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Where to Start Searching
In the beginning of your research, it's helpful to learn just enough about the topic to get a basic overview. If you were just getting started, where would you look for background information on the history of your case and the main issues? Where would you look to find out about events and themes that defined the time period? What names, terms and topics might you use in your search?
Try searching OneSearch is the library catalog, there you can search almost everything in the library at once- books, media, news sources, scholarly journals, and more.
Use Library databases smaller collections of scholarly articles, news sources, images, media and more, which may be organized thematically on different topics.
Google Scholar - a resource for both scholarly and non-scholarly articles. If you are on campus, you will find links to scholarly articles in our databases.
- Brainstorm a few key words or phrases about your topic to help get you started in addition to the name of the case and the people involved.
- Use some of the reference sources like encyclopedias or short articles that will give you background and overview information.
- Think about the types of resources you are looking for (books, chapters, images scholarly articles, news, etc.), use appropriate filters in Onesearch to find these specific types of materials
- If you can't find an article or book you need, check out our service called interlibrary loan - we can request materials from other libraries if we don't have them at UR.
Finding Scholarly Articles
Academic Search Complete This link opens in a new window
Search for journal articles on most topics. This multi-disciplinary database is a good place to start if you don't know where else to begin. (EBSCO)
JSTOR This link opens in a new window
Search for journal articles on topics in the arts, humanities, social sciences and some math/science. Most journals have volumes/issues dating from the 19th century to within 3-5 years of present day. (ITHAKA)
Political Science Complete This link opens in a new window
Search for journal articles on topics related to political science, political theory, political behavior, public policy, law, international relations, comparative politics, and non-governmental organizations. (EBSCO)
Social Sciences Full Text This link opens in a new window
Search for journal articles on topics related to the social sciences. This link includes both current content and retrospective content from 1907-1984. (EBSCO)
Historical Newspapers (ProQuest) This link opens in a new window
Search for articles from 6 national papers (Atlanta Constitution, Christian Science Monitor, LA Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post) and 5 historically Black papers (Atlanta Daily World, Chicago Defender, Los Angeles Sentinel, New York Amsterdam News, and Pittsburgh Courier). Full-text dates vary for each newspaper. (ProQuest)
New York Times Historical Newspaper & Index This link opens in a new window
Access the archives of the New York Times from 1851-2019. (ProQuest)
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Project of the Library of Congress.
Reference Sources for Background Info
Gale In Context: U.S. History This link opens in a new window
Search for encyclopedia articles, journal articles, news articles, primary source documents, audio, and video on many topics connected to US History. (Gale)
Historic Supreme Court Cases on Race
Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute provides background on historical and contemporary Supreme Court Cases
Oyez (pronounced OH-yay)—a free law project from Cornell’s Legal Information Institute (LII), Justia, and Chicago-Kent College of Law—is a multimedia archive devoted to making the Supreme Court of the United States accessible to everyone. It is the most complete and authoritative source for all of the Court’s audio since the installation of a recording system in October 1955. Oyez offers transcript-synchronized and searchable audio, plain-English case summaries, illustrated decision information, and full-text Supreme Court opinions (through Justia).
Making of Modern Law This link opens in a new window
Find primary source documents that explore all aspects of American and British law. Access ACLU papers, records from the U.S. Court of Appeals, legal treatises from the 19th and 20th centuries, trial documents dating back to the 1600s, and U.S. Supreme Court records and briefs. (Gale)
Index to Legal Periodicals and Books (Current and Retrospective) This link opens in a new window
Search for articles from legal journals, law reviews, yearbooks, and other publications from bar associations, universities, and governments. This database also includes citations of thousands of books. It is international in scope, also including information from Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia. (EBSCO)
HeinOnline This link opens in a new window
Search for articles from legal journals and law reviews. Government documents from each branch are also available in this database. (HeinOnline)