Tag Archives: Featured Resource

Featuring Biography Reference Center

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Find Biographies

Learn about people from different walks of life throughout time, and from around the world with our latest featured database. Biography Reference Center contains over 430,000 full-text biographies, pulled together information from classic and modern books, encyclopedias, newspapers, and full-text biographical articles. The biographies are concise, with easy-to-read background information.

There are several ways to use this database. First, the advanced search is useful if you already know background information like name, date of birth or death, profession, or country of origin. Additionally, the basic interface lets researchers browse by portrait or by genre. This ability to browse allows researchers to discover historical figures involved in important historical eras, major wars, and historic leaders. Finally, researchers can browse for biographies by searching for cultural impact through other categories like Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, Musicians, Inventors, and other important roles.

Biography Reference Center is useful whether you are looking for the biography of a specific person, fact-checking information, or learning more about important people in history.

Try Biography Reference Center now (PSU login required off-campus)

Reference Sources at PSU Library

entrance to PSU LibraryPSU Library has scholarly reference resources above and beyond biographies. The library subscribes to reference databases, as well as print and online encyclopedias, eBooks, and databases.  Reference sources are important because they provide scholarly background information and context. They are especially useful when you are starting out your research, or when you need more information about a topic.

Finally, if you have questions about biographical research or any other kind of research, please feel free to Ask a Librarian.

More information:
Search PSU Library
Oxford Reference Online

Featuring Berg Fashion Library

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Research Fashion and Culture with Berg Fashion Library

Research fashion, arts, and culture with Berg Fashion Library. Berg Fashion Library is a database with authoritative information about world dress across cultures and throughout history. The database has multiple collections with many different types of content, including an image library with 13,000 images. Additionally, the Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion covers the complexity of global dress through history. Other collections in the database include eBooks, lesson plans, reference works, an interactive timeline, as well as an exhibition archive.

Berg Fashion Library will be especially useful to students and researchers across several disciplines. Researchers in art history, anthropology, history, sociology, geography, arts and theater, cultural studies, as well as fashion and textiles will find Berg Fashion Library especially useful.

Try Berg Fashion Library now (PSU login required off-campus)

Research Art & Design at PSU

multicolored spooled thread lot
Thread lot used in sewing

Berg Fashion Library is one of many resources about fashion, art, and culture available at Portland State. The Art & Design research guide was designed by librarians at PSU to connect researchers with the best research resources available through the PSU library collections and beyond. The research guide will connect you with scholarly articles and eBooks available in print and online, along with reference works. In addition, the guide will connect you with other scholarly image libraries and primary sources, as well as information to help you cite your sources.

You can also search the PSU Library catalog, or search in subject databases which focus on arts and culture. If you have any questions about researching fashion, art and design, or any other research topic, please do not hesitate Ask a Librarian!

More information:
Art & Design Research Guide
Ask a Librarian

Environmental Science Research

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About Agricultural & Environmental Science

Hydroponic lettuce grown without soil in raised beds
Learn about hydroponic farming and other developments in agricultural and environmental science

Agricultural & Environmental Science is our latest featured resource. PSU students and researchers studying Environmental Science will find this database particularly useful.

Agricultural & Environmental Science is a database covering peer-reviewed journals, trade publications, magazines and newspapers. It also includes grey literature, conference papers and proceedings, and other sources like EPA reports.

Agricultural & Environmental Science has in-depth information about science relating to the environment, agriculture, and technology. Find research about environmental science resources covering engineering, biotechnology, and bacteriology, as well as atmospheric science, ecology, and biology. In addition, use the database to learn about veterinary science, aquaculture and fisheries, farming and farming systems, nutrition and food, forestry, and plant science.

Researchers can easily use both simple keyword searches or use more advanced searches. Additionally, the database has other useful features like suggested related searches and search limiters. Researchers can then sort results to find full-text articles, scholarly ebooks, and other types of information.

Why would I use this database?

Agricultural & Environmental Science, and other cross-disciplinary databases, help researchers widen the scope of information and to have even more impact. This is important because scientific research about the environment and agriculture is complex and often crosses into different fields of study. Fortunately, cross-disciplinary databases like Agricultural & Environmental Science make it easier for researchers to find relevant information in other scientific discipline. This gives researchers more background information and context, and ultimately makes their research have a larger impact for everyone.

Try Agricultural & Environmental Science now (PSU login required off-campus)

Other resources for studying Environmental Science

PSU Library has many other resources for students and researchers studying environmental science in addition to Agricultural & Environmental Science. The Environmental Science and Management research guide suggests books, encyclopedias and helpful databases to use for research, as well as data and map resources. Finally, the guide has tools to help researchers cite their sources. Ask a Librarian at any time if you have questions about environmental science or any other type of research.

More information:
Ask a Librarian

Birds of North America

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Featuring Birds of North America

Entry for Greater Roadrunner, with introduction, map, and navigation menu shown.
Greater Roadrunner, image by Brian Sullivan/Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

The latest featured resource at PSU Library is the database Birds of North America. Birds of North America has information about over 760 bird species that breed in the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii) and Canada. In this database, ornithologists and other bird experts write detailed accounts about different bird species. Accounts include summary information, as well as in-depth, authoritative research. Sounds, images, video, and maps give even more information for researchers’ varied needs.

Birds of North America is for everyone. Users can browse the database easily for a basic overview. On the other hand, researchers who need more in-depth research about specific species information will be able to delve into more details. Information includes a brief introduction about the bird, as well as detailed information including migration, diet, behavior, and conservation.

Try Birds of North America now (PSU login required off-campus)

Learn more with Subject Guides at PSU Library

PSU Library’s subject guides are designed to help PSU researchers learn more about topics and classes at Portland State. The Biology subject guide includes other useful resources beyond Birds of North America, as well as information about finding books and articles, citing sources, and other research help. Other subject guides include topics like Environmental Science and Management and Sustainability.

Use the Library catalog to find print publications around the library, as well as links to full-text documents available 24/7 online.

More information:
Environmental Science and Management
PSU Library catalog
Ask a Librarian

U.S. History with ProQuest Congressional

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Learn about Congressional and Legislative Histories

ProQuest Congressional is the latest featured resource at PSU Library. Whether you are studying political science or interested in U.S. history, Congressional hearings are a valuable resource. Relive history with transcripts of witness testimony from Congressional hearings, like Howard Hughes’s testimony about the Spruce Goose. You can also see the processes of lawmaking with Congressional hearings such as the hearing about Nixon’s impeachment.

United States Capitol building
United States Capitol building

Use ProQuest Congressional to look up legislative histories, specific bills, as well as full text of committee hearings and testimonies from 1824-1979. You can also look up members of congress, as well as find official social media accounts. In addition to important historical accounts, keep up with the latest news U.S. legislative information, regulations, and news. Finally, ProQuest Congressional updates daily when Congress is in session. You can rest assured that you have accurate information when you need it.

Try ProQuest Congressional now (PSU login required off-campus).

Learn more about United States Government at PSU Library

PSU Library’s United State Government Information guide is designed to help PSU researchers learn more about government in the U.S. Learn about government research and how to find specific information. Use this guide to also learn about U.S. government with a civics primer, information about all branches of government, and other government data.

Portland State University Library participates in the Federal Depository Library Program. The Library’s government documents are located on the fourth floor of Millar Library. These include official documents from federal, state, and local sources as well as a variety of atlases and maps. The depository collection is open to the general public for research. Use our library catalog to find other government print publications around the library, as well as links to full-text documents available 24/7 online.

More information:
United States Government Information Guide
Ask a Librarian

Find Statistics for Your Research

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What is Statista?

Statista is a database covering statistics on a wide range of topics like business, media, and demographics from trustworthy sources. It includes both free data like government information, as well as proprietary information purchased from market research firms. Researchers can easily find the sources of the statistical data, and also download the results in multiple formats (XLS, PPT, PNG, and PDF). Scholars can use Statista to look at the big picture or specific details when doing statistics research. Find the answers to questions like:

  • What is the market analysis and forecast for a specific company? What about for a specific product?
  • How do Americans read, and how does this compare worldwide?
  • Why does a specific age group live tweet a television show or movie?

Try Statista Now (PSU login required off-campus.)

Business, Media and Demographic Information

Survey about public confidence in US economy from Pew Research Center
“Infographic: Public Confidence In The U.S. Economy Hits 10-Year High” from Statista

Statista has both statistical information as well as forecasts for many different topics. Learn about specific industries and industry forecasts, or find dossiers for different markets. You can also find information about digital markets and physical markets.

Students and researchers in disciplines beyond business will also find Statista useful. Examine statistics about the media, as well as demographic information. Learn about companies and employment information, popularity of genres or specific titles, and also specific information about how consumers behave with books, video games, and other kinds of media. Finally, explore demographic information within industries and markets, or look at demographics of media consumers.

Build upon your research when you explore a topic within Statista. Examine a company to find news, statistics and forecasts, as well as information about competitors, related markets and related trends.

