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HIUS 8451 - History of U.S. Foreign Relations in the Twentieth Century

Subject Guide

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Keith Weimer
408 Alderman Library
University of Virginia

Off-Grounds Access

Most databases are available only when you're connected to the UVa network. For off Grounds use you'll need a connection through the proxy server or UVaAnywhere. More information.


Searching Virgo

                                                                            Virgo Search Screen

                                                            Search    Carter "human rights"

  To search Special Collections only:

Click on Catalog Advanced Search, then Limit Results by Library - Special CollectionsSearch  Author = Stettinius, Edward

  • Virgo does not use Boolean connectors, such as and, or between terms.
  • Put a phrase within quotation marks
  • Automatically does stemming of search terms (view, viewer, viewers, viewing)
  • You can further refine search results by using the limiters on the left of the search results screen. For example, clicking on "Special Collections" under "Library" will narrow your results to materials held in Special Collections.
  • Be sure you click on "Start Over" to perform a new search

Use the Journal Finder tab at the top of the library home page, or the bottom of the Virgo search screen, to determine our online access and to search individual journal titles.

The Library is a member of the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) which collects newspapers, journals, documents, archives, and other traditional and digital resources.  ICON, a consortium dedicated to preservation of foreign newspapers, is sponsored by CRL and several participating institutions. You can borrow materials from CRL or participating ICON institutions via Interlibrary Loan.

Finding Journal & Newspaper Articles

A list of all our major online databases is found in Virgo at .  Remember, to access our databases from off-Grounds you need a proxy server account, or a UVA Anywhere or Anywhere-Lite account: see


Academic Search Complete A general database of articles from a variety of scholarly journals, popular magazines, and some newspapers. Includes some speeches and interviews.  Years of coverage varies according to title, but some publications are covered back to the late 19th century.

                                Search:  "Schuman Plan" AND "Soviet Union" AND France

               To search for speeches:  Nixon = AU author  AND  monetary     Document Type = speech
To search for interviews: Reagan = PE People  AND  "Central America"   Document Type =

America History & Life  Covers the history of the United States and Canada from prehistory to present with records from 2,000 English-language journals published worldwide. Includes book reviews. Historical Abstracts covers the rest of the world, from 1450 to the present.

                                       Search:   Anarchis*     Historical Period = 1890-1920

JSTOR  Full-text backfiles of many important scholarly journals. Coverage is usually from the first issue to 3-5 years before the present.

PAIS, 1915-present Useful for finding journal articles, book citations, government publications, and reports issued by public and private organizations in the areas of political science and public policy.

                                                  Search:  Euromissile

LexisNexis Academic  offers access to a variety of news sources, including newspapers, magazines, television and radio broadcast transcripts, etc.  Years of coverage varies by title, usually with nothing prior to the early 1980's.

              Search the News:   Reagan Guatemala    [Search within results Caribbean basin initiative]

ProQuest Historical Newspapers  Searchable full text backfiles of the New York Times (1851-2006), Wall Street Journal (1889-1991), Chicago Tribune (1849-1986), Los Angeles Times (1881-1986), Washington Post (1877-1992), and Chicago Defender (1910-1975).

            Search NY Times"Nixon administration" AND "International Monetary Fund"   Date Range = 1969-1974

America's Historical Newspapers Full text collection of local and regional newspapers from throughout the United States. Most coverage ends in the early 1920's but later 20th century coverage is being added for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Portland Oregonian, and New Orleans Times-Picayune.

                                   Search:  anarchists AND Europe AND violence      [Use Add Search Fields]
                                                Date Range = 1890-1920       

Foreign Policy Primary Source Documents

 A list of all our major online databases is found in Virgo at .  Remember, to access our databases from off-Grounds you need a proxy server account, or a UVA Anywhere or Anywhere-Lite account: see 

Foreign Relations of the United States: Diplomatic Papers (FRUS) 1932-present. Previous title covering 1870-1931 is Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States. These collections present the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions and diplomacy.  They contain documents from the presidential libraries, the CIA, the Departments of State and Defense, the National Security Council, Agency for International Development and private papers of individuals.  The print volumes are in Government Information Resources (Alderman 3rd Floor) at S1.1 . 

