As you start your research, it can be useful to look at sources like encyclopedias, handbooks, and dictionaries. These are also known as reference sources. They can help you identify or refine a topic for your research, find useful definitions or overviews of a specific subject or issue, identify key concepts and researchers in the field, and find other materials which might be useful for your research.
UO Libraries has sources like these both online and in print form. Print reference books are located on the first floor of Knight Library and are organized by call number.
These databases let you a search a multidisciplinary collection of reference sources and may be a good place to start if you aren't sure what type of reference source would have information on the topic you're interested in.