
REF GN 307 .E53
10 vol., arranged by geographic location.  A-Z within volume. Most articles include location, demography, history and cultual relations, economy, kinship, marriage and family, religion, and more.

AFRICAN AMERICANS -- Browse in REF E 185 for more resources

African American Encyclopedia
REF E185.A253 2001
10 vol. A-Z arrangement with index in Vol. 10. Entries include information on history, biography, culture, society, and current issues. Most entries are signed and include Suggested Readings for further research. Second Edition is the work of a great many hands; 346 scholars contributed the essays that appear in these pages.

Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History
REF E185 .E54 2006
A-Z organization in 6 volumes.  Offers extensive articles on people, institutions, events, issues, and themes related to African Americans. Signed articles include bibliography for further reading.

Encyclopedia of African American Society
REF E185.E546 2005 Check MnPALS Catalog for Location and Availability
Approaching the field from a "street level" perspective, these two volumes cover topics of universal interest in America: politics, sports, education, race relations, television and cinema, religion, literature, music (from jazz to rap to opera), and much more. The Encyclopedia of African American Society is also the first comprehensive yet accessible reference set in this field to give voice to turbulent historical trends - slavery, segregation, the "separate but equal" doctrine, implementation of fair housing laws and affirmative action - that have shaped the experience of African Americans.

ASIAN AMERICANS -- Browse in REF E 814 .S75 for more resources

Asian American Encyclopedia
REF E184.06 A827 1995 Check MnPALS Catalog for Location and Availability
An encyclopedia covering Asian American events and individuals, with entries ranging from short definitions to multi-page essays. 6 volumes, illustrated, with charts, tables, general index, and subject index. The latter makes it possible to use this encyclopedia to study sub-groups, e.g., Korean Diaspora.

MUSLIM AMERICANS -- Browse in REF BP 40 and DS 35-70 for more resources

Islamic World: Past and Present
Ref DS 35.53 .I86 2004
3 vol. A-Z encyclopedia has index in Vol. 3. Look under United States to find information on Arab Americans. Includes articles history, daily life, religion, art, architecture, culture, and current issues.

Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures
Ref HQ 1170 .E53 2003
Vol. 1 includes methodologies, paradigms, and sources for studying women and Islamic cultures through thematic entries. Articles are scholarly and include bibliographies. Tip: use the table of contents and subject index to access relevant articles on topics such as marriage, gender roles, health, law, migration, childbirth, etc.

LATINO AMERICANS -- Browse in REF E 184 .S75 for more resources

Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos & Latinas in the United States
REF E184 .S75 O97 2005 Check MnPALS Catalog for Location and Availability
4 vols. A-Z signed articles, most with bibliographies for further research. Includes articles on historical, cultural, social, political, biographical information, and current issues.

Encyclopedia Latina : History, Culture, and Society in the United States
REF E 184.S75 E587 2005
4 vol.  A-Z organization of wide range of topics related to Latino/a culture in the U.S.  Includes history, current issues, biogrphical entries, cultural topics, and much more. Some articles are lengthy and include Further Reading suggestions.

Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia
REF E 184.S75 L35 2006
3 vol. Almost 600 articles and 300 photographs, arranged in A-Z order.  Articles are signed, and most include sources for further reading.

Handbook of Hispanic Cultures in the United States
E184.S75 H365 1993 Check MnPALS Catalog for Location and Availability
A survey of art, history, sociology, and anthropology of Hispanic Americans. Chapters within each volume are arranged by topic, and articles are lenghty and well illustrated (Diana Hacker, 2003).

NATIVE AMERICANS -- Browse in REF E76 - 98 for more resources

Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes
REF E77 .G15 1998 Check MnPALS Catalog for Location and Availability
This comprehensive four (4) volume set does an admirable job of covering a lot of information in a respectable fashion. Each volume covers a particular region or regions with alphabetical access to the various tribes within that area. Each entry provides an introduction, history, literature of the people, culture (religion, language, architecture, subsistence, clothing & adornment, healing practices and customs. Included is also a paragraph highlighting current tribal issues.

American Indians
Ref E 76.2 .A45 1995
3 vol. A-Z encyclopedia with index in Vol. 3. Includes articles on people, places, events, culture, history, tribes, society, and current issues.

Encyclopedia of North American Indians
Provides an authentic and often surprising portrait of the complexities of the Native American experience. Written by more than 260 contemporary authorities, the volume features many Native American contributors — including eminent writers, tribal elders, scholars, and activists — with voices as distinct as their subjects, offering a deeper and more informed appreciation of American Indian life, past and present.   Online.
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Click red box to access email (answered usually within an hour during regular Reference Desk hours), chat (available 24 / 7), phone numbers for SCSU Reference Desk, and online form to set up a one-on-one (in person or via telephone) research consultation with a librarian.
Search Tips
To search for information about cultures in library databases and catalog, you may need to use several different words as cultural references change over time.

African Americans -- also try Blacks (or even Negroes if looking for historical information), Somali Americans, etc.

Asian Americans -- also try Chinese American, Japanese American, East Indian Americans, etc.

Latino/a Americans -- also try Hispanic Americans, Mexican Americans, Mexicans, Latinos, Latinas, Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans, etc.

Muslim Americans -- also try Islamic Americans, Middle Eastern Americans, Arab Americans, etc.

Native Americans -- also try Indians of North America (especially in library catalog), Ojibway, Sioux, Navajo, etc.

To find general cultural information in MnPALS library catalog, use this strategy to narrow an Advanced Search on a cultural group:  social life and customs
Search for Scholarly Articles
LibSearch Unrestricted Resource Some full text availabledatabase
Search the library's physical collection (books, movies, music, government publications, etc.) along with online journals and e-books to which the Library subscribes -- all in a single search.

Academic Search Premier (all topics) Restricted Resource Some full text availablefindit elm database
Full-text articles in biology, chemistry, education, engineering, humanities, physics, psychology, religion and theology, sociology, etc. Tip: Click the check box to limit to Academic (Peer Reviewed) Journals.

Ethnic NewsWatch Restricted Resource Some full text availablefindit database
Articles from over 200 newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press. Provides in-depth coverage of a wide range of current and historical topics. Limit the Source Type to "Scholarly Journals" for peer-reviewed articles.

GenderWatch Restricted Resource Some full text availablefindit database
Articles on topics like sexuality, religion, societal roles, feminism, masculinity, eating disorders, day care, and the workplace that support LGBT studies, family studies, gender studies, and women's studies with a unique interdisciplinary approach. Click the check box to limit results to "Peer-reviewed" for scholarly articles.
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