Few of us are experts on any given topic. As a general rule, looking for background information on your topic helps provide you with context and facilitates the process of research. There are databases that contain reference works like encyclopedias, handbooks, or guides. Others contain eBook collections or citations to publications. These are great for researching histories of topics or exploring general works on a specific subject.
Keep in mind that many such works are indexed in online collections or "reference databases" and may be available in full-text online. Of course, finding credible sources for background information can be tricky but here are some relevant online reference sources to get you started: