Library News Blog

African American Studies Center  (trial until May 10th)

This database is a collection of major reference works in the field of African American Studies Both the original  Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619-1895 and the newer edition covering 1896 to the present are searchable.   Another valueable source is The African American National Biography with over 6,000 biographies and continual updates. All articles are written by top scholars. The home web page showcases different topics. The editor in chief for this project is Henry Louis Gates, Jr. from Harvard University and the publisher is Oxford.

Latino Literature  (trial until June 3rd)

This is a database of drama, fiction, and poetry written in English and Spanish by hundreds of Chicano, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican and other Central and South American  authors working in the United States.  About one third of the literary  works have never been published before.  The works are published in the original language.   Most works are from the 20th and 21st centuries, but some 19th century works are included.  The authors provide a window on "different immigration experiences, their efforts to adapt to a new culture and language without losing their own, and the struggle to pursue social, political, and economic advancement."

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GreenFILE is a new database of information about environmental concerns from EBSCO.   It indexes scholarly and general interest titles as well as government documents and reports, and draws on the connection between the environment and disciplines such as agriculture, law, education, health and technology.  It contains nearly 300,000 bibliographic records, full text for selected titles, and searchable cited references for nearly 200 titles.  

The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics (2008) is available on trial for the members of the John Jay and CUNY community until April 4, 2008.  This database functions more as a specialized encyclopedia because economic concepts are explained in lengthy articles rather than short definitions. Articles range from  classical economics to current issues such as Fiscal and monetry policies in developing countries. The articles have been written by more than a thousand of the world's leading economists.

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Black Drama Second Edition  (trial until May 6th)

This database contains the full text of 1,450 plays written from the mid-1800s to the present by more than 200 playwrights from North America, English-speaking Africa (Ghana, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa), the Caribbean, and other African diaspora countries. More than a quarter of the collection consists of previously unpublished plays.  Plays by key writers of the Harlem Renaissance will be of special interest as will works performed for the Federal Theatre Project, and plays by critically acclaimed dramatists of the 1940s.  Images from playbills, stills, photographs, and other ephemera are included for some of the plays. 

Our trial access has been established for members of the John Jay community and will continue until May 6, 2008.  Please post any comments to this blog or send email to

The library at John Jay has a wealth of electronic resources that can enhance your own research on elections and political issues in this country.  We invite you to explore the many options available in the following databases.  

Vital Statistics on America Politics   (click on title)

This database provides summary data on political behavior such as: voter turnout, election results, public opinion on most important issues in campaigns, trends on media, sources for campaign news, newspaper endorsements, interest groups and campaign financing, etc. Some charts provide data since the 1790s, but most focus on the 1940s until 2006. Listed below are some topics that may spark your interest.   You can locate these charts and others on the same topic by using the search box in the gray banner toward the top of the page. 

Ideological Self-Identification of College Freshmen, 1970 - 2006   (type in search box on top: Freshmen)

The Most Important Problem: Domestic or Foreign,  1947 - 2007   (type in search box on top:  most important problem )

Public Opinion on the Death Penalty, 1972–2006   (type in search box on top: death penalty)

Loses by President's party in Midterm Elections for Congress   (type  in search box on top: midterm elections)

CQ Voting and Elections  (click on title)This database focuses on state or congressional district election results from past elections: Presidential 1789 – 2004; House 1822-2006; Senate 1908 – 2006; Governors 1824-2006;  Examples of additional data are: summary charts on voter turnout; detailed descriptions of election districts; This database does not have  data from 2008. 

CQ Almanac   (click on title) This database provides details about legislation in the House and Senate for years 1945 through 2006. You can trace legislation from the bills introduced in each house, to the compromises, to the legislation passed.  Topics of key interest this year might be past legislation introduced on health care reform or immigration legislation or taxation policy.   

 CQ Weekly   (click on title) This database covers CQ Weekly issues from 2008 – back to 1983. You can read the current issues or research the historical archives which provide great detail about the activities of Congress. Of particular interest are the charts giving the roll-call votes. You can use the search options in the left side column  to find floor votes on specific topics for the Senate or the House, or floor votes by topic or by date. The cover stories report on important issues before Congress or political party developments, or the primary elections, etc.   For example the cover story from the January 14, 2008 issue gives a breakdown and analysis of the votes cast in the Senate by Senator Clinton and Senator Obama.  

CQ Electronic Library   The CQ Electronic Library includes the four databases described in detail above and also the following nine databases.  You may use this  general link to explore all the CQ databases.    CQ Global Researcher (reports on issues with global focus; reports include an overview, detailed discussion, chronology on issues and suggested other sources; Recent topic is: Looming Water Crisis;)  

CQ Researcher (reports on social and political issues for this country; reports include an overview, detailed discussion, chronology on issues and suggested other sources;  one of most heavily used databases at John Jay;)

 CQ Supreme Court Decisions (decisions and background material, analysis of individual Supreme Court Justices, etc.)CQ Supreme Court Yearbook (excellent review of the decisions for a particular year for the Supreme Court;  Covers 1989/1990 year to 2006/2007)

CQ Politics in America  (2006 directory of who’s who in national and state governments – but only for historic interest – because not the most current directory;)

Washington Information Directory (2006/07 directory of all agencies in the national government and the many NGO’s and interest groups in Washington D.C.;  however this is not the most recent issue;)

CQ Historic Documents (primary sources from the government 1972 – 2006 with analysis;) 

CQ Congress and the Nation  (shows an historical perspective on the U.S. Congress and the events and people that shaped policy and politics over the years 1945 – 2004;  The time period 1945 – 1964 focuses only on Congress;  Starting with 1964 forward, the analysis also includes an overview of the influence of the “presiding” President;)

CQ Political Handbook of the World  (latest edition is 2007 – but data is 2006 for some countries;  includes details about the political structure in each country – the government, the political parties, the history of politics;) 

If you have any questions about these databases, you may contact the library faculty at the Reference Desk at 212-237-8246 or email Gretchen Gross, Electronic Resources Librarian at 

The Making of the Modern World is the online version of Goldsmiths'-Kress Library of Economic Literature 1450-1850. It provides digital facsimile images of every page of 61,000 works of literature on economic and business published from 1450 through 1850. This vast, well-known collection includes material on commerce, finance, social conditions, politics, trade and transport. CUNY has a trial until October 15.

Aluka is a digital library of resources about Africa from institutions around the world. Many resources come from the Smithsonian Institution Libraries,  African Fund Publications, individual collectors, and other institutions. The visual resources are particularly noteworthy. Resources included are full-text books, scholarly articles, newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, maps, previously unpublished reports, oral histories and other documents. The digital library currently has three categories: African Cultural Heritage Sites and Landscapes; African Plants; Struggles for Freedome in Central Africa.

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