To explore other scholarly library reference sources, check out the suggestions in the library's subject guide(s) related to your speech topics.
Or you could search the library catalog for your topic, adding one of these limiting terms: encyclopedia, dictionary, reference, handbook.
Tips for finding background info on the web:
In addition to using our Search Start tool at the top of the library's main home page, you may want to focus your search on these specific databases. Each has its own advantages:
Additionally, we have many encyclopedias and biographical resources in the library's print Reference Collection (4th floor), and there may be biographical sources in our regular collection too. Try searching Hekman's catalog for your person's name, look at the suggested background sources in the library's Subject Guides (choose a subject related to your topic), or ask a librarian for other recommendations!