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The Cold War, Causes of

Pre-Research -- Getting Started

These resources will provide background information or context for your project or paper.  They will also assist you in identifying key themes, participants, and events as you focus your research.

Background (Fact & Figures)

Current Issues, Movements & Events

  • CQ Researcher -- weekly reports on current issues with chronologies, statistics, and bibliographies (a great starting place)
  • Global Issues In Context -- international viewpoints on a broad spectrum of global issues, topics, and current events.
  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context -- contextual information and opinions on hundreds of today's hottest social issues from "opposing viewpoints"


General:  World History

Peace, War, Conflict and Violence

  • Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace -- major themes, figures, movements and events
  • Encyclopedia of war -- an overview of important events, people, and terms from the Punic Wars to the War on Terror.
  • World encyclopedia of peace -- Hesb. Gen. Coll. JX 1952 .W63 1986
  • World encyclopedia of peace -- Hesb. Re.f Coll.  JZ 5533 .W67 1999
  • Encyclopaedia of war, peace and global security -- Hesb. Ref Coll. JZ 5588 .E53 2005
  • Encyclopedia of violence, peace, & conflict -- Hesb. Gen Coll, HM 291 .E625 1999
  • Oxford companion to military history


Diplomacy & Interstate Relations

  • Historical dictionary of United States-China relations
    • Hesb Gen 10th Floor Reading Room (E 183.8 .C5 S883 2006 )
  • Historical dictionary of Anglo-American relations
    • Hesb Gen 10th10th Floor Reading Room (E 183.8 .G7 E45 2009 )
  • Historical dictionary of Chinese foreign policy
    • Hesb Gen (DS 777.8 .S88 2011 )
  • Historical dictionary of Japanese foreign policy

United States

 International OR Domestic:  Reference Book Collections

 Oxford reference online Premium


  • Wikipedia
    • Wikipedia can be a great quick help in identifying the "who, what, when and where" of any given issue -- subject to later verification. Librarians use it all the time.  However, it can be highly suspect when it comes to "how and why" questions especially those concerning intense conflicts. Use it -- but use it with caution!

For additional online reference resources, see: Encyclopedias & Dictionaries:


It is difficult to imagine studying political science without reference to maps.  Below are several general purpose online map sources.  In addition, both the Hesburgh Library reference collection and the Kellogg Kroc Library contain significant atlas collections.  The latter is mostly international while the former has many U.S. state and topical (e.g., congressional district election results) atlases.


Specialized atlases are available

  • Online
  • in the Hesburgh Library Reference Collection
  • in the Research Tower (primarily 9th floor)
  • in the Kellogg Kroc Library

The Libraries also have a collection of large, detailed maps published by various U.S. government agencies located

  • in the Hesburgh Library Lower Level.


  • Selected examples of print atlases.  We have atlases for almost any subject you might need.  All titles are in the ND Catalog and are located in the General Reference Collection (1st floor, Hesburgh Library) unless otherwise noted.  Browsing the reference collection using the examples listed below as starting points can be effective.  Please note that some atlases are not in the G (geography / atlas) classification.
  • Atlas of world hunger.  Kellogg/Kroc Library G 1046 .E59 B38 2010
  • World atlas of desertification, 2nd ed.  Kellogg/Kroc Library G 1046 .J4 M5 1997
  • One planet many people, atlas of our changing environment.  Kellogg/Kroc GE 149 .O53 2005
  • The Penguin atlas of diasporas, GN 370 .C43 1995
  • Global geopolitical flashpoints: an atlas of conflict, JC 319 .A52 2000
  • ONCs (Operational Navigation Charts - small scale with worldwide coverage)  HESB Lower Level

Data and Statistics are usually divided into two categories:

  • Data sets that have not yet been analyzed
  • Statistical tables, charts and graphs based on data sets. 

Two general guides are available at: