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POSC 408
Seminar:  Contemporary Issues in Social Justice
Research Resources

Reference Sources

Searching for a topic?  Browse these specialized reference sources:

Encyclopedia of American Social Movements
CASE Ref. HN57 .E594 2004

Working Americans, 1880-2005
CASE Ref. HD8066 .D427 2005

The State of working America
CASE Ref. HD8051 .S73 2004/05

Gay and lesbian rights in the United States : a documentary history
CASE Ref. HQ76.8.U5 G37 2003

Historical Dictionary of the Gay Liberation Movement : Gay Men and the Quest for Social Justice
CASE Ref. HQ76.5 .H86 1999

Civil rights in the United States
CASE Ref. E184.A1 C47 2000

Civil rights in America : 1500 to the present
CASE Ref. JC599.U5 S53 1998

A nation of peoples : a sourcebook on America's multicultural heritage
CASE Ref. E184.A1 N2866 1999

Gale encyclopedia of multicultural America
CASE Ref. E184.A1 G15 1999

Crime and the justice system in America : an encyclopedia
CASE Ref. HV6789 .C6884 1997

Women and the law : leaders, cases, and documents
CASE Ref. KF478 .K84 2003

TITLE Encyclopedia of American immigration
CASE Ref. JV6465 .E53 2001


Secondary Sources

Colgate’s Library Catalog
ConnectNY (3 day delivery to Colgate) 
WorldCat (5-10 day delivery to Colgate) 

Article Databases
Academic Search Premier

Political Science
African American Studies
Queer Studies
Women’ Studies


Primary Sources

Primary sources may be more than statistics - text (e.g. laws, debates, speeches), visual (e.g. photos), interviews, public opinion surveys. Tips on searching for text-based primary sources.

For our purposes, data is most likely to include census data, health data, and economic and social indicators.

Statistical Abstract of the United States
CASE Ref. HA202 .S732006

County and City Databook

State & Metropolitan Area Data Book

Decennial census
CASE Ref Documents C 3.Census:year

Fedstats website
Search multiple federal government statistics sites at the same time. Among the most useful:

Data files, primarily in SASS or SPSS covering a wide range of political and social research, including voting studies and the United States supreme Court Judicial Database. Many data sets include bibliographies of publications that use the data.

Other sources


Public Opinion Polling

Public Opinion Polls with links to:

  • Introduction to understanding polling data
  • Polling the Nation
  • Poll Track from the National Journal tracks public opinion on campaigns and legislative and policy issue
  • Pew Research Center

Gallup Poll publications
Retrospective:  CASE Ref HN90.P8 G29 1999 (1937-1997)
Annual:  CASE Ref HN90 .P8 G35 (1988- )
Monthly:  CASE Ref HM261.A1 G34 (1971-2002)
Tuesday Briefings:  CASE Ref HM261.A1 G34 (Apr. 2002-2005)

American Attitudes
CASE Ref. HN90.P8 M58 2000

Measures of Political Attitudes
CASE Ref. JA74.5 .M43 1999


Government Documents

Colgate’s Library Catalog
Government documents (1976-present) are individually cataloged. The location code for these materials includes the word “document,” as in CASE Documents, CASE Ref Document or LASR Documents.

LexisNexis Congressional
Indexes many of the documents that are generated by the federal legislative process. Very selective full text. Some congressional materials (pre-1976) are published in large sets with their own indexing. Ask for help!

LexisNexis Academic, click on “Legal” tab near top of page. State and federal court decisions and laws; Supreme Court merit briefs for
cases granted cert., amicus curiae briefs, joint appendices and special masters beginning in January 1979, with selected coverage from 1936. All briefs for cases granted cert. begins after 1993. Also includes all briefs for cases petitioning for cert. after 2001.


Contemporary Accounts


  • American National Biography
  • Search Library Catalog by author’s last name, or by office held (e.g. United States President)
  • Collective biographies have Biography has part of the subject heading. Combine with terms that describe the person class, race, or profession
  • Other sources

Current News (1990-present)

Historical News

Other news sources

New Photos & Other Images

AP Image file
Archives of Associated Press photos from 1840-

Other Images


Page Created & Maintained by: Mary Jane Walsh | Last Updated: May 27, 2010 | © 2009

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