What is American Studies? Group Research Paper


 Dispersive Prism Illustration, via Wikimedia Commons.

Research Guide

Welcome! This guide highlights resources for conducting effective  research for the group research paper in What is American Studies?

Schedule a research consultation with me to discuss your research topic and sources.

Personal Librarian:
Martha Tenney
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Guide by Martha Tenney, Vani Natarajan, Jennie Correia, and Shannon O'Neill.

Snowden Documents Databases

There are a few online, searchable databases that claim to contain all of the documents leaked by Edward Snowden that have been published by media outlets. In reality, these databases contain slightly different corpuses of documents (all with different titles) and have varying search functionalities. We recommend conducting keyword searches and verifying release date and other metadata by searching over more than one of the following databases.

  • Snowden Digital Surveillance Archive - From the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) and the University of Toronto. Full-text search and links to original media articles with options to search and browse by creating agency, security classification, distribution marking, original media outlet publisher, communications target, subject term, reporter/journalist responsible for initial reporting, surveillance program, date created, and date published. Search help here; adjust your search preferences (for example, to return more results) here. Not updated with documents released in 2017.
  • ACLU NSA Archive - The ACLU's database of Snowden-leaked documents and related documents released by the U.S. government. Filtering options include legal authority, type of document, and the type of records collected. Updated with documents released in 2017.
  • Snowden Document Search - From the Courage Foundation (a trust established to collect donations for Edward Snowden's legal fees). While this database contains fewer documents, full-text search functionality appears to be more robust than in the other databases. Filtering options include agency, topic, countries mentioned, SIGADS, and classification. Go to the links tab to see links to the articles in which the documents were originally published. Contains documents released in 2017.
  • Internet Archive Global Surveillance Disclosures - The Internet Archive's cache of databases. Very limited filtering and incomplete full-text searchibility.
  • iamkryptoki GitHub Repository of Snowden Documents - A GitHub repository containing all the documents leaked by Edward Snowden, organized by the date of release, through documents released in 2017. Note that SIDtoday documents (the newsletter for the NSA's Signals Intelligence Directoriate division) are in a separate directory on the repository. Search is extremely limited, but the sipmle layout may make finding documents by release date easier (and you can submit updates to the person who maintains the repository).  

Glossaries and References

Media Coverage: Original Publishers

  • Of the databases above, the CJFE/U Toronto and Snowden Document Search link back to the original article(s) in which the leaked document appeared. If these links are broken, you can plug them into the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine to check for archived versions.
  • Many of the media outlets--particularly newspapers and magazines--which originally published documents from the Snowden leaks are searchable via databases that you have access to through CLIO. Originating media outlets that we have access to include:
  • Other originating media outlets that are online-only (such as The Intercept) or that published the Snowden documents online and not in print, as well as television media, may not be searchable via CLIO. Search them by going directly to their sites. Here are some landing pages/aggregating pages for originating media sources; note that some of these may include articles about documents that these media sources did not leak or about documents not leaked by Snowden (and may be missing leaked documents):

Media Coverage: All Newspaper and Magazine Coverage

  • Articles search in CLIO - Many newspapers and magazines are included in the general articles search in CLIO. Newspaper articles are excluded from results by default, so after you do a search, click the X next to Not Content Type: Newspaper Article. You can further narrow the content type, date of publication, etc. on the left. 
  • Search across many newspapers and magazines using these broad databases:
    • ProQuest Newspapers
    • Academic Search Complete (narrow to newspapers and periodicals under Publication Type)
    • LexisNexis (click on Search by Subject or Topic to narrow to newspapers; further advanced options including region search will show up under Advanced Options), includes Al Jazeera English among others
    • Factiva (enter (rst=tmag OR rst=tnwp) AND [your search term(s) here] to search over magazines, journals, and newspapers only). You can also limit by region using the dropdowns below the search box.

Media Coverage: Television and Radio Coverage

  • Television News Archive - Searchable archive of abstracts of news broadcasts from 1968 to present (ABC, CBS, NBC), 1995 to present (CNN), selected content from PBS and FOX News.
  • Democracy Now - search over transcripts from past shows.
  • Internet Archive NSA News Clip Archive - as part of the TV News Archive
  • LexisNexis transcripts - search over radio and television transcripts, including BBC, Bloomberg, CNN, NPR. If starting from main LexisNexis page, click on Search by Subject or Topic, then select Broadcast Transcripts.
  • Factiva - enter rst=ttpb AND [your search term(s) here] in the search box to search on radio and television transcripts.

Further Secondary Sources and Researching Surveillance, Classified Documents, and FOIA

Last updated January 2018