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HIST 488: Gun Rights and Laws - History of the Second Amendment (Roberts): Finding Articles

Some key databases and sources

Research databases are collections of digitized articles, essays, reviews, books and other material. Some databases are subject specific, while others are more general in scope.

The following will help you track down legal cases, legal and historical analysis, and other articles on 2nd Amendment topics: 

LexisNexis Academic

Lexis is our most specialized legal database. You can search for cases by keyword or by party names. Find law journal articles in this database, as well. 

Criminal Justice

Provides access to over 100 full-text criminal justice journals, and abstracts for 250 more.

Criminal Justice Abstracts

CJA is another criminal justice database that provides mostly abstracts to law and criminal justice journals. 

America: History & Life

This large database contains articles and abstracts from over 2,000 American history journals.


JSTOR is a large humanities and social sciences database that contains backfiles of thousands of academic journals.


Database search tactics

To find relevant articles in any library research database, you'll have to use some strategic tactics. These tactics will vary depending on what you're trying to find.

Tactic 1: Keyword search

In a keyword search, the database scans every article and every abstract and retrieves anything the contains the words and/or phrases you've typed into the search boxes.

Tactic 2: Subject search

Subject searching requires you to use specific search terms that have been assigned to articles in the database. Most articles have been indexed with a handful of these subject terms that best describe the topic of the article.