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American Presidency

Selected Reference Materials

Finding Primary Sources

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 New York Times has its own index, called the New York Times Index.  The print index is in the library at 071.471 N532y1, but the archive is also search online through the New York Times website. The library has archives of the New York Times on microfilm.  If you're being prompted to pay for articles via the website, note the information about the articles you want (title, author, date, section, page numbers) and use our microfilm collection (in the AV Alcove, Level A) to access the text. Do not pay for the articles online. NOTE: For New York Times articles 1981-present, use LexisNexis Academic (above) or the NYT website.

Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature
1890-1997: Print index -- Location: 051 R286g 
1983-present
1890-1982
*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.

Living Room Candidate (Museum of the Moving Image)
Archive of presidential campaign commercial, 1952-2008.

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

POTUS: Presidents of the United States (ipl2)
Compilation of information on presidents and their administrations.  Includes links to historical documents and audio/video files. 

Presidential Libraries (American Presidency Project, UCSB)
Links to presidential libraries and museums.

Presidential Speech Archive (Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia)
Collection of "some of the most important presidential speeches in American history. These speeches all have transcripts, and some are available in their entirety in full audio. Recently we have expanded our collection to include video speeches from President John F. Kennedy through President Barack Obama."

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

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 from 1989 on, public laws from 1988 on, committee reports from 1990 on, House and Senate documents from 1995 on, Congressional Record from 1985 on, Federal Register from 1980 on, and more government information.  (Previously known as LexisNexis Congressional.) 

Statistics and Data

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.

Finding Statistics and Data (Muhlenberg College)
Links to recommended sources.

Historical Statistics of the United States (2006- )
 

 

Selected Primary Sources

Finding Secondary Sources

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

Finding Books: Library Catalogs

SEARCHING FOR 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

SEARCHING FOR ARTICLES

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.

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.