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HIUS 3172 America in Vietnam

Searching Virgo

                                                           Virgo Search Screen                                                                   

       Click on Catalog Advanced Search  then    Limit Results By - Library - Special Collections

                                                   Keyword =  "Vietnam War" demonstrations

  • 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

Finding Primary Source Materials

A list of our online databases is found in Virgo at . For information regarding off-Grounds access see

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= Diem
                               Collections= U.S.Policy in the Vietnam War, 1954-1968
Date:  October 31, 1961 - December 31, 1961

Declassified Documents Reference System provides access to collections of declassified documents from the CIA, FBI, presidential libraries, and other agencies, from the 1940's through the 1980's. Put a phrase in single quotes.

                                     Advanced Search:  Keyword = "Tet Offensive"
Issue Date:   March 1968 - April 1968

Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) , 1932-present. Presents the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions and diplomacy.  Contains documents from the departments of State and Defense, the National Security Council, CIA, presidential libraries, etc.  This searchable online version from the Department of State includes many volumes from the Truman through the Ford administrations. The print volumes are in Government Information Resources, Shannon 3rd floor.

              Choose Administration:  Johnson    Select Volume 2, then "Search Within This Volume" = bombing
(Tip: if you do Boolean searches in FRUS, connectors (AND, OR, etc.) must be capitalized.)

Vietnam War and American Foreign Policy, 1960-1975 primary source documents (many previously classified) from the CIA,  the State Department, the National Security Council,  and various presidential files, from the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations.  Emphasis is on the Vietnam War but it also includes material about US policy in other regions of the world as well. 

    Search  Cambodia    Narrow Results by Date = 04/01/1970 - 04/30/1970

iPOLL  contains nearly a half-million questions from surveys conducted since 1935 by academic, commercial, and media survey organizations, including CNN, Gallup, AP, the Wall Street Journal, and many others. 

                                          Search = Vietnam War and Laos   Date from 1971 to 1971

U.S. Government Publications

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.

                      Advanced Search :   Vietnam AND Rusk   Congress = 88 (1963-1964)
                                                       Limit to:  Hearings


Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the U.S. Congress, published daily when Congress is in session.  It can be searched in  ProQuest Congressional by using Advanced Search and selecting Congressional Record under "Limit to". The print edition is in Government Information Resources, on Shannon 3rd floor.


Department of State Bulletin (1939-1989) includes press releases, official statements of policy, texts of important documents, the U.S. position on issues before the United Nations, articles by department officials, and information about treaties. Continued by the U.S. Department of State Dispatch (1990-1999). After 1993 this material is found on the Department of State web site.

Finding Contemporary Articles

A list of our online databases is found in Virgo at .  For information regarding off-Grounds access see

Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature (1900-1990) print volumes are on the wall shelves on the left when you enter Shannon Reference.  Each volume covers a particular time period and is arranged alphabetically by subject.  Use to find articles in popular magazines such as Newsweek, Life, U.S. News & World Report, etc. since many of these are not covered by online databases for the time period you are working in.  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.

Academic Search Complete is a general database of articles from scholarly journals and some popular magazines and newspapers. Includes some speeches and interviews. Useful for finding articles written during the Vietnam War era. Years of coverage vary according to title.

                             Search:  "William Fulbright" AND Vietnam   Published Date = 1964-1968
        Search for speeches:   Search  McNamara,Robert = Author  AND  Vietnam    Document Type = speech

ProQuest Historical Newspapers Searchable full text backfiles of articles from the New York Times (1851-2007), Wall Street Journal (1889-1991), Chicago Tribune (1849-1986), Los Angeles Times (1881-1986), Washington Post (1877-1992), and the Chicago Defender (1910-1975).
                    Search New York Times:  Advanced Search = "democratic nomination" AND McCarthy
                                                         Date Range = 1967 to 1968


Twentieth Century American Newspapers  Part of "America's Historical Newspapers", this component includes 20th century coverage from the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Cleveland Plain Dealer, and Portland Oregonian.

                    Search Students for a Democratic Society   Dates 1970-1975    Place of Publication = Ohio

Additional Sources

U.S. History in Context   Primary documents, secondary reference sources (Scribner's Dictionary of American History and the Dictionary of American Biography, etc.), and journal articles covering all areas of U.S. history from pre-colonial times to the present day.  An excellent starting point to learn more about a topic or issue.

Vietnam and Southeast Asia, Special Studies, 1960-1980 
  Micfilm 1448 Online guide to contents Government Information Resources, Shannon 3rd floor.   Research studies by think tanks, government agencies, etc. about the Vietnam war. Includes appraisals of the military's herbicide program, evaluations of the economic and political effects of U.S. bombing in North Vietnam, contemporary evaluations of rural pacification and Vietnamization programs, etc.

Social Movements Collection
  Housed in Special Collections. Contains items collected from a diverse group of over 500 different social movement groups. The types of materials include letters, mailings, posters, bumper stickers, pins, pamphlets, booklets, and reading lists. The materials come from all over the world, but are mainly focused in the United States. The largest issue addressed by this collection was the Vietnam War and the draft, but it also covered civil rights, the rise of feminism, student rights, the Black Panthers, desegregation at the state and local level, and the formation of libertarian and conservative groups.

American History in Video Over 5000 films, commercial and governmental newsreels, archival footage, public affairs footage and documentaries showing historical events and their presentation over time.

           Advanced Search:  Transcript & Notes = Vietnam   Topics = demonstrations  (from pull-down)
                                         Video Types = newsreel

Vietnam Collection: WGBH Vietnam: A Television History was a landmark documentary series produced by WGBH. This collection contains most of the materials gathered and created for the 1983 series, as well as additional Vietnam-related materials from the WGBH archive.

              Search within this collection = News video and archival footage  then  Search Archive (within results) = Tet