More information:
Sociology Data and Statistics Guide
Urban Studies Statistics and Demographics Guide

Please note that off-campus access to Statista is restricted to current PSU students, faculty, and staff.

Research Art and Art History with Artstor

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Our latest featured resource at the Portland State Library is Artstor. This database has an immense collection of images, as well as tools to make it easy to use and download images. Furthermore, it has tools to help in teaching. Maximize your art and art history research when you use Artstor alongside PSU Library guides.

Use Artstor for Research and Teaching

The Jolly Flatboatmen by George Caleb Bingham, 1846. From the National Gallery of Art.
The Jolly Flatboatmen by George Caleb Bingham, 1846. From the National Gallery of Art.

Researchers may browse through Artstor, or search for something specific. Categories like geography show artwork from a specific country, and classification reveals specific types of art. The art spans traditional art like painting and illuminated manuscripts, and also to architecture, film, landscape, and many more types of art.

Researchers may also browse by specific repositories. This can be useful because for researchers art repositories often group similar types and styles of art, and often have a lot of background information to help with research.

Additionally, Artstor has tools to help researchers manage images. Group images together to organize them, and also download them in bulk. Furthermore, bulk downloads include citations and other information about images, making it easier for researchers.

Artstor also has teaching resources to help users design curriculum for all age groups and levels, from K-12 to experts. These resources span across the many different types of art and art history resources in the collections. Most importantly, scholars can share the images in research and instruction because all content is cleared for educational use.

PSU Resources

Folio from an illustrated manuscript ca. 1597-1598. Image from The Met Museum.
Folio from an illustrated manuscript ca. 1597-1598. Image from The Met Museum.

PSU Library’s Open Educational Resources Guide connects researchers to open texts, streaming images and media, Portland State materials, and other open access resources that are useful to researchers. Additionally, anyone across the globe can use these resources, including students who have graduated from PSU. This is because Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials in any medium that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.

PSU Library’s subject guides connect researchers to resources for subjects taught as Portland State. Our architecture, art and art history guides have links to find scholarly articles, books, reference books, primary sources, as well as citation help.

PSU Library’s art databases connect researchers to many other kinds of resources on arts and the humanities. These span across history to the present, as well as across many different regions and types of resources.

PSU Library’s A-Z list of databases shows which resources are restricted or open access. Some PSU resources, including Artstor, are restricted off-campus to current PSU students, faculty and staff. A locked padlock (locked padlock symbol) indicates resources that are restricted off-campus. Conversely, open access resources are available to all researchers across the globe. An unlocked padlock (open access logo) indicates open access resources.

Other Resources 

Place Vintimille by Edouard Vuillard, 1911. From the National Gallery of Art.
Place Vintimille by Edouard Vuillard, 1911. From the National Gallery of Art.

Many US museums help researchers find images online through digital libraries, letting researchers worldwide experience the arts. Metadata in these collections informs researchers about the item, its context, and usage rights. This makes easier to determine if the items are open access or free of copyright restrictions.

Research Current Events

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Opposing Viewpoints in Context Shows the Big Picture

Pictured: Issues related to "Drones" in Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Content includes viewpoints, academic journals and statistics.
Pictured: Information about “Drones” in Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Content includes viewpoints, academic journals and statistics.

Current events are rarely simple or clear cut. Fortunately, Opposing Viewpoints in Context connects researchers with the context of the different perspectives behind current issues, along with reliable facts and evidence.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context is a database that contains detailed, reliable information about current events. This information comes from a variety of sources: newspapers, magazines, reference works, and scholarly journals. Additionally, several different perspectives for each current issue give more context. Researchers can use all of this information to understand the full context behind today’s headlines.

Newspaper articles and essays about current events, called viewpoints, provide up-to-date information about current events. However, bias in news articles and viewpoints means researchers need more information to get the big picture.

Fortunately, Opposing Viewpoints in Context presents the big picture by connecting researchers to reliable and authoritative supporting documents, along with additional points of view, historical information, and context. Statistics and peer-reviewed research articles provide evidence for each topic. Additional reference information, images, and videos can provide a historical background. Researchers can confidently research current events with evidence and scholarly research, without worrying about sensationalized claims or “fake news.”

More Resources at PSU

In addition to Opposing Viewpoints in Context, PSU Library has other resources available to help researchers understand current events.

CQ Researcher has in-depth coverage of current social and public policy issues. Professional journalists write and fact-check these reports. These articles include an overview, history, chronology, pro/con feature, plus additional resources for further research. CQ Researcher is an excellent database to use in addition to Opposing Viewpoints in Context.

