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Global Environmental History

Exploring and Focusing Topics

The Library has a large number of subject-specific online encyclopedias with exhaustive and well-researched entries written by subject experts. The essays in these encyclopedias and companions are great overviews and generally helpful in defining and focusing a topic. All essays include bibliographies that lead to further sources on a topic.

Encyclopedias, Companions & General Histories

Companion to American Environmental History
Includes over 30 essays that examine the field of American environmental history. Organized in five topically themed parts, with essays ranging from American Indian Environmental Relations to Cities and Suburbs.

Encyclopedia of Environment and Society

Environmental Encyclopedia
See the entries on environmental racism, eco justice, sustainable development, and Third World pollution.

Chronology of Americans and the Environment
Browse critical events in American Environmental History from pre-Columbian times to the twenty-first century.

Worldmark Encyclopedia of U.S. and Canadian Environmental Issues
Covers the environmental issues for each U.S. state and Canadian province. Essays include an introduction that describes the geographical and geological features of the state/province, information on how global climate change could affect the state/province and its inhabitants, information on natural resources, energy, Green Economy, Green Jobs, and Green Building, and a special section that covers a major environmental topic in each state/province.

Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics (2nd Ed.)
Entries related to environmental ethics cover such topics as speciesism, environmental justice, issues of land use, and agricultural ethics.

Encyclopedia of Water Politics and Policy in the United States

New Dictionary of the History of Ideas
See the entries on Environment, Nature, and Environmental Ethics.

Encyclopedia of American Social Movements
See the excellent entries on the Environmental Movement and the Native American Movement.

Social Issues in America
See the article on Environmental Justice. This article includes a bibliography, a chronology, a glossary, and documents. See also the entry on Environmentally Induced Illnesses.

Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology
See the entry on Environmental Equity.

Environmental Law Handbook
21st edition

West's Encyclopedia of American Law
See the article on Environmental Law.

The Environmental Debate: A Documentary History
Primary sources on American environmental history from the colonial period to the present.
Print only.

U.S. Environmental Policy and Politics: A Documentary History
Primary sources on American environmental policy ranging from complaints about industrial pollution in colonial Philadelphia to the Kyoto Protocol.
Print only.

Oxford History of Historical Writing
See chapter on "The Historiography of Environmentalism."

Historical Dictionary of Environmentalism

Companion to Western Historical Thought
See chapter on "Historicizing Natural Environments."

Looking for ideas for a topic?

Scan a selection of Falvey titles on environmental history to come up with topic ideas.
Not sure which encyclopedia is best suited for your topic? Search hundreds of encyclopedias simultaneously in the Gale Virtual Reference Library and the Sage Knowledge library.


Library Catalog
Books and book chapters in the Library's print collection are an important source of critical literature. The Library's catalog has a number of different search options: keyword and subject searches are good starting points when first exploring a topic. Search results can be narrowed with facets, which appear to the right of the results. Topic, region, era, and language are helpful facets.
keyword search - "costa rica" and touris*
keyword search - deforestation and asia*
subject search - environmental degradation
subject search - environmentalism and history
subject search - environmental policy

WorldCat (OCLC)
Books that are not owned by the Library can be found via WorldCat. WorldCat is an online catalog that includes the collections of most U.S. libraries as well as a large number of libraries abroad. Titles owned by Falvey Memorial Library are tagged, those not held by Falvey can be requested through interlibrary loan with the Borrow from another library link. WorldCat uses the same Library of Congress subject headings as the Library's catalog.

E-ZBorrow and Interlibrary Loan
Interlibrary loans are only available for books and journals which are not owned by Falvey. The E-ZBorrow service can be used for books which the library owns, but which are currently checked out. E-ZBorrow books are provided by a local library network and tend to arrive faster than interlibrary loans.

