Library Notes for Political Science

Teaching resources, news, and links to keep McGill’s Political Scientists informed

Archive for the ‘Database trials’ Category

Trial: biographical materials

Posted by Megan on July 2, 2011

The library currently has TRIAL access to two biographical databases:

The temporary trials will end on July 31, 2011.

World Who’s Who contains 60,000 brief biographies of notable people from around the world in all fields.

Oxford’s Who’s Who includes over 33,000 entries of famous and influential people, particularly those who are perceived to have had an impact on British life.

Both resources include individuals who lived in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, and many entries are more up-to-date than the content found in comparable resources. Difficult-to-find details are often included, such as family information, leisure interests, awards, and contact information for living individuals (or last address if deceased).

Please contact me if you think we should acquire permanent access to either of these resources. Purchasing decisions are made based on your feedback!

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Posted by Megan on May 22, 2011

The library currently has temporary trial access to GREENR, a Gale resource.

The trial is active until June 14, 2011.

A Gale blog offers this description:

GREENR (Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources), is a new electronic resource from Gale, offering authoritative reference content in the area of the environment, energy and natural resources.

GREENR also offers:

*   Interactive maps, allowing users to browse by country or topic
*   Opportunities for forums, networking and open discussion, allowing students and teachers to participate in general forums or those designed for specific classes
*   Localization to highlight community resources, allowing libraries to  advertise their assets as well as upcoming local events
*   Web 2.0 tools to facilitate content portability and community building

The resource thus goes beyond providing citations; it brings together both popular and scholarly content—arranged thematically—in multiple formats (web sites, video, articles, images, maps, etc.)

One overarching thematic section deals with law and politics another deals with social systems.

Feedback is appreciated!

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New York Times

Posted by Megan on April 6, 2011

Crossed posted from the McGill Library blog

The New York Times recently initiated a paywall for access to their website. Prior to March 28th, access to all New York Times web content was free and available without any content restrictions on With the new paywall in place, users will be restricted after they click on more than 20 articles in a month. Since the New York Times is a valuable resource, McGill Library is investigating options to maintain access to this important title for our community.

Unfortunately the New York Times does not offer an institutional subscription to their website at this time. An alternative is ProQuest National Newspapers which contains the scanned full-text (no images) of the New York Times from 1980-present (the library has access to pre-1980 New York Times through Proquest Historical Newspapers). Every article is fully indexed and abstracted by Proquest editors every morning by 6:00 AM ET. This platform allows us to link to specific articles in the expanded course reserve and in WebCT. McGill Library is currently offering access to this database on a trial basis; we encourage you to take a look at Proquest National Newspapers and provide us with your feedback.

McGill Library will continue to keep abreast of any changes with regards to institutional memberships to the New York Times website. In the meantime, as student and faculty feedback is integral to the library’s decision-making process, please send your comments about Proquest National Newspapers to:
Valerie Fortin
Coordinator, Collection Development

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Arabic language materials

Posted by Megan on February 4, 2011

The library received the message below from the publisher East View regarding free temporary access to some of their databases. Please let me know if you have feedback on the materials, as the library could consider future subscriptions if these are helpful to your work.


In light of the dramatic events unfolding in Egypt, East View, along with its partners in Cairo, Arabia Inform and Kotobarabia, wish to extend free access to the AskZad and Kotobarabia information platforms.

Feel free to access news and information from Egypt with the following username and password from now until Feb 28, 2011:

Follow the links to search and find the latest information available from the following databases:

AskZad Pan-Arab Newspapers Database is the product of Arabia Inform’s open source intelligence efforts to serve the Middle East’s leading national policymakers. Created by over 1,100 Cairo-based media specialists working 24/7 to monitor, index and capture virtually every significant news outlet in the Arab world, PANI is growing by 10,000+ article units per day. Each unit is analyzed and indexed according to a robust methodology, and then aggregated in real time with an archive dating back to 1998.
Click here for access

Username: India
Password: elephant

The Kotobarabia E-Library holds over 4,500 e-book titles reflecting modern thought and philosophy of all types of publications: fiction, non-fiction, scholarly and popular, written by Arab authors. The collection is not censored. In light of this, there is a book category on the interface called “Banned Books”. Click here for access.

Username: India
Password: chutney

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Trial: Historical Financial Times

Posted by Megan on December 14, 2010

The library currently has a one-month temporary trial of The Financial Times Historical Archive, 1888 – 2006.

This complete online fully searchable facsimile edition of the Financial Times — one of the best-known and most-respected newspapers in the world — offers the complete run of the London edition of the paper, from its first issue in 1888 to the end of 2006. It is also cross-searchable with The Economist Historical Archive, to which the library already has a subscription.

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London Low Life

Posted by Megan on December 8, 2010

This resource isn’t directly related to Political Science, but still very interesting!

The library currently has a trial to London Low Life from the publisher Adam Matthew Digital. The trial will run until January 3, 2011.

This resource contains colour digital images of rare books, ephemera, maps and other materials relating to 18th, 19th and early 20th century London.

From the description:

This wonderful digital collection brings to life the teeming streets of Victorian London, inviting students and scholars to explore the gin palaces, brothels and East End slums of the nineteenth century’s greatest city.

From salacious ‘swell’s guides’ to scandalous broadsides and subversive posters, the material sold and exchanged on London’s bustling thoroughfares offers an unparalleled insight into the dark underworld of the nineteenth century city. Children’s chapbooks, street cries, slang dictionaries and ballads were all part of a vibrant culture of street literature.

London Low Life is also an incredible visual resource for students and scholars of London, depicting in full colour maps, cartoons, song sheets, street cries and a full set of the essential John Tallis’s Street Views of London – a unique resource for the study of London architecture and commerce.

Material includes:

  • Fast literature
  • Street ephemera – posters, advertising, playbills, ballads and broadsides
  • Penny fiction
  • Cartoons
  • Chapbooks
  • Street Cries
  • Swell’s guides to London prostitution, gambling and drinking dens
  • Reform literature
  • Maps and views of London

This collection will be of interest to 19th century scholars researching: working-class culture, street literature, popular music, urban topography, ‘slumming’, prostitution, the Contagious Diseases Act, the Temperance Movement, social reform, Toynbee Hall, police and criminality.


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Trial: IMD World Competitiveness Online

Posted by Megan on November 5, 2010

The library has a one-month trial for IMD World Competitiveness Online.

The trial will be available until December 5, 2010.

World Competitiveness is a field of economic theory, which analyzes the facts and policies that shape the ability of a nation to create and maintain an environment that sustains more value creation for its enterprises and more prosperity for its people. The IMD World Competitiveness Center’s approach to world competitiveness is to analyze how nations and enterprises manage the totality of their competencies to achieve increased prosperity. The study covers 58 countries in 2010.

Database functions include:

  • Analyze a country’s competitiveness performance over time. Up to 15 year time series are available
  • Select a group of countries to benchmark, view results in tables or charts
  • Any combination of countries, criteria and years is possible
  • Download the results in Excel, PDF or CSV

Indicators include:

Economic Performance (76 criteria)
Macro-economic evaluation of the domestic economy, broken down into:
• Domestic Economy
• International Trade
• International Investment
• Employment

Prices Government Efficiency (71 criteria)
Extent to which government policies are conducive to competitiveness, broken down into:
• Public Finance
• Fiscal Policy
• Institutional Framework
• Business Legislation

Societal Framework Business Efficiency (67 criteria)
Extent to which the national environment encourages enterprises to perform in an innovative, profit table and responsible manner, broken down into:
• Productivity & Efficiency
• Labor Market
• Finance
• Management Practices

Attitudes and Values Infrastructure (113 criteria)
Extent to which basic, technological, scientific and human resources meet the needs of business, broken down into:
• Basic Infrastructure
• Technological Infrastructure
• Scientific Infrastructure
• Health and Environment
• Education

Please note that this is only a one-month temporary trial. If you would like to the library to acquire permanent access to this resource, please send me your comments. Your feedback is very important to the library’s collections decisions.

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Trial: Films on Demand

Posted by Megan on October 30, 2010

The library has arranged trial access to Films on Demand, an online video service. These streaming documentary films can be shown in classrooms or posted as links on WebCT. You can also create playlists of videos for students to view. There are over 5600 titles covering a wide range of topics.

If you are interested in taking a look at this interesting way of accessing video resources, please contact me for the password for this month.

Please note that this is only a one-month temporary trial. If you would like to the library to acquire permanent access to this resource, please send me your comments. Your feedback is very important to the library’s collections decisions.

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Trial: Middle East Online (Gale)

Posted by Megan on September 2, 2010

The library currently has a trial to the document collection Middle East Online (published by Gale / Cengage Learning). There are two sections: Series I is Arab-Israeli Relations‚ 1917-1970 and Series II is Iraq 1914-1974. The collections consist of primary source documents from the National Archives in London and include material from the British Foreign Office, Colonial Office, War Office and Cabinet Papers. Essays and commentary are also include to introduce readers to the material and its historical context.

The temporary trial will last until the end of September 2010.

Resource descriptions:

Series One – Arab-Israeli Relations 1917-1970 – offers the widest range of original source material from the Foreign Office, Colonial Office, War Office and Cabinet Papers from the 1917 Balfour Declaration through to the Black September war of 1970-1. Here major policy statements are set out in their fullest context, the minor documents and marginalia revealing the workings of colonial administration and, following the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, British diplomacy towards Israel and the Arab states.

Series II: Iraq 1914-1974, offers a broad range of original source material from the Foreign Office, Colonial Office, War Office and Cabinet Papers covering the period from the Anglo-Indian landing in Basra in 1914 through the British Mandate in Iraq of 1920-32 to the rise of Saddam Hussein in 1974. Here major policy statements and other working documents are set out in context, the minor documents and marginalia revealing the workings of the mandate administration, diplomacy, treaties, oil and arms dealing. Photographs and colour maps, as well as contemporary film, help bring this vital strand of modern history to life.

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Trial: Confidential Print: Middle East, 1839-1969

Posted by Megan on August 24, 2010

The library currently has a trial to Confidential Print: Middle East, 1839-1969. The trial will end on September 20. This is a collection of primary source documents issued by the British Foreign and Colonial Offices.

From the publisher’s description:

Nature of the material

  • Reports
  • Dispatches
  • Correspondence
  • Descriptions of leading personalities
  • Political summaries
  • Economic analyses

Scope of the collection
This collection covers a broad sweep of history from c. 1839 to 1969, taking in the countries of the Arabian peninsula, the Levant, Iraq, Turkey and many of the former Ottoman lands in Europe, Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt and Sudan.

A more detailed description of the content of the collection is here.

The documents can be browsed from the full list or searched by keyword.

Please note that the ‘download entire document in PDF’ option is not available during four-week trials. However, you are still able to view and print images from the collections.

Please contact me if you think McGill should acquire permanent access to this resource.

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