Getting Background Information

Africa Yearbook covers major domestic political developments, the foreign policy and socio-economic trends in sub-Sahara Africa – all related to developments in one calendar year.

CQ Press Electronic Library is a collection of resources related to the U.S. Government.

Europa World: The Europa World Year Book Online provides information on more than 250 countries and territories, and profiles over 1650 international organizations.

Globalization and Security: an Encyclopedia, (in print) editors, G. Honor Fagan and Ronaldo Munck. Santa Barbara, Calif. : Praeger Security International, 2009.
Widener: WID-LC D763.M47 G56 2009

Statesman's Yearbook Online is a concise guide to world politics, economics and international relations, providing details regarding population, officials, exports, constitutions, governments, diplomatic representatives, religion, finance, and basic histories of nations and states.

News Resources collects and publishes in French and English daily news stories from over 130 African publishers (government and opposition-controlled ,and independent). Harvard's subscription allows access to a searchable news archive from 1997.

Alt-Press Watch is a full text database of the newspapers, magazines, and journals of the alternative and independent press covering a broad range of subjects.

Associated Press Image Collection is a searchable database of over 700,000 Associated Press photographs, charts and other graphics from the 1840s to the present.

East View Universal Databases are a set of fulltext databases which include a collection of newspapers from larger cities in Russia as well as a set of regional newspapers.

Ethnic NewsWatch is an interdisciplinary, bilingual (English and Spanish), and comprehensive full text database of the newspapers, magazines, and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press.

Factiva is a database of over 8,000 business and news publications, most in full text.

Federal Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports is a United States government agency which translates the text of daily radio and television broadcasts, newspapers and periodicals, government statements, books, and other sources of unrestricted information such as databases and gray literature from non-English sources around the world. Reports with translations are issued for eight world regions daily and cover such topics as military affairs, politics, the environment, societal issues, economics, and science and technology. Online access to daily reports for 1941-1996.

GenderWatch is a full text database of unique and diverse publications that focus on the impact of gender across a broad spectrum of subject areas.

Latin American Newsstream provides full-text information in Spanish and Portuguese from 41 newspapers from Puerto Rico and 11 Latin American countries, including Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil. The complete articles are available in ASCII format. Coverage began in 2005, but many titles are indexed since the 1990s.

Nexis Uni provides access to thousands of news sources including: newspapers, newsletters, magazines, trade journals, wire services, and broadcast transcripts and international resources in French, Italian, and German. provides English summaries, with links to original text as available, of news from 22 Arab countries, Iran, and the Arab media Diaspora.

National Journal’s Policy Central is a collection of resources on U.S. politics and policy, including the National Journal with archives dating back to 1977; the Hotline, a daily briefing on U.S. politics; CongressDaily, a twice daily update on activity in the U.S. Congress; Technology Daily; Poll Track; Markup Reports; Ad Spotlight; and the Almanac of American Politics.

Finding Scholarly Articles in International Relations

There are hundreds of journal indexes and databses to which the Harvard Library subscribes. One way to find which resources cover a particular field is to search by subject in HOLLIS Databases.

Bibliography of Asian Studies (BAS) holds more than 545,000 records on all subjects related to East, Southeast, and South Asia from 1971 to the present (primary disciplines covered are in the humanities and social sciences).

Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO) is designed to be "a comprehensive source for theory and research in international affairs." CIAO contains a broad range of scholarly materials published from 1991 onwards, including material from university research institutes, NGOs [non-governmental organizations], foundation-funded research projects and conference proceedings.

East View Universal Databases are a set of fulltext journal databases on the subjects of politics, government and social sciences in the former Soviet republics, with chief emphasis on Russia.

JSTOR contains full-text of core journals in the fields of Political Science and Public Policy from the first volume of the journals up to the most recent 2 to 5 years.

LegalTrac indexes the contents of nearly 1000 legal periodicals, including academic law journals, bar association publications, and legal newspapers. It also provides citations to law-related articles from business and general interest titles. LegalTrac covers English-language publications from the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and the U.K.

ProQuest Government Periodicals Index covers articles in approximately 170 current federal publications. It includes retrospective coverage through 1988 of over 70 additional federal publications that have major research, reference or general interest value.

Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies is an index to research, policy, and scholarly discourse on the countries and peoples of the Middle East, Central Asia, and North Africa.

Military and Government Periodicals offers current news pertaining to all branches of the military.

Public Affairs Information Service (PAIS) indexes the public and social policy literature of public administration, political science, economics, finance, international relations, law, and health care.

WorldWide Political Science Abstracts indexes the journal literature in political science and its related fields, including international relations, law, and public administration and policy.

Finding Articles in Interdisciplinary & Related Fields

Multidisciplinary Indexes

Academic Search Premier

Web of Science

Google Scholar

Dissertations and Theses Global


Indexes in Related Disciplines

Econlit is a comprehensive index of the world's economic literature, produced by the American Economic Association. It includes coverage of over 600 journals as well as articles in collective volumes, book reviews and dissertations.

Historical Abstracts is a reference guide to the history of the world from 1450 to the present (excluding the United States and Canada, which are covered in America: History and Life). This database offers annotated references to information on topics from the Renaissance to the present published in over 1800 journals.

Sociological Abstracts is a core resource for researchers, professionals, and students in sociology, social planning/policy, and related disciplines. It covers over 1800 journals, dissertations, selected books and book chapters, and association papers.

Government Documents and Data Resources

Sample resources:

AccessUN is an index of current and retrospective United Nations documents and publications including documents from the six main bodies of the United Nations - General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council, Trusteeship Council, Secretariat and International Court of Justice. (Reports are available in full text on microfiche, in paper, or online in the Data and Government Information Collections.)

Armed Conflict Database covers international and internal conflicts, as well as terrorism, incl. information on refugees and returnees, internally displaced persons, weapons used and their flows, fatalities, costs, historical backgrounds, and timelines. Users can generate reports, download data, and browse through year-by-year analysis and fact sheets online. provides over 75 country risk-related variables including political, economic, financial and government stability. Also includes domestic and international economic indicators, social indicators, ICRG Risk Ratings and Coplin-O'Leary Forecasts.

Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) a suite of global research services that includes: Country Data, Country Finance, Country Forecast, Country Profiles and Country Risk Service.

Research Guides:

United Nations Documents

U.S. Congressional Publications

U.S. Presidential Documents

Finding Books

Finding Books at Harvard

For tips on using Harvard's library catalog, HOLLIS, see the HOLLIS User Guide.

Finding Books Beyond Harvard

  • For items that Harvard doesn't own, or that are currently checked out by other borrowers, you can request them through the Borrow Direct network. If one of the libraries in this network has the item, you should receive it within 4 business days. If it’s not available through Borrow Direct, you can submit an Interlibrary Loan request to borrow it from a broader network of libraries, which takes an average of 2 weeks. Borrow Direct and Interlibrary Loan both require logging in with your Harvard Key.
  • If you want to recommend that Harvard acquire a book or electronic resource, you can submit a Purchase Request.