Journal Articles

America: History and Life (EBSCO)
Search the contents of academic journals, historical magazines and dissertations. This database indexes articles on the history of America (North and South) published in academic journals such as Environment and History, Environmental History, Antipode, the Radical History Review, American Indian Culture & Research, and the American Indian Quarterly to name but a few. The FindIt button links to the full text of the articles in the Library's collection as well as to an interlibrary loan form. Interlibrary loan can only be used for those journals to which the Library does not have a subscription. It can take one to two weeks to process an interlibrary loan request.

Historical Abstracts (EBSCO)
This index has the same search interface and functionality as America: History & Life, but it is limited to articles about the history of Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

Sociological Abstracts (ProQuest)
A keyword search for "environmental justice" will bring up numerous articles published in journals such as Society and Natural Resources, Human Ecology Review, Population and Environment, Environmental Politics, Environmental Values, and Environment & Urbanization. Environmental justice is not defined as a subject in this index. Related subjects are ecology, inequality, environmental policy, social justice, ethics, environmentalism, environmental factors, environmental protection.

Primary Sources

Historical New York Times: 1851-2009 (ProQuest)
Complete coverage from 1851 to the present with the exception of the most current two years. Includes classified ads, comics and cartoons, photos, maps, graphics, etc., editorials and commentary.
A simple search for the phrase "environmental justice" shows that the New York Times used this phrase for the first time on January 17, 1977 in reference to the dumping of mining waste into Lake Superior.

Alternative Press Index (EBSCO)
Indexes over 200 journals from the alternative, radical and left presses, newspapers and magazines covering cultural, economic, political and social change. Includes selected abstracts from research journals. Includes such titles as Earth First!, Green Horizon, Peace Review, New Solutions, and Co-op America Quarterly. The Library subscribes to very few of these journals, but they can be requested through interlibrary loan via the FindIt button.

U.S. Congressional Serial Set: 1817 – 1994 (Readex)
Reports, documents and journals of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives from the 15th Congress through the 103rd Congress. The collection covers a wide range of subjects ranging from the Lewis and Clarke Expedition to the Three Mile Island nuclear accident and it includes approximately 56,000 maps. Documents of the first 14 U.S. Congresses can be found in the American State Papers collection.

Ethnic NewsWatch (ProQuest)
A comprehensive full text database of the newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press.

Lexis Nexis Academic
Provides full-text access to a wide range of news (national, international, regional, business, legal, and foreign language), business (company financial news and information, accounting, auditing & tax information, industry and market news), and legal (law reviews, federal case law, state legal research) sources. It also features news transcripts, the U.S. Code, Constitution & Court rules, state and country profiles, medical abstracts, and reference & directory sources.

Readers' Guide Full Text Mega (EBSCO)
Readers' Guide Full Text is part of the Wilson OmniFile. It provides indexing and full text articles from both the popular press and peer reviewed journals.

Readers' Guide Retrospective: 1890-1982 (EBSCO)
Provides citations to the most popular general-interest periodicals published in the United States and reflects the history of 20th century America.
The FindIt button links to the full text of the articles in the Library's collection as well as to an interlibrary loan form. Interlibrary loan can only be used for those journals to which the Library does not have a subscription. It can take one to two weeks to process an interlibrary loan request.

Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Reports, 1974- 1996 (Readex)
Transcripts of foreign news broadcasts from more than 100 countries translated into English from materials selected by the CIA for distribution to U.S. policymakers and security analysts.

Current Digest of the Russian Press
The Digest is a comprehensive retrospective digest of the news presented to the Soviet and Russian public since 1945. Original Russian-language press materials are translated into English.

Citing Your Sources

Chicago Manual of Style Online
The 16th edition of the standard style manual used by writers and editors of scholarly books and journals.
For a quick introduction watch the online tutorial A Brief Introduction to the Chicago Manual of Style.
Chicago-Style Step-by-Step is a self-paced interactive tutorial for students new to Chicago Style.
Use the Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide for easy reference.

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jseibert Jutta Seibert
Team Leader - Academic Integration
Falvey Library, Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova , PA , 19085
Room 228

Jutta Seibert is the subject librarian for History and is available for research consultations, instruction, curricular support & purchase requests.


Last Modified: Tuesday, January 6th, 2015