Foundations: UN Summit Project

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Primary Sources          Taft Online Subscriptions         Websites

Encyclopedias and Reference Books / eBooks

START HERE: These resources provide essential background information - who, what, when, where, why, how.

  • Gale Virtual Reference Library  Search multiple ebooks simultaneously or individually in the GVRL.
  • Britannica Academic Online contains the complete and regularly updated Encyclopedia Britannica plus authoritative websites and full-text journal access.
  • World Today 2018-2019 series (2017-2018 editions are in the Main Collection upstairs):
    • Africa. Ref DT1 .D6
    • East and Southeast Asia. Ref DS502 .H53
    • Latin America. Ref F1401 .L3252
    • The Middle East and South Asia. Ref DS41 .C55
    • Nordic, Central and Southeastern Europe. Ref DL1 .N67
    • Russia and Eurasia. Ref DJK1 .R87  (2016-17 edition in Main is titled Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States)
    • Western Europe. Ref D967 .W47 

Primary Sources

  • Search Rhinocat for library books and ebooks containing primary source documents by copying and pasting the following phrase into the basic keyword search, substituting your topic for xxxxxsu,wrdl: personal narratives or su,wrdl: sources or su,wrdl: diaries and kw,phr: xxxxx
  • Primary source databases
    • Access World News provides full-text current and archived articles from international, national, regional, and local news sources.
    • New York Times 1980-current. Full-text coverage 
    • Newspaper Source Plus Provides cover-to-cover full text for 131 national & international newspapers, as well as television and radio news transcripts and ongoing daily updates from popular news sources.
    • ResearchIT CT Newstand A ProQuest database containing the following full text newspapers: Christian Science Monitor (1988-present), Hartford Courant (1992-present), Los Angeles Times (1985-present), New York Times (6/1/1980-present), Wall Street Journal (1984-present), Washington Post (1987-present).
  • See Taft Online Subscription Databases below for additional resources containing primary sources.
  • See also the course guide Find Primary SourcesOpens a New Window. for more ways to find documents and primary sources in our Library and on the internet.

Taft Online Subscription Databases

  • Country Reports More than 35,000 pages of cultural, historical and statistical information content on the countries of the world.
  • Global Issues in Context News, perspectives, video, reference, country information, primary source documents, and statistics on issues of global importance. Can be cross-searched with Opposing Viewpoints in Context by choosing "Both" in the main search field drop-down menu.
  • Issues & Controversies Provides exclusive, extensive coverage of hundreds of today's hot topics, with unbiased analysis and rich related resources
  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context Viewpoint articles, reference content, full-text magazines, academic journals, and newspapers, primary source documents, statistics, and links to web sites. Can be cross-searched with Global Issues in Context by choosing "Both" in the main search field drop-down menu.
  • Science in Context Topic overviews, experiments, biographies, and links to quality websites, as well as coverage of the latest scientific developments in over 200 magazines and academic journals.
  • Sirs Knowledge Source General reference database containing thousands of full-text articles and other resources. Includes a pro/con issues database and SIRS Government, a comprehensive resource for the study of all aspects of U.S. federal government, including government documents, Supreme Court decisions, and more.
  • Today's Science Articles explaining important developments in biology, chemistry, the environment, space, physics, and technology


Wikipedia's general disclaimer: "Wikipedia cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. The content of any given article may recently have been changed, vandalized or altered by someone whose opinion does not correspond with the state of knowledge in the relevant fields." 

Writing a Model UN Position Paper (from the Yale Model United Nations website)

  • BBC News Country Profiles (Full profiles provide an instant guide to history, politics and economic background of countries and territories, and background on key institutions)
  • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (…founded in 1910, [the Endowment] is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing cooperation between nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States)
  • CIA World Factbook (country profiles from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency)
  • Council on Foreign Relations: Regions
  • Current History: a Journal of Contemporary World Affairs (Taft Library journal subscription; Articles since 2000 are also available on the CH website)
    • The Library keeps the current print issue plus three years of back issues in the Reading Room.
    • Each issue focuses on a country, region, continent, or international issue.
    • Search your country in the "Title" search field in the left sidebar.
    • Note on citation: If you use the internet journal, you will choose Website in NoodleTools and then Journal. Your citation will include the full URL of your article. If you use the print journal, choose Print or In-hand and then Journal.
  • FocusEconomics: Economic Forecasts from the World's Leading Economists (FocusEconomics is a leading provider of economic analysis and forecasts for 130 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, as well as price forecasts for 30 key commodities. The company is supported by an extensive global network of analysts.)
  • Human Rights Practices Reports by Country (from Amnesty International)
  • United Nations
  • Vital Signs of the Planet (The mission of “Global Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet” is to provide the public with accurate and timely news and information about Earth’s changing climate, along with current data and visualizations, presented from the unique perspective of NASA, one of the world’s leading climate research agencies.)

updated 5/2019