Reference materials are excellent resources for providing an overview of the subject you are researching. They will provide well-known facts on literary authors and their works; historical and political events that may have impacted their work; the society and culture in which they lived and worked and/or may have based their work upon; and the impact of their work on future generations. They are trustworthy and reliable, giving you the correct information you will need for your research papers and presentations.
The Oxford English Dictionary is the accepted authority on the evolution of the English language over the last millennium. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of over half a million words, both present and past. It traces the usage of words through 2.5 million quotations from a wide range of international English language sources, from classic literature and specialist periodicals to film scripts and cookery books.