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Introduction

Basic Reference Sources in United States Foreign Relations
with Emphasis on International History

by Jonathan Reed Winkler, Wright State University

This is a guide to standard reference works in Dunbar Library on United States foreign relations and international history that advanced undergraduates and Master’s candidates can use for background or reasonable depth on central issues.  Together with the relevant secondary surveys and core monographs on a topic, this guide should help one to begin research on a serious research paper.  This list should not be thought of as definitive, but merely a start.

Search for Books

Search for books using keywords in the:

Browse on the 3rd floor or in any other university library at the following call numbers:

JZ- International relations

  • 63-1153 Sources
  • 1305-206 Scope of international relations
  • 3674-3875 State territory and its parts
  • 4835-5490 International organization and associations
  • 5511.2-6300 Promotion of peace. Peaceful change
  • 6385-6405 The armed conflict. War and order
  • 6422-6422.5 Neutrality. Non-participation in wars. Norms of neutrality.
  • 6350 Humanitarian aspects of war

General Guides to Historical Literature

Chronologies

Reference Histories

Dictionaries, Encyclopaedias, Companions

Biographical Sources

Atlases

Periodicals

In order to get to these online academic journals click on the link, then click on the link in the middle of the screen that says "Full text available."  You will be sent to a page that gives the option(s) for getting to the journal online.  Pay attention to the dates covered in order to view the articles you need.  Please note that the word "embargo" means there is a delay in the online version of the journal; e.g., a 6 month embargo means that the most recent 6 months' worth of issues are not available online.

Diplomatic History

Journal of Military History

Journal of the Early Republic

Diplomacy and Statecraft

Cold War History

International Security

Journal of Cold War Studies

Foreign Affairs

Foreign Policy

In addition, you may wish to consult the leading national newspapers and popular periodicals for coverage of a particular topic.  Major newspapers and periodicals would include The Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Time, U.S. News, and other, more specialized journals as Business Week or Aviation Week & Space Technology.  Most of these titles are available from the following databases from approximately the late 1970s/early 1980s to the present:

Factiva -- Limited to only 5 people using it at a time (if you can't get in, try later).  More than 10,000 sources from 152 countries in 22 languages, including more than 120 continuously updated newswires including the exclusive combination of Dow Jones, Reuters, and The Associated Press.  All articles full text; updated daily.

The library also subscribes to online historical collections of The New York Times and The Times [of London]. See Online Historical Newspapers.

For more information about how to locate newspapers, see the "Newspapers as Primary Sources" subtab under "Primary Sources" in this guide.

Statistical Sources

Dissertations

Primary Sources

From the U.S. Department of State, the  Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series presents the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity. [Browse the series by title (with dates) in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Digital Collections].

Some Declassified Document Collections

Department of State Telegrams

The Foreign Affairs Oral History Collection of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (from the LoC)

U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants (Greenbook) from 1946 - present (from USAID)

Librarian's Note: For more information about the various formats of primary sources and how to locate them, see the "Primary Sources" tab. You might also consider newspaper articles published during the time period you are studying. See the "Newspapers as Primary Sources" subtab for options.

Indices and Abstracts

These four indices below are available through the Databases tab on the Dunbar Library home page. 

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