Saint Michael's College (homepage link) Library & Information Services - Link to LIS homepage

HI 353: Presidential Elections

Find Articles

Search multiple databases to find secondary sources -- scholarly journal articles, books, and dissertations.

Specific Databases

Political Science Complete

Journal of American History If the full text of the article is not available immediately in the database, click on the Full Text Finder link to locate the full text in another database.

Use Journal Finder if you have a citation and need to find the full text journal.

Find Books

Search the SMC Library Catalog:

Search libraries worldwide:

Google Books

If you find a book the library does not own, submit an interlibrary loan request.

Browse Library Collection

American Presidency book
  • E176.1           American Presidents
  • JK501-868     Executive Branch
  • JK1965-2217 Electoral System
  • JK2255-2391 Political Parties

Use Subject Headings

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Find Encyclopedias

Specialized encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference works can provide good background information on your topic.

American Presidents Ranked by Performance

Use Reference Universe to search for other reference material in the library's collection.

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Find Primary Sources

Primary Sources are original records created at the time historical events occurred.

1. Search the Library Catalog to find primary sources in the SMC Library or WorldCat to find primary sources at another library. Type in keywords from your topic and any of the following terms.

  • sources
  • personal narratives
  • diaries
  • correspondence
  • speeches
  • manuscripts
  • notebooks
  • autobiography
  • description and travel
  • case studies
  • interviews
  • statistics
  • songs and music

Example Library Catalog Search:


Historical Newspapers
Provides access to New York Times and Washington Post from the 1850's to the 1980's.

Reader's Guide Retrospective
Index of general interest/popular magazines and journals from 1890-1982.

Chronicling America: Historical American Newspapers
Access selected digitized American newspapers from 1836-1922 or search the US Newspaper Directory, 1690-present.

American Periodicals Online Series
Search American magazines from 1741-1900.

American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals Collection: Series 1-5 (1691-1877)
Access to more than 6,500 historical magazine and journal titles from 1691-1877.

Early American Newspapers: 1690-1876
Full text historical American newspaper titles from 23 states and the District of Columbia.

Making of America
19th c. books and magazines

Current Newspapers/Magazines

ProQuest Newspapers
Search international, national and regional papers from 1977 to the present. Coverage varies.

Academic Search Premier
Search newspapers and magazines from 1975 to the present by limiting to newspapers and magazines as a source type.

Government Documents

Congressional Record
Record of the proceedings of Congress.  See overview of the Congressional Record.

Selected Digital Collections

American Presidency Project
Searchable archives of presidential documents sponsored by University of California, Santa Barbara.  The archives includes The Public Papers of the Presidents from 1789-1913 and 1929-present and has a media archives. 

Presidential Libraries
Links to the Presidential Libraries.

Library of Congress Digital Collections
Primary documents in American History from the Library of Congress.

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
Search or browse the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) on selected topics to find digital images. Other search interfaces available include Access to Archival Databases and the Online Public Access Catalog.

Find other digital collections on your president by doing a Google search such as theodore roosevelt digital collection. You can also restrict your searches by using the Google Advanced search and limiting to the .edu, .org, or .gov domains. 


Streaming films and documentaries.

Movies from the United States Government.

Vanderbilt Television News Archive
Register for a free account to search for news broadcasts of the national networks since August 5, 1968.

U.S. Presidential Audio Recordings
Sound samples of presidents from Michigan State University's Vincent Voice Library.

Vital Speeches of the Day
Click on search within this publication and add a person's name to the search. (i.e. Reagan search)

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Evaluating Sources

Consider the following factors when evaluating your sources.

Currency - Is the timeliness of the information appropriate? Check the publication date of the website, book, or article. Date may not be an issue with historical topics unless you are looking for primary sources.

Relevance - Does the information fit your assignment/research question? Look at abstract, table of contents, introduction, cited references, and index to determine relevance. Is it a popular or scholarly source?

Authority - Who is taking responsibility for the source?--subject specialist, news reporter, organization. Where did they obtain their information? Is a bibliography or reference list provided? Look at author credentials, about us links on websites, etc.

Accuracy - Never rely on one source. Compare facts with additional sources.

Purpose - What is the intent of the article/author?--to persuade, to inform, to influence your opinion.


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Maintained by Stacey Knight

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