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LIBRARY GUIDE TO PS 4970 - Capstone in American Politics

Congressional Research Sites
Congress.gov is the official website for U.S. legislative information. It includes the text of bills, statutes, and legislative history documents. It was created in 1995, under the direction of the 104th Congress, in order to make federal legislative information freely available onlline. Links on the home page provide access to bill searches, committee reports, Congressional Research Service Reports, the Constitution Annotated, and information on the Legislative Process.

Congress.gov includes a very helpful Glossary of Legislative Terms, and Coverage Dates for Congress.gov Collections which you need to know to determine if the bills and legislation you are researching will be included in this site, depending on their date of introduction and passage. There is also a very good navigation Help page, including several search guides. Congress.gov includes The Congressional Record, the proceedings on the floor of Congress, going back to the 69th Congress, 1925-1927.

Congressional Research Service Reports provide non-partisan, throughly researched background infromation and analysis on matters pertinent to congressional activity including legislation under consideration.

Restricted to OU students, faculty, and staff Legislative Insight
A federal legislative history service that makes available professionally researched compilations of digital full-text congressional publications relevant to enacted U.S. public laws. This database covers legislative histories of enacted public laws from the 1st Congress (1789-1791) through the 112th Congress (2011-2013).

Lists of landmark legislation from Yale University Professor David Mayhew. Date coverage is 1947-2018, and is regularly updated. Data sets and major news coverage of what Professor Mayhew identifies as "important enactments" are included.
Newspapers & Journals
Restricted to OU students, faculty, and staff New York Times Historical
Offers full-text, full-image articles of The New York Times, going back to 1851. The database can be used to search national and international news, editorials, obituaries, birth and marriage announcements, plus historical photos and advertisements. The documents are downloadable in PDF format. How to export to RefWorks For current contents of The New York Times see Factiva.

Restricted to OU students, faculty, and staff Factiva
Factiva is a premier business and general reference resource with a broad collection of sources that reach across disciplines from business and current events to communications and technology, politics, foreign policy, and more. Factiva.com combines more than 28,000 sources to give users access to premium content from 159 countries in 22 languages. Factiva includes access to The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and current contents of The New York Times. For more precise searching, select Search Builder, and a specific publication you would like to search, as well as other fields. See below, part of the Search Builder interface.

Roll Call: The Newspaper of Capitol Hill  Available electronically from 1/19/1998. Provides congressional news, analysis, and legislative tracking.

Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, Journals, 4th floor, holdings: v.16, v.20-v.56 (1958, 1962-1998), v.20-v.21, v.26 incomplete. Continued by CQ Weekly, holdings: v.56-v.68 (1998-2010), v.59, v.61 incomplete. Published by the reputable Congressional Quarterly, this is a weekly journal covering major congressional activities.

National Journal's Congress Daily and National Journal Daily. Electronic coverage from EBSCOhost Points of View Reference Center (date coverage, January 2000 to June 2016) and Factiva (date coverage, June 1994 to September 2013). Provides in-depth policy coverage and profiles of Capitol Hill individuals.

National Journal, Journals, 4th floor, holdings: v.18-42 (1986-2010), v.20, v.23-v.24, v.34 incomplete.
Statistical Data
Restricted to OU students, faculty, and staff Statistical Abstract of the United States (Proquest)  The Statistical Abstract of the United States Online is the standard summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States – including vital and health statistics. 

Restricted to OU students, faculty, and staff iPoll
iPoll is a comprehensive database of 500,000 questions and answers asked in the US since 1935. Also included is the Roper Center public opinion data which is the largest archives of public opinion information. Coverage: Data sets.

Unrestricted Resource ICPSR  Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is the world's largest collection of digital social science data. It includes data from the U.S. Congressional District Data Books, 1961-1965.
Library Contact
Picture: Helen Levenson

Helen Levenson
Assistant Professor

Office: 243 Kresge Library
Office hours:Virtual research consultations are available at days and times that best suit you. Contact me by email to schedule.
Congressional Reference Sources
Congressional QuarterlyCongressional Quarterly Almanac, and CQ Almanac Plus, Reference Collection, 2nd floor, JK 1 .C66  Title varies, holdings are generally from 1945 through 2010.
This resource provides excellent reviews of congressional activities divided by Congress. It includes legislation, analysis of roll call votes, and Congressional Quarterly's studies of analysis of voting behavior of Congressional members.

Congressional Quarterly's Politics in America and CQ's Politics in America, title varies, Reference Collection, 2nd floor, JK 1012 .P64, holdings 1990-2010. Includes in-depth profiles of members of Congress, their key votes, information about their districts, census statistics by district, biographical data, election results, and interest group ratings.

The Almanac of American Politics, Reference Collection, 2nd floor, JK 1012 .A44. Holdings 1972-current. This resource provides "in-depth analysis and comprehensive profiles of every congressional district, state, governor and member of Congress." It includes district demographic information, district maps, and member voting records with interest group ratings.

Congress and the Nation, Reference Collection, 2nd floor, JK 1041 .C6, date coverage is 1945-2012. Each volume covers major issues and policies from respective Congresses.
Congressional District Information
Congressional District information compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau. This site provides "access to selected statistics collected by the U.S. Census Bureau through the American Community Survey (ACS) and County Business Patterns (CBP). The ACS provides detailed demographic, social, economic, and housing statistics every year for the nation's communities. CBP provides annual statistics for businesses with paid employees at a detailed geography and industry level."

U.S. Census Bureau County Business Patterns which includes data sets going back to 1986.

U.S. Census Bureau About Congressional Districts website.
U.S. Census Bureau Congressional District Maps going back to 1990.
U.S. Census Bureau Congressional Apportionment website, and Congressional Apportionment Data website with historical data going back to 1910.

Congressional District Data from 1943-1998, compiled by University of Colorado, Boulder Professor E. Scott Adler.


Refworks allows you to create a personal database of references and automatically generate formatted bibliographies for your projects.

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