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Political Science Resources

Background information and reference resources

Background information can help you prepare for further research by explaining concepts related to your topic, especially if you are researching an unfamiliar topic or discipline. Entries in reference resources tend to be short and can help you get started with research on a new topic, identify trends in a subject area, and define unfamiliar terms or people from your readings. Reference resources include encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases and handbooks. 

General Reference Databases

Subject-Specific Online Reference Resources

Reference Books


The Almanac of American Politics
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. JK1012 .A44 2016


Atlas of American Politics, 1960-2000
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. G1201 .F1 A8 2002


Black's Law Dictionary
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. KF156 .B53 2009

Dictionary of the European Union
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. JN30 .P55 2002

Facts on File Dictionary of American Politics
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. JK9 .H54 2001


Congressional Staff Directory
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. JK1012 .C65 2009

Directory of Congressional Voting Scores and Interest Group Ratings
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. JK1051 .S555 2006  vol. 1-2


Elections in the Americas: A Data Handbook
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. JF1001 .E363 2005 vol. 1-2

Encyclopedia of the American Constitution
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. KF4548 .E53 2000  vol. 1-6

Encyclopedia of American Political Parties and Elections
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. JK2261 .S218 2006

Encyclopedia of the American Presidency
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. JK511 .G45 2004

Encyclopedia of Constitutional Amendments, Proposed Amendments, and Amending Issues, 1789-2010
CALL NUMBER: Ref. KF4557 .V555 2010 vol. 1-2

The Encyclopedia of the Democratic Party
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. JK2352 .E56 1997  vol. 1-4 + Supplement

Encyclopedia of Human Rights
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. JC571 .E673 2009 vol. 1-5

Encyclopedia of Nationalism
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. JC311 .E4995 2001  vol. 1-2

Encyclopedia of Political Communication
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. JA85 .E64 2008 vol. 1-2

The Encyclopedia of Political Science
CALL NUMBER: Ref. JS61 .E513 2011 vol. 1-5

The Encyclopedia of the Republican Party
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. JK2352 .E56 1997  vol. 1-4 + Supplement

The Encyclopedia of Third Parties in America
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. JK2261 .E474 2000  vol. 1-3

Encyclopedia of the United Nations
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. KZ4968 .M66 2008 vol. 1-2

Encyclopedia of U.S. Campaigns, Elections, and Electoral Behavior
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. JK2281 .E53 2008 vol. 1-2

Encyclopedia of the U.S. Supreme Court
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. KF8742 .A35 E53 2001  vol. 1-3

International Encyclopedia of Elections
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. JF1001 .I57 2000

Public Opinion and Polling Around the World: A Historical Encyclopedia
CALL NUMBER: Ref. HM1236 .P83 2004 vol. 1-2

West's Encyclopedia of American Law
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. KF154 .W47 2004  vol. 1-13


The Constitution and Its Amendments
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. KF4557 .C66 1999 vol. 1-4

Essential Supreme Court Decisions: Summaries of Leading Cases in U.S. Constitutional Law
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. KF4547.4 .V55 2010

Oxford Guide to United States Supreme Court Decisions
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. KF4548.5 .O97 2009


Guide to U.S. Elections
CALL NUMBER: Ref. JK1967 .C662 2010 vol. 1-2

Measures of Political Attitudes
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. JA74.5 .M43 1999

The Oxford Companion to American Law
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. KF154 .O96 2002

Political Handbook of the World
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. JF37 .P6 2014

A Statistical History of the American Electorate
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. JK1967 .R87 2001


The Europa World Year Book
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. JN1 .E85 2015  vol. 1-3

The Statesman's Yearbook
CALL NUMBER:  Ref. JA51 .S7 2016