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VIC119 Myths and Legends in Modern Contexts (Fall 2021)

Reference Sources: Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

A selected list of online dictionaries and encyclopedias of mythology, some are illustrated.

Reference sources contain entries (or articles) that provide overviews of specific topics. Entries in encyclopedias include comprehensive bibliographies, which may point you to relevant sources on the subject of your research.

Indigenous Art & Artists

The Canadian Encyclopedia
Contains several entries related to the Haida, including on artists such as Bill Reid and Charles Edenshaw.

Gale Virtual Reference Library
A digital collection of reference sources containing entries on many aspects of the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit cultures, including art and artist biographies.

Native Peoples of the World: An Encyclopedia of Groups, Cultures, and Contemporary Issues
The content examines the world’s Indigenous Peoples, their cultures and art, the countries in which they reside, and the issues that impact them.

Handbook of North American Indians
Available online via the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service.

Volume 7 is on the Northwest Coast and contains two entries on the Haida and one general entry on mythology which contains references to Haida mythology.

Accessing HathiTrust items can be difficult. If you run into trouble, contact Colin Deinhardt (colin.deinhardt@vicu.utoronto.ca). Usage terms are restrictive.

Oxford Reference Online
A digital collection of reference sources containing entries on many aspects of the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit cultures, including art and artist biographies.

Myths & Mythology

A Dictionary of World Mythology
Drawing upon hundreds of myths from around the globe, this reference source contains short, authoritative entries on gods of Greece, Rome, and Scandinavia, the more mystical deities of Buddhist and Hindu India, and the stern spirits of the African and American continents.

The Oxford Companion to World Mythology
Covering all aspects of mythology, this Companion includes essays on the world’s major mythological traditions (Greek, Native American, Indian, Japanese, Sumerian, Egyptian), along with retellings of better-known myths, and entries on mythological types, motifs, and figures (such as the Descent to the Underworld, the Hero, Creation, Odysseus, Spider Woman, and Inanna), and related subjects (such as fairly tales and legends).

Who’s Who in Classical Mythology
Scholarly accounts of mythological tales surrounding such gods as Apollo, Zeus, Athena and Dionysus, and mortals such as Achilles, Odysseus, Jason, Aeneas, Romulus and Remus and Tarquin.
The book contains extensive entries covering both Greek and Roman characters, providing detailed biographical information, together with historical and geographical background.

Brill’s New Pauly
An authoritative and extensive encyclopedia on economic, political, social and religious aspects of the ancient world: Greco-Roman culture, Semitic, Celtic, Germanic, and Slavonic culture, and ancient Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Many entries are elucidated with maps and illustrations and include updated bibliographic references.

Monsters in Literature

Finding Additional Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

To find additional dictionaries and encyclopedias using the library catalogue, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Advanced Search.
  2. Enter the type of reference source (dictionary or encyclopedia) in the first row and select “Title” from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click the plus sign to add an additional search row.
  4. Enter the keyword of your topic (e.g. mythology) in the second row and select “Title” from the drop-down menu.
  5. Click the search button to execute the search.

Advanced search option in the library catalogue

To locate electronic reference sources, select Online on the left side of the page.