Issues & Controversies in American History

Although its name, Issues & Controversies in American History, suggests an exclusive focus on history, this recent addition to our databases has already proved to be helpful to students in a variety of courses. Covering a wide range of topics, from abolition to women’s rights, Issues & Controversies can be of use to students taking classes not just in American history, but also in Criminal Justice, Political Science and Government, as well as Africana and Gender studies. The collection covers topics that span from the Colonial Period to contemporary era. The featured subjects include Columbus’s Voyages to America, the Indian Removal Act, Universal Suffrage, Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and many other landmark events John Jay students explore in their classes.

Subject index list

What sets Issues & Controversies apart from other databases that cover similar topics is its neat organization, consistent throughout all topics, the easy one-stop access to primary sources, and an annotated list of additional sources students can add on to their research.

For example, the entry for the Civil Rights Act of 1965 offers a context and historical background. Like all other entries, it also explores contemporary arguments for and against the legislation, and assesses the impact of the policy. The accompanying bibliography easily directs students to additional sources that may be available through the Library, and an annotated selection of external websites offers yet more resources. The primary sources are not limited to the text of the 1965 legislation. They also include the earlier versions of the legislation, presidential speeches on the subject, and contemporary court opinions. All in all, a student who explores the Civil Rights Act of 1965 through the database will get a rather good understanding of the issue and will be better prepared to engage with the topic through subsequent class readings or discussions.

Like most library databases, Issues & Controversies allows for printing, saving, and emailing. It also generates citations, a tool ever more popular with our students.

You will find Issues & Controversies in American History under the letter I on the alphabetical list of databases on the Library home page.

Marta Bladek


Read more from the Fall 2016 issue of Classified Information, the Library newsletter