Use this guide to perform background research to refine a research topic, confirm terminology, and get a general understanding before finding books and articles to support a research project.
The Historical Statistics of the United States (HSUS) Millennial Edition Online provides data on social, behavioral, humanistic, and natural sciences including history, economics, government, finance, sociology, demography, education, law, natural resources, climate, religion, international migration, and trade - quantitative facts of American history. Data is available in HTML, PDF, and Excel.
The Encyclopedia of the American Constitution provides full-text reference articles in HTML and PDF concerning issues and concepts related to the constitution, court cases, biographies, and judicial decisions handed down by the Supreme Court. It includes a glossary of terminology, a case index, name index, and a subject index.
The Gale Encyclopedia of American Law provides articles in HTML and PDF on all aspects of American law: legal terms and concepts, cases, people, entities, and events. In Focus essays accompany related entries and provide additional facts, details, and arguments on particularly interesting, important, or controversial issues raised by those entries. Details on landmark legal cases and several primary documents are also provided.
CRSR allows browsing and full-text searching of Congressional Research Service (of the Library of Congress) reports, which are provided to members of Congress and Congressional committees and could cover any topic. By law, most CRS reports are confidential, so this database is not complete. 1978-present.