Good places to look for background info include general reference sources. These are encyclopedias and even websites like Wikipedia (just make sure you don't cite from this source). Remember that Wikipedia is a good starting point but does not serve as a substitute for library resources. The following databases provide solid background info on most topics: GVRL Encyclopedias, Britannica Academic, Oxford Reference Online.
Databases that incorporate videos also give good background info on a particular topic, especially for those who are visual learners:
For more help getting started with research, see our tutorial Info 2: Research Process.