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American Political Thought  

Last Updated: Aug 17, 2016 URL: http://libraryguides.muhlenberg.edu/americanpoliticalthought Print Guide RSS Updates
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Finding Secondary Sources: Selected Resources

What is a Secondary Source?  See Primary vs. Secondary Sources.

Finding Books with Encompass Search

Encompass Search finds information by searching through a massive collection of books, scholarly journals, newspapers and magazines, dissertations, conference proceedings, music, video, maps, and more. Rather than searching in separate databases, Encompass Search helps you find resources from many catalogs and databases quickly and easily, all from a single search box.  To find only books, use the Books limit on the left sidebar of your search results page. Many items will be in Trexler Library; note the call number and status of the item to check its location and availability. For items not in Trexler Library, use the Interlibrary Loan to request a copy from another library.


Finding Articles: Databases & Indexes

Specialized Databases:

America History & Life
A database of scholarly journal articles, books, book chapter, book reviews, dissertations, and more in U.S. and Canadian history. Some full text is linked directly in the database; otherwise use the Check for Full Text buttons to check for full text online or in the library.

PAIS
Citations from scholarly journal articles, books, book chapters, policy briefs, government publications, and more from on domestic and international political, economic, social and public policy issues. Use the Check for Full Text buttons to check for full text online or in the library.

Philosopher's Index
A database of journals and books of philosophy from 1940 to present. Some full text is linked directly in the database; otherwise use the Check for Full Text buttons to check for full text online or in the library.

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
Citations from scholarly journal articles, books, book chapters, policy briefs, government publications, and more in political science and complementary fields, including international relations, law, and public administration/policy. Use the Check for Full Text buttons to check for full text online or in the library.

General / Interdisciplinary Databases:

Academic Search Complete
A database of both scholarly and popular publications in a wide variety of disciplines and subject areas, including political science. Most full text is linked directly in the database; otherwise use the Check for Full Text buttons to check for full text online or in the library.

JSTOR
A database of scholarly journals for most academic disciplines. The most recent three to five years of most journals are not included. Full text is linked directly in the database.

Omnifile
A database of scholarly and non-scholarly journals covering various subjects including general sciences, humanities, social sciences, and business. Most full text is linked directly in the database; otherwise use the Check for Full Text buttons to check for full text online or in the library.

Project MUSE
A database of scholarly journals for the the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Full text is linked directly in the database.

 

Finding Primary Sources: Selected Resources

What is a Primary Source?  See Primary vs. Secondary Sources.

News and Popular Publications

19th Century Masterfile
Citations to Anglo-American nineteenth century newspapers, periodicals, books, and goverment documents.

Academic Search Complete
Full text access to scholarly and non-scholarly publications in a wide variety of disciplines and subject areas.  (Likely best for 1980s/1990s to the present.)

LexisNexis Academic
Full text of thousands of newspapers, magazines, broadcast transcripts, business publications, legal materials, and more. (Likely best for 1980s/1990s to the present.)

New York Times
The library has access to archives of the New York Times via a variety of options. 

Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature
1900-1996: Print index -- Location: 051 R286g 
1983-present: Online (via OmniFile)
1890-1982: Online (via Readers' Guide Retrospective)
*Note: The online database sometimes doesn't find results when it should!  The print index may be more authoritative!


Via Websites

American Memory (Library of Congress)
"[P]rovides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity. These materials, from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions, chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas that continue to shape America, serving the public as a resource for education and lifelong learning." Includes a wide variety of collections, including those specific to Government/Law and Presidents.

American Presidency Project (University of California, Santa Barbara)
These online archives contain more than 68,000 documents "related to the study of the Presidency," including addresses, press conferences, executive orders, data, and more.

National Archives (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration)

Websites for Political Speeches (Wake Forest University)
Collection of links to sites archiving political speeches.

Find more...  Many libraries, research centers, and archives have digitized their primary sources materials to make them available online.  Search Google to access these materials.  Consider adding the word "database" to your keywords to pull up collections of primary source materials. 


Via Library Catalogs

All items in our library catalog are assigned Library of Congress Subject Headings. These are fixed and standardized terms that describe the content of documents. Subject headings are divided into elements, or subdivisions. The subdivisions modify the main headings, describing a narrower topic within a subject category or even describing the type of document. A number of these subdivisions, then, identify documents as "primary sources." By adding these terms to your search in the library catalog, you can pull up relevant Trexler Library holdings. The following subject subdivisions may be useful terms to add to your search to limit results to primary sources: correspondence, diaries, manuscripts, pamphlets, personal narrativees, sources, speeches.  

To search for these kinds of items, use Encompass Search (Library Homepage -- Encompass Search tab -- Advanced Search). To search Encompass Search, follow these search tips. You may be find materials held by Trexler Library or to request materials via Interlibrary Loan.

  • In the first search box, enter keyword(s) describing your topic. Leave the drop-down menu at keyword.
  • In the second search box, enter one of the subject heading subdivisions terms (e.g., correspondence). Select Subject from the drop-down menu.
  • Click Submit.

SELECTED ITEMS FROM THE CATALOG

American Decades Primary Sources (2004)
Location: 973.92 A512dp v.1-10

American Speeches (2006)
Location: 973 A512sp v. 1-2
From the Revolution to Bill Clinton

A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1789-1897
Location: Government Publications AE 2.114:789-897 v.1-9 (Level A)


Government Documents

Muhlenberg College receives about 30% of all materials published by the Federal Government. All of the government documents that we receive have records in Encompass Search.

Government Information Resource Guide (Muhlenberg College)
Collection of links.

Legal Information Institute (Cornell University)
Legal collections include: Federal law, Constitution, U.S. Code, Code of Federal Regulations, Supreme Court, Federal Rules, State law resources, State statutes by topic, and more.

LexisNexis Academic
U.S. legal information includes: federal and state cases; Supreme Court briefs; Federal Statutes, Codes & Regulations; State Statutes, Codes & Regulations; and more.

ProQuest Congressional
Information on the U.S. legislature, including full text of bills, public laws, committee reports, House and Senate documents, Congressional Record, Federal Register, and more government information.  Cover generally extends back to the early 1970s.

Citing Your Sources

  • The Chicago manual of style (16th ed., 2010)
    Location: Online or search library catalog by title or Ready Reference 808.027 C632m
      

    Writing an Annotated Bibliography

    For additional help constructing an annotated bibliography, consult the following resources. Note: First consult your assignment handout.

        

      Need Help with Your Research?

      Contact:

      Jen Jarson
      Social Sciences Reference Librarian
      phone: 484-664-3552
      email: jarson@muhlenberg.edu

          
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