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POL 344: Critical Presidential Elections

Fall 2011
This page provides a starting point for your research into presidential elections. These resources will give you a sense of what's available on your topic, but the list is by no means comprehensive. If you have any difficulties accessing information, are stuck on any aspect of your research, or just aren't finding what you're looking for, stop by the Reference Desk to talk with a librarian - it's why we're there!

Chris Gilbert
Julie Gilbert

Table of Contents:

Finding Books
  • MnPALS Plus
    The online catalog to the library at Gustavus Adolphus College. Choose "All Libraries" in the search options to search other MnPALS libraries (such as Minnesota State schools) and request books through Interlibrary Loan. View our MnPALS Plus tutorial.
  • WorldCat
    Includes over 40 million bibliographic records representing cataloged resources in 400 languages owned by libraries around the world. Materials date back to the 11th century. Owning libraries can be identified for books, journals, archival resources and electronic resources. Access to WorldCat is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM); the database can also be searched through its free web interface, at
    1000 CE-present; updated daily
Finding Articles
A representative sample of the databases that will connect you with scholarly and nonscholarly articles
  • America: History and Life
    Indexes literature related to the history of the United States and Canada from prehistorical times to the present. This extensive database covers over 2,000 journals published worldwide including all key English-language historical journals, selected historical journals from major countries, and state and local history journals, as well as books, dissertations and book reviews.
  • Annual Review of Political Science
    The Annual Review of Political Science contains critical reviews of the most significant primary research literature in the field of political science. The volume provides a useful and intelligent synthesis of the primary research literature in the discipline every year. Online access allows all volumes to be searched simultaneously.
  • Google Scholar
    This search engine points toward scholarly research rather than all Web-based sources. It is stronger in the sciences than in the humanities, with social sciences somewhere in between. One interesting feature of Google Scholar is that in includes a link to sources that cite a particular item. If you are using Google Scholar on campus, you will find articles available through the library's subscription databases linked. To view these links when searching off campus, use our Google Scholar Off Campus Link. Not all of the articles in Google Scholar are free; the library can obtain many of them for you through interlibrary loan.
    Full-text backfiles to over 350 scholarly journals from more than 25 academic disciplines published between the 19th and 21st centuries in the JSTOR Arts & Sciences I, Arts & Sciences II, and Language & Literature collections. JSTOR provides complete journal backruns from the date of initial publication up to a "moving wall" of 3 to 5 years before the present year. To limit your search to full text articles, make sure that the option to "include links to external content" is turned off.
    1831-recent years
  • New York Times Historical (1851-4 years ago)
    The full text of the New York Times from 1851 to 4 years ago -- covering the entire publishing history of the newspaper back to the first issue. The newspaper text is fully indexed and searchable and the database also contains full-page images, including graphics. Available on the Web through ProQuest.
    1851-4 years ago
  • ProQuest Newsstand
    Indexing and selected full text access to over 350 newspapers from around the world. Archival coverage begins in 1985 for some titles. Access is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM).
    1986-present (most from 1995 on)
  • SAGE Premier
    Search the full text to over 500 scholarly journals published by SAGE in a range of disciplines, including many social sciences titles. Many journals include full backfiles - back to 1960s or earlier. To search articles by discipline, click on the "Browse" tab, then click on the "Articles by Discipline" tab.
  • Social Sciences Citation Index (Web of Knowledge)
    A multidisciplinary index with searchable author abstracts covering the journal literature of the social sciences, including anthropology, history, law, linguistics, philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, political science, public health, social work, sociology, urban studies, and women's studies. SSCI indexes more than 1,725 journals spanning 50 disciplines. In addition, it is possible to retrieve a list of works that have cited a specific author or specific work. May be searched simultaneously with Arts & Humanities Citation Index and/or Science Citation Index Expanded through the Web of Science interface.
    1997-present; updated weekly
Reference Books
Use these reference books to verify facts, gain a broader understanding of your topic and chart a path to further research; many reference books contain bibliographies at the end of entries. You can then track down the articles and books listed in the bibliographies. This is only a small selection of the number of reference books that may be useful to you. Browse the shelves around the books listed below - you never know what you might find!
  • America at the Polls
    This 2 volume set provides invaluable information about election results from 1920 - 1996
    • Location(s): Ref JK524 .A73 1994
  • America Votes
    Congressional Quarterly
    Summarizes state and national election returns. Useful for historical as well as recent information.
    • Location(s): Ref JK 1967 .A8
  • The American Presidents
    Includes detailed biographical sketches of the presidents, including election information.
    • Location(s): Ref E176.1 .A6566 2000
  • Encyclopedia of the American Presidency
    Simon and Schuster 1994
    A topical survey of the institution of the presidency, offering lengthy essays and extensive bibliographies.
    • Location(s): Ref JK 511 .E53 1994
    4 vols.
  • Presidential Elections 1789-2008
    Washington, DC: CQ Press 2010
    Provides an overview of the presidential election system, a chronology of elections from Washington to Obama, and vote totals and percentages. Includes references and an index.
    • Location(s): Ref JK 528 .P75 2010
  • Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States
    Office of the Federal Register
    A repository of proclamations, speeches, statements, etc. of presidents, kept up to date by the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents. Volumes from 1992 on are available online.
    • Location(s): shelved with the general collection at J80 .A283
  • The Routledge Historical Atlas of Presidential Elections
    Contains a brief overview of elections and includes election results by states.
    • Location(s): Ref G1201 .S1 M5 2001
  • Speeches of the American Presidents
    Select speeches through 1988.
    • Location(s): Ref J81 .C88 1998
  • Vital Statistics on the Presidency : From George Washington to George W. Bush3rd edition
    Covers Presidential selection, Presidential elections, Public appearances, Public opinions, Presidential organization and the executive branch, Presidents in war and diplomacy, Presidential policymaking, Congressional relations, and The presidency and the judiciary.
    • Location(s): Ref JK 518 .R34 2009
  • Voter Turnout in the United States, 1788-2009
    CQ Press 2011
    Provides comprehensive turnout statistics for general and primary elections for presidential, congressional, and state gubernatorial races.
    • Location(s): Ref JK1967 .G36 2011
Statistical Sources
  • Historical Statistics of the United States: earliest times to the present
    New York: Cambridge University Press 2006 Millenium ed. edition
    Revised update to Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970, Bicentennial ed. Washington U.S. Dept. of Commerce:GPO Includes bibliographic references and index,illustrated with maps, updates previous publishing with U.S. Census 2000 data.
    • Location(s): Ref HA 202 .H57 2006 (5 vols.)
  • Statistical Abstract of the United States
    Washington, D.C. : Government Printing Office 1879-present
    This is perhaps the single most useful small package of statistical information available. It includes hundreds of tables of figures on population, economics, social factors, etc., with references to the original sources. An index to the tables provide essay access. A web version can be found at
    • Location(s): Ready Reference HA 202 .A2
  • ProQuest Statistical Insight
    Includes summaries of statistical publications and searches and displays tables of statistical data. Statistical Insight includes links to the full-text of selected publications and government web sites, including the information contained in the Statistical Abstract of the United States.
Websites Library Help
Resources and links to help you with any library or research-related issues you may encounter
  • Interlibrary Loan
    For information on requesting books and articles from other libraries, visit our Interlibrary Loan page.
  • Reference Desk
    No question too small (or big)! Visit us at the desk, by phone, email or chat for help with any library and/or research questions.

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