These titles offer short (usually 1-2 page) articles on various persons, topics, events, and concepts. They are arranged alphabetically, and provide concise introductions to important topics in a particular discipline, and a selected bibliography of the most important works for further study.
Start with the Subject-Specific Dictionary or Encyclopedia that is most focused and relevant on your particular topic. For example, if writing on S. Benedict of Nursia, begin with the Encyclopedia of Monasticism or theDictonary of the Middle Ages rather than the Encyclopedia of Christianity. Generally, when a work is more narrowly focused, it provides a deeper level of information for each entry.
When you pick your topic, be sure to search the library catalog for "handbooks," "companions," "dictionaries," and "encyclopedias" for that particular subdiscipline, era, topic and person.
This is not an exhaustive list of religion-related Reference and circulating materials, but some of the best LRC holdings for theological research.
Here are helpful resources for beginning research on topics regarding the Hebrew Bible.