American Foreign Policy Current Documents in Government Information Resources at S1.71/2 Published 1956-1967, 1981-1991.  Supplements FRUS. A compilation of official messages, addresses and statements, interviews, briefing notes, and Congressional testimony. Also see A Decade of American Foreign Policy: Basic Documents, 1941-1949, Serial Set volume 11308; American Foreign Policy: Basic Documents, 1950-1955, S1.71:117; and American Foreign Policy: Basic Documents, 1977-1980, S1:69:346.

Department of State Bulletin (1939-1989)   Continued by U.S. Department of State Dispatch (1990-1999) at S1.3/5.  After 1993 this material is found on the website of the State Department.
Contains important foreign policy speeches, lists of treaty actions, briefing notes, testimony by State Department officials before Congress, etc.


Digital National Security Archive  contains declassified documents used by the U.S. government in conducting foreign policy. The materials are obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

            Search Documents:   keyword = mobilization   Collections = U.S. Policy in the Vietnam War


Declassified Documents Reference System provides access to collections of declassified documents from the CIA, FBI, presidential libraries, and other agencies, from the 1940's to the 1970's.

                                Advanced Search:   Keyword = Nehru     Issue Date = 1954-1956

Vietnam War and American Foreign Policy, 1960-1975 contains declassified documents from the CIA, State Department, National Security Council, and presidential files, from the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations.  Emphasis is on the Vietnam War, but it also includes material about U.S. policy in other regions of the world as well, on topics such as the Suez Crisis, Berlin Crisis, Bay of Pigs, Yom Kippur War, etc.

Frontline Diplomacy: the Foreign Affairs Oral History Collection Oral history interviews with hundreds of U.S. diplomatic personnel.  Most inteviews cover the late 1940's to the 1990's, with some coverage from the 1920's through World War II. Content is being added to the site.

Presidential libraries of most Chief Executives since Harry Truman provide some online documents on their web sites.  This National Archives site points to various presidential library web sites.

Additional Resources

A list of all our major online databases is found in Virgo at .  Remember, to access our databases from off-Grounds you need a proxy server account, or a UVA Anywhere or Anywhere-Lite account: see

ProQuest Congressional  provides mostly full-text publications from the U.S. Congress, including testimony from Congressional hearings, legislative histories of laws, reports to Congress, etc.

                          Search:   Guatemala AND "human rights"   Date is Between = Jan 1, 1981 and Dec 31, 1985

CIAO: Columbia International Affairs Online provides working papers from research institutes, occasional papers from NGO's, foiundation-funded research reports, proceedings from conferences, books, journal articles, and policy briefs.

                                            Search:  "Schuman Plan"

Dissertations and Theses: Full Text Full text of most dissertations accepted from 1997 on, along with some earlier works and some master's theses.  Provides citations to dissertations and theses accepted from 1861 on in the U.S. and some Canadian, British and other European universities.

                                             Advanced Search:  Nixon AND "international monetary policy"

WorldCat: FirstSearch Contains the catalog records of books, videos, manuscripts and other materials held by thousands of libraries throughout the world. It is a valuable tool for discovering material we do not own and the libraries that hold it,  and verifying citations.

ArchiveGrid is a component of WorldCat and allows you to search for manuscripts, letters, family, corporate and civic records held in over a thousand libraries throughout the world.

                                               Author:    Cooper, John Sherman

Virginia Heritage: Guides to Manuscript and Archival Collections in Virginia Descriptions of archival and manuscript collections in 27 Virginia collections.  Searchable by keyword and searches can be limited to a particular institution.

Book Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences This page is maintained by library staff to help you find book reviews in the social sciences and humanities.  Another good source is Academic Search Complete:
Search: Ti Title = Known and Unknown  Document Type = Book Review
This type of search will also work in America History and Life and Historical Abstracts.

Bibliographies & Microforms

American Foreign Relations Since 1600: A Guide to the Literature, ed. by Robert L. Beisner (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2003).  Two volumes.  Alderman Reference Z6465 .U5 G84 2003   Arranged chronologically and then by region.

The Library has a number of significant microform collections pertaining to International Relations  (CIA Research Reports: Africa, 1946-1976; CIA Research Reports: Soviet Union, 1946-1976; Foreign Nations Special Studies Series: Africa, 1962-1980 and Soviet Union, 1970-1982; etc.) and United States History (John F. Kennedy Presidential Oral History Collection; etc.) Microforms are located on Alderman Library 3rd floor and staff in the Government Information Resources department can assist you.