Search It has a number of electronic encyclopedias that you can reference for historical and background research. To get encyclopedia articles, type in your keywords and then on the left side, click on Reference Entries under Type. Then click on Full Text Available or Online Access to get to the full article. You could also look for full electronic encyclopedias right in Search It. To do this, type in your keyword AND encyclopedia, and then select Ebook under Type.
Below are a couple of example searches and texts:
Wikipedia is honestly a great place to start. It's easy to access, easy to read, and *usually* pretty accurate. The problem with Wikipedia is that anyone can edit entries, at any time. So, do not use these as your final source, as you don't know who has been messing with it! Rather, use it to get a quick overview of your topic, and then start to write down possible keywords: themes, people, events, etc. that you might want to try searching for additional information on in the library databases.