Background Information gives you an introduction to a topic, issue, or person. It's what you're looking for when you look up "Ancient Greece" in an encyclopedia. Knowing a little bit about something you are researching helps you focus in on what's really interesting to you!
So...get a few facts, details, names and terms about your topic...then decide in what direction your curiosity wil take you.
Encyclopedia Britannica Online
Online version of the Encyclopedia Britannica and Merriam-Webster Dictionary & Thesaurus
Virtual Reference Library
A collection of encyclopedias, almanacs, and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research
Composed of high-quality articles from the Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition