University LibraryStudents

Subject guides

Politics and International Studies

Sharon Reid

Photo of  Sharon Reid

Academic Librarian

Please contact me for individual help in finding information for your studies and referencing guidance.

There is a lot of support available throughout your studies. Don’t struggle alone! Your Academic Librarian, Sharon Reid, is here to help with information and referencing guidance and can be contacted to arrange a face-to-face appointment or answer your query directly:

Here you’ll find subject-specific advice on finding printed and electronic books, journal articles and digitised historical newspapers as well as guidance on referencing your work correctly and in the style specified by Politics & International Studies.

Important tip before you start

For off-campus access to the Library’s electronic resources you are advised to download and install the VPN client from IT Services.

Other related guides you may find useful


The Library stocks an extensive range of books in both print and electronic format. All books can be located via Library Catalogue Plus. Ebooks can be viewed on any computer irrespective of your location on or off-campus. Just remember to download the VPN client for off-campus access.

The majority of books relevant to Politics & International Studies are located on Level 2.  As the content of many books covers multiple disciplines you will often need to look in more than one place for books on a particular topic. For this reason it is not possible to be specific about where to locate “the books on politics” or “the history books”! You will find some general subject guidance at the end of each shelf of books if you wish to browse  but we strongly advise you to combine this with searching in Library Catalogue Plus.

Books are stocked according to subject area and the majority are located on Levels 1 and 2. Those on Level 1 generally relate to Science and Engineering topics and those situated on Level 2 largely cover the Social Sciences and Humanities. High Demand items can be found on Level 3 alongside the Main Information Desk and the Leisure Reading Collection is on Level 4.

The numbering or classmark system for locating books is:

000-499 and 700-999: Level 2

500-600: Level 1

Throughout your time at Loughborough you will be expected to read and refer to the scholarly literature published in academic journals. The easiest way to locate articles within the Library’s journals is by using a subject database. Databases are collections of information with a particular focus.

The most effective way to search the databases is by using keywords and phrases. Further advice on effective searching is available from Sharon Reid, Academic Librarian.

Here is the link to the complete list of Politics databases.

Here is the link to the complete list of History databases.

Quick links:

Key databases

Wide-ranging  database includes coverage of politics, race-relations and education.

 Gale Primary Sources
Wide-ranging database for primary source historical archives. Includes manuscripts, newspapers, maps and photographs.

Humanities Index
Key database for a wide-range of arts, politics and humanities subjects.
Nexis UK  

Current news coverage of UK, European and US newspapers. Also includes variable archival coverage (1982 onwards). Access with your Athens username and password (available from your Learn page)

A host of databases for political / international relations journal articles and primary source historical archives including newspapers.

Web of Science
Key generalist database for subjects including arts, humanities and social sciences. 
 Worldwide Political Science Abstracts                                                                    
Key database for politics, political analysis, political science, international relations and law.

 Specialised databases 

                                                                   African and American Communities 

Race relations, discrimination and integration primary source archive. North American documents 1863-1986.

Digital National Security Archive

Primary source collection of 20th century declassified, official foreign policy, U.S. government documents.

Documents on British Policy Overseas

International relations and diplomacy primary source archive. UK government documents from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 1898-present.

Filmakers Library Online

Award-winning documentaries on race, human rights, globalisation, international relations, political science and current events.

Listener Historical Archive

BBC weekly magazine, 1929-91, a literary alternative to the Radio Times. 

Mass Observation Online

Social and cultural record of 20th century everyday life, 1937 to mid-1950s, from the pioneering social research organisation.

National Anti-Slavery Standard

Official weekly newspaper of the American Anti-Slavery Society, 1840-70. 

The Liberator

Weekly, anti-slavery newspaper published by prominent abolitionist, William Lloyd Garrison, 1831-65.

Popular Culture in Britain and America

Primary source collection featuring music, politics, fashion, youth culture, etc. 1950-75.  Magazines, memorabilia,  original video footage, photographs, ephemera.

Punch Historical Archive

Iconic satirical magazine, 1841-92. Parliamentary sketches, political cartoons and social satire.

Testaments to the Holocaust 

Archives of the Wiener Library, London. Documentary evidence relating to the Holocaust and the German Nazi Party. Includes eyewitness accounts, photographs and Nazi propaganda sources.

Victorian Popular Culture

Primary source archive spanning 1779 to 1930 showcasing popular entertainment in Britain, America and Europe. Includes essays, printed books, early film, posters, playbills, photographs, objects and ephemera.

Archival newspapers:

Daily Mail Historical Archive 
1896 - 2004                                                                                                            
Daily Mirror Archive 
1903 - current
Independent Archive 
1986 - 2016
Picture Post 
1938 - 1950
The Guardian and Observer Archive 
The Guardian (1821 - 2003) and The Observer (1791 - 2003)
The New York Times Archive
1851 - 2011
The Sunday Times Archive
1785 - 2007
The Times Archive
1785 - 2007
  • Please see the Newspapers subject guide for further information.


photo attributed to Mike Nantais under creative commons license CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Why is referencing an important academic skill?

Citing the sources you have used within the main body of your work and creating a list of references (bibliography) at the end is an essential academic requirement. Correct referencing acknowledges the use of someone else’s ideas and enables those reading your work to identify and find the original sources of information. Crucially, correct referencing is the most important means by which to avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is defined by the Concise Oxford English Dictionary as “the act of taking and using (passing off) the thoughts, writings, inventions etc. of another as one’s own”. Plagiarism is considered by the University to be an act of academic misconduct and may have serious consequences.

Referencing in Politics & International Studies:

Referencing forms part of the departmental marking criteria:

“Coursework which is not adequately referenced may be returned to you with a request that you supply the relevant information before the mark is awarded, although usually only in your first semester at University; thereafter, penalties will be applied”

[From the POLIS Referencing and Plagiarism Handbook, p.10]

There are many different recognised referencing styles but the two that Politics & International Studies strongly encourages undergraduates to choose from are Harvard (Cite them right online style) and Chicago (numeric footnotes style). Please be aware that Cite them right online can also be used as a guide to the Chicago style as can The Chicago-Style Citation Quick GuidePostgraduates should speak to their supervisor to agree a referencing style. Which style you choose will determine whether you cite your references within the text in an author, date format, e.g. (Berry, 2009) or in numeric note form at the foot of each page, e.g. 1. David Berry, A History of the French Anarchist Movement 1917-1945 (Edinburgh: AK Press, 2009), 89-90. It will also dictate the order and format in which you write the required elements down in the bibliography, e.g.:

Harvard: Berry, D. (2009) A history of the French Anarchist Movement 1917-1945. Edinburgh: AK Press.

Chicago: Berry, David. A History of the French Anarchist Movement 1917-1945. Edinburgh: AK Press, 2009. 


•The departmental guidelines on referencing take precedence over other sources of guidance 
•You may choose either referencing style but it is essential that you use only one style for each piece of work. You will be penalised for mixing styles. Consistently is crucial when referencing

Where can I find guidance on these styles?