The Identify & Challenge Fake News guide was made by PSU Librarians to help researchers identify, verify, and understand the news. It provides background information about what “fake news” is, as well as current examples of fake news. There is also information about fact-checking and finding accurate information. Researchers can also learn about how media consumption like search algorithms, as well as political news, affects personal biases. Finally, resources for instructors are available to facilitate discussion and help students evaluate information.

Please note that off-campus access to Opposing Viewpoints in Context and CQ Researcher is restricted to current PSU students, faculty, and staff.

Research the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

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U.S. Naval Brig "Perry" (left) approaching American slave vessel "Martha" (right). The image is reproduced courtesy of the Robert W. Woodruff Library, Emory University.
U.S. Naval Brig “Perry” Approaching Slaver “Martha,” from “Africa and the American Flag”  by Andrew H. Foote (1854).

Research the trans-Atlantic slave trade with the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, the latest featured resource at the PSU Library. 

This open access database is available for researchers across the globe, and also provides tools to examine the realities of one of the largest forced movements of peoples in world history. It contains multiple searchable resources, with detailed information on almost 36,000 slaving voyages between Africa and North America, the Caribbean, and Brazil.

Timelines, chronologies and maps provide context into the transatlantic slave trade. Researchers can visualize the impact of the global slave trade over a long period of time, and also hone into detailed information about a specific place or time.

Furthermore, a separate database sheds light on the voyages undertaken for the slave trade. Examine the captains and crews who sailed on slave ships, as well as the nations, and numbers of people transported across the globe.

Finally, the African Names Database has information about 91,491 Africans taken from captured slave ships or from African trading sites. It lists the African name, age, gender, origin, country, and also the places of embarkation and disembarkation. This information gives researchers insight into many of the victims of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Other Resources at the PSU Library

The PSU Library has many resources that discuss the transatlantic slave trade. Research the history and context of the slave trade in the United States and globally with data and primary resources.

Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law is an open access database. It contains legal documentation on the historic practices of slavery in the United States, as well as the rest of the English-speaking world. It includes pamphlets, books, legal statutes, and articles on slavery.

Slavery, Abolition and Social Justice is a database open to PSU faculty, staff, students, and researchers in the PSU Library. Primary source documents about slavery and abolition from Africa, the Caribbean, the U.S., Latin America, as well as Europe, span from 1490 to 2007.

More information:
PSU Library Black Studies databases
PSU Library History databases
Open Access at PSU

Project MUSE eBooks at PSU Library

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About Project MUSE

Project MUSE is a database with both scholarly eJournals & eBooks from University presses and scholarly societies in a wide range of subjects within the humanities and social sciences. All content is peer-reviewed prior to publication and edited after the peer-review by the university presses. The PSU Library has access to over 1,000 eBook titles from Project MUSE, and this collection is still growing. The PSU Library Project MUSE eBooks collections include the following subject areas:

  • US Regional Studies, West
  • Political Science and Policy Studies
  • Native American and Indigenous Studies

Access Project MUSE eBooks

You can search for Project MUSE eBooks in the PSU Library catalog, or you can search for books directly from Project MUSE. Project MUSE will search everything by default, including items that PSU Library does not own. Fortunately, it is simple to refine your search to find only eBooks. First, sign in to Project MUSE on a campus computer, or off-campus with your Odin account. Next, click the “Browse” button at the top of the page.

Project Muse home page, with browse button highlighted

A menu will appear after you click the “Browse” button. On this menu, click the link for “Books.”

Project Muse ebooks home page, within browse menu, with Books link highlighted

You should now see every single eBook within Project MUSE. Now we need to access the eBooks purchased by the PSU Library. First, go to “Access” on the left-hand side of the page. Then select “Only content I have full access to.”

Project Muse ebooks option to select "only content I have full access to" is turned on

After these three steps, you now can search the Project MUSE eBooks owned by the PSU Library. These ebooks can be downloaded to a computer or tablet for an unlimited time, and PSU faculty and students can print out as much as they need.

Other eBooks at the PSU Library

The  PSU Library access to over a million eBooks from several publishers and vendors in addition to Project MUSE. Search for eBooks at the PSU Library. Simply search for a keyword, and then refine your search results to eBooks. You may find entire chapters, or entire eBooks, online at the PSU Library.

If another library has an eBook you want to view, you may be able to access it using a public computer at that library, or borrow the print edition. If you have any questions about accessing an eBook at the PSU Library, please Ask a Librarian. Please note that many eBook collections are licensed for use by on-site patrons and current Portland State University students, faculty, and staff.

More Information:
Internet Archive provides a free digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Closed captions are not available.
Directory of Open Access Books includes academic ebooks that are part of Open Access.