Library Resources for Researching Civil Discourse & Social Change

The focus is on primary sources, both current and historical: locating news accounts in newspapers; transcripts of speeches and broadcasts; and congressional hearings and debates. Also includes secondary sources such as scholarly journals, news magazines, and special reports databases for research and analysis.

Periodical Indexes/Databases | Locating Periodicals | Books | Facts, Opinions & Statistics | Internet | Critical Evaluation | Citing Your Sources | Avoiding Plagiarism

Periodical Indexes/Databases

Current News, Speeches, and Other Primary Sources:

Ethnic NewsWatch (ProQuest)
Full text articles from more than 270 ethnic, minority and native press publications, including newspapers, magazines and journals, covering 1960 to present.
GPO Access (Government Printing Office)
Includes recent primary sources of information from the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Federal government. Executive includes: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, State of the Union Addresses, and Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents. In addition, reports, investigations, and findings from federal agencies are included. Legislative includes congressional bills, U.S. Code, Congressional Record (debates and proceedings from both houses of Congress), and Committee Reports (committee reports and recommendations for bills), and hearings. Judicial includes Supreme Court opinions and oral arguments.
Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL)
Provides access to primary U.S. policy documents, presidential directives, and national strategy documents as well as specialized secondary resources such as theses and reports from various universities, organizations and local and state agencies.
LA Beez
"LA Beez is an online collaboration of ethnic media organizations featuring hyperlocal news content covering the metropolitan Los Angeles area."
LexisNexis Academic
LexisNexis Academic is a full-text database containing news, legal, biographical, and business information from over 12,000 publications. Click on Easy Search (default) or Power Search from the General Searching toolbar, or News from the toolbar to search newspapers and other sources of news. Note: Easy Search does not use Boolean (AND, OR, NOT) operators and searches large groups of the most popular sources, including news, legal, people, companies, and countries. The News "All News" search option allows Boolean logic, searching within specific parts of a document (headline and lead paragraph, author/byline, etc.), and the ability to search more specific sources, such as "U.S. Newspapers and Wires," "Major World Publications," "Blogs," TV and radio news "broadcast transcripts," and "newswires." In addition, the News search, allows easy limits to reviews, editorials, and obituaries. Dates of coverage in LexisNexis vary by publication. NOTE: Due to publisher restrictions, Lexis Nexis Academic users may only access the latest 6 months of the Los Angeles Times. Use Proquest Newspapers for complete coverage of the Los Angeles Times online.
Oviatt Library Catalog
In addition to the book, microform, periodical, and media holdings of the Library, it also lists Congressional Hearings and other government documents received by the Library, many with links to the full text.
News on the Web
Links to major national/international news organizations' websites, Los Angeles area broadcast news websites, local online newspapers, and other sources of news on the web.
ProQuest Newspapers
Full text for 500+ U.S. and international news sources. Includes coverage of 150+ major U.S. newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the Chicago Tribune, plus hundreds of other news sources and news wires. Click the More Search Options link from the main search screen to reveal choices for limiting by Document Type, such as editorial, speech, and review.
Free video search engine. The news category shows up-to-the minute and older clips of news videos from a variety of U.S. and foreign sources.

Historical News, Speeches, and Other Primary Sources:

American Periodical Series
Contains digitized images of the pages of American magazines and journals that originated between 1741 and 1900.
Chicago Defender (includes Daily Defender)
Available as Chicago Defender in Black Studies Center (1910-1975) and Chicago Defender in Proquest Historical Newspapers (1905-1975). Offers full page and article images with searchable full text back to the first issue.
Congressional Record
Debates and proceedings from both houses of Congress, 1874 to present. See also GPO Access.
Los Angeles Times Historical (ProQuest)
Full text access to the Los Angeles Times, currently from 1881—1985.
New York Times Historical (ProQuest)
Full text access to the New York Times from September 18, 1851- December 31, 2001.
Oviatt Library Catalog
In addition to the book, microform, periodical, and media holdings of the Library, it also lists Congressional Hearings and other government documents received by the Library, many with links to the full text.
Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States
Hardcopy set located in the Oviatt Library, 1929 to the present. See also GPO Access.
U.S. Congressional Serial Set (Archive of Americana)
Contains all of the full text reports, documents, and journals of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, which constitute a rich source of primary source material on all aspects of American history from 1817 to 1886; and it will eventually cover up to 1980. Also links to American State Papers, legislative and executive documents, 1789-1838.

Journal Articles, News Magazines, Reports, and Other Secondary Sources

Academic Search Elite (EBSCOHost)
Provides full text for nearly 1,850 periodicals, including more than 1,250 peer-reviewed journals. In addition to the full text, indexing and abstracts are provided for all 3,237 periodicals in the collection. This database offers information in nearly every area of academic study, including communication studies.
America: History and Life (EBSCOhost)
America: History & Life indexes the literature covering the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present. It indexes 1,700 journals from 1964 to present, and also includes citations and links to book and media reviews.
Communication and Mass Media Complete (EBSCOhost)
Indexes and abstracts over 600 journals and trade publications; includes full text for over 240 journals. CMMC incorporates the content of CommSearch (formerly produced by the National Communication Association) and Mass Media Articles Index (formerly produced by Penn State). Subjects covered include communication studies, journalism, mass media, speech, linguistics, communicative disorders, deaf studies, advertising, and related areas of interest to practitioners and educators in these fields. Dates of coverage vary by journal. A list of journal titles covered by CMMC is available.
CQ Researcher
CQ Researcher full-text reports offer in-depth, non-biased coverage of political and social issues, with regular reports on topics in health, international affairs, education, the environment, technology and the U.S. economy. Each 12,000-word report is a unique work, investigated and written by a seasoned journalist, including sections on background and chronology; an assessment of the current situation; tables and maps; pro/con statements from representatives of opposing positions; and bibliographies of key sources. Note: Since the reports are written by journalists, it is not considered a scholarly journal. Coverage is from 1991 to the present.
CQ Weekly
Online weekly magazine provides in-depth reports on issues before the U.S. Congress, plus a complete summary of the previous week's news, including the status of bills in play, behind-the-scenes maneuvering, committee and floor activity, debates and all roll-call votes. Good source of current events and social issues. Coverage is from 1983 to present.
Film & Television Literature Index (EBSCOHost)
Indexes over 350 U.S. and international film and television periodicals, including popular magazines, scholarly journals, and trade publications. In addition, selected content is chosen from thousands of additional publications that contain relevant content. Dates of coverage vary.
Gale Power Search
Simultaneously access 11 Gale databases to locate magazine articles, academic journal articles, news, reference books, Web sites, and multimedia resources. Includes "Viewpoint" (pro/con) essays and topic overviews on controversial issues from Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center in the "books" results.
General Onefile (Gale)
General periodical database includes scholarly journals, magazines, and some newspapers, mostly full text.
Historical Abstracts (EBSCOhost)
Historical Abstracts covers the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present, including world history, military history, women's history, history of education, and more. It provides indexing of more than 1,700 academic historical journals in over 40 languages back to 1955.
International Political Science Abstracts (EBSCOhost)
IPSA indexes nearly 900 leading political science journals.
NewsBank Special Reports
includes content from sources throughout the world to provide a global perspective, current and background information, statistics, maps, images, websites, and suggested search terms. New information is added daily to featured and current reports.
Oviatt Library Catalog
In addition to the book, microform, periodical, and media holdings of the Library, it also lists Congressional Hearings and other government documents received by the Library, many with links to the full text.

Locating Periodicals


Facts, Opinions & Statistics

The following web sites can lead you to facts, opinions, statistics, and background information to support your research.


In addition to the databases and Web sites listed above, the Internet can be a valuable source of information. In addition to Google and Yahoo, there are many search engines that can help you with your research.

Critically Evaluating Information Resources

Citing Your Sources

Avoiding Plagiarism

Prepared by Katherine Dabbour, Communication Studies & Journalism Librarian

California State University, Northridge at 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330 / Phone: 818-677-2285 / © 2012 CSU Northridge
Last Updated: 23-Aug-2010