Reference sources such as encyclopedias or dictionaries (or even Wikipedia) can be useful for providing background information on a particular event, person, or place. These sources will give you an overview, and often point you in the direction of where you can find more in-depth information. When you're just getting started learning about something, a reference source can be a quick way to give yourself some footing.
Short biographies of influential people, both living and dead. Each entry links to articles about the subject in newspapers, magazines, and periodicals.
Biography in Context combines over 330,000 biographies on nearly 220,000 people from more than 625 volumes of nearly 80 sources such as Contemporary Authors, Encyclopedia of World Biography, Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television, Contemporary Musicians, Historic World Leaders, Notable Twentieth-Century Scientists, Contemporary Black Biography, Religious Leaders of America, International Dictionary of Art and Artists, and Writers Directory, with full-text articles from more than 250 magazines including American History and U.S. News & World Report.