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PUBPOL 807: MPP Master's Projects: Primary Sources

resources for thorough literature reviews

News Sources

Use the library's subscriptions to hundreds of news sources through our databases and e-journals. This is especially helpful when:

  • you need previous articles that are no longer available for free from the web site
  • you want to search across multiple sources at once--e.g. The New York Times and The Washington Post are included with other major US papers in LexisNexis Academic
  • you want to search across a longer time period than is available on the web site


  • Go to online journal titles and type the name of the newspaper; or
  • Search one of the Newspaper Databases: Browse Dbs by Subject/ Reference/ Newspapers/ world region
  • Many include other news sources like wire services, BBC, etc. as well as international sources translated into English

North Carolina

State Library of North Carolina
Digital Repository
LINC (Log Into North Carolina)
Historical data and projections on state and local levels; subjects include census, law enforcement, environment, transportation, and others.
North Carolina Legal Materials
at Duke Libraries
North Carolina Legislation: A Summary of Legislation in the General Assembly of Interest to North Carolina Public Officials
1974-2008 in print; 1998-2012 online

Government Documents

Add to restrict your Google searches to US government sites. (Note the dot before gov)

The official website of Congress. Useful for the most current information on bills and legislative activities.
Beta version of THOMAS's successor. For now, includes legislation from the 107th Congress (2001) to the present.

ProQuest Congressional

Useful for finding...

  • Congressional documents, hearings, and committee prints
  • CRS Reports (Congressional Research Service) --*see also below

*Open CRS
another way to find CRS Reports; usually more current than ProQuest Congressional, but each site has reports that the other doesn't. a good place to start for exploring all aspects of US government

State-level Issues

You will need to dig a little harder to find information on state legislative issues. Mine the state's web site, read the local news, and find policy briefs on state-level issues in the sites below, in addition to the other sources on this guide.

LexisNexis State Capital 
Search the laws of all 50 states at once, or one at a time; also includes regulations, information on legislators and staff, news on state issues.

State Legislature sites

Pew Center on the States
"Identifies and advances state policy solutions." Browse by Issues, States, Research & Analysis, or Projects.

Also from Pew, "a nonprofit, nonpartisan online news site that practices journalism in the public interest by reporting on emerging trends and issues in state policy and politics"

America's News
Search for the local news by state or region.

Follow the Money
from the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Track contributions to candidates and committees, by interest group, to the district level. See also their reports by subject, e.g. immigration.

Open States
From the Sunlight Foundation. Follow bills and votes in state legislatures. Free signup required to search and set alerts.

Council of State Governments
Encompasses all branches of government of all U.S. States. Search or browse the Knowledge Center.

National Conference of State Legislatures
Explore the tabs at the top for Legislators and Staff; Research by topics (some tools are for legislators only).

National Governors Association
See reports and issue briefs, esp. in the Center for Best Practices; also Federal Relations for "the collective voice of the nation's governors."

Public Opinion Surveys with State or Regional Emphasis
from Cornell University