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The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.
The Maps tab offers several world and regional maps, and the References tab explains the country profiles and links to data codes as well as information on international organizations, weights and measures, terrorist organizations, and more.
Search hundreds of e-books at once for introductory information on research topics. Oxford Reference also offers detailed searchable timelines. Look under "Subject" to browse topics like "History" or "Society and Culture" to find specific reference books useful for learning about the history, culture and politics of a country.