UCB Libraries


Resources for IAFS/JWST 3650: Arab Israeli Conflict

Provides an introduction to finding library resources.


  • Starting Your
  • Finding Secondary
  • Finding Primary
  • Interlibrary
  • Further

Getting Started


First things first. If you are off campus, you will need to configure VPN to access library resources.


Next: get ready to keep track of the sources you find. Chinook and many of the relevant databases include tools to export citations into RefWorks. If you are not using another citation manager (Zotero, etc.), you might want to set up an account. RefWorks can format your bibliography in various formats including the Chicago Manual of Style format. For sticky questions, consult the online version of the manual.


A good way to start is to make a list of the types of sources (such as books, articles, encyclopedia entries, statistics, etc.) that you think you will need for the topic.


Reference resources such as encyclopedias can be a great place to start when you are developing a new topic. They can provide you with an overview and background information, summarize established knowledge and important facts, discuss key figures, and offer a list of recommended sources or readings.


Consult the Libraries page on the Arab-Israeli conflict for background information from a various institutions. Country profiles are also available from a variety of sources.


+ Reference Resources

This small selection of electronic reference resources is intended to give you an idea how useful they can be.

General encyclopedias, such as Encyclopedia Britannica, can be found in the Reference menu of Find Articles and More


Discipline-specific encyclopedias and dictionaries are often found under the "Most Useful" or "General" subdivisions of subject areas. Example: Brill Online Reference Works under "Religious Studies--Most Useful".


Also useful: CQ Researcher


+ Tips for Developing a Search Strategy

Before starting your search, break down your topic into discrete concepts that represent its major aspects. These concepts will be used to develop search terms, that is, significant words or phrases (nouns or noun phrases work best) that can be used when searching in online catalogs or research databases. Your search terms will determine the quantity and relevance of results you retrieve.


Searching is an iterative process. You will probably need to test your strategies several times, refining them as you start to look at the results from the databases. Keeping a search log is a good way to organize the process.


+ Tips for Choosing Search Terms
  1. For more flexible searching, think of various ways to express these search terms:

    • synonyms (related terms)
    • broader terms
    • narrower terms
    The Search Strategy Process Worksheet can be quite helpful in helping you develop search terms for your own topic.

  2. You need to tailor the search terms to the type of material you are searching. When searching for:

    • Books and other larger units, broader terms tend to work better because the topics covered by books tend to be more general.
    • Journal articles and other smaller units, narrower terms tend to work better because the topics covered by articles tend to be more specific.
    • Full text of books or articles, narrower terms or even unique terms like names or places tend to work better because you are searching on the full text.
  3. Adding terms that represent geographical or chronological facets may be useful.

  4. Add one of the following special subject terms that identify primary materials: sources (more general), correspondence, diaries, early works, narratives, pamphlets, speeches, letters, documents, etc.

  5. If you get too many results, try using narrower search terms or add another facet to your search. If you get too few results, try using broader terms, synonyms or subtract a facet from your search.

  6. Avoid using redundant or overlapping search terms, e.g. using "19th century" AND "Victorian period", or using "Middle Ages" in the International Medieval Bibliography. This is a common reason for getting too few results.

  7. Keep a search log in which you note the databases you used, dates, and most relevant search terms for each.


+ How to Combine Search Terms



  • AND: taxation AND revolution AND colonies (must find all terms)
  • OR: revolution OR rebellion (must find one of the terms)
  • NOT: Massachusetts NOT Boston (must find first term NOT second term)



  • Phrases: “Stamp Act” (must find that phrase in that order)
  • Synonyms: (revolution OR rebellion) AND taxation
  • Truncation and wildcards:
    revolution* will find revolution, revolutions and revolutionary
    wom?n will find woman and women



How do I?

Finding Secondary Sources in the CU Libraries Collections


You can locate secondary sources for your research in the CU Libraries by searching the Chinook library catalog. Chinook is where you want to search for books, journals, microforms and other materials but not articles. 


If you identify titles that are not available in Chinook, try searching Prospector first.  If not found in Prospector, search World Cat and make an Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad) http://ucblibraries.colorado.edu/ill/index.htm request.


Use the Find Articles and More page to find article indexes and other resources arranged by broad subject discipline.


Some recommended article indexes for this topic:


  • Historical Abstracts CU
    This database covers the history of the world (excluding the U.S. and Canada) from 1450 forward indexing articles from history and social science journals. Subjects include world history, military history, international affairs, government policy, political attitudes, human migration, social movements, cultural identity and assimilation, colonization, imperialism, and religious studies.
  • Index Islamicus CU
    The Index Islamicus database indexes literature on Islam, the Middle East and the Muslim world. Records included in the database cover almost 100 years of publications on the world of Islam and includes history, beliefs, societies, cultures, languages and literatures. Material cited in the Index includes work written about the Middle East, but also about the other main Muslim areas of Asia and Africa, plus Muslim minorities elsewhere.


    This database provides full-text online access to back issues of selected scholarly journals in history, economics, political science, demography, mathematics and other fields of the humanities and social sciences.  All journals included go back to the very first issue of that title.  However, current issues are not included.  Because this database is so large, it is necessary to narrow your searches by discipline(s), language, article type and or date.

  • Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies (MECAS) CU
    MECAS is a systematic, and non-evaluative bibliographic index of research, policy, and scholarly discourse on the countries and peoples of the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa. Subjects include society, politics, government, history, international affairs, religious studies, civilizations and economics.
    This database is an interdisciplinary index of journals, books and publications that cover global public policy and social issues including health, finance, economics, education, technology, and the environment for the U.S. and abroad.

  • International Political Science Abstracts CU
    A bibliographic database that indexes and abstracts articles from political science periodicals published throughout the world.  Subjects include politics and government, international affairs and law, war and peace, social and religious movements, economics and public opinion.



+ Chinook Classic Searching Tips


The Advanced Keyword search in Chinook Classic is the most flexible way to search for titles on your topic. Notice that you can specify available items, electronic version, language, location, and material type, among other limits.


The following tips will help you make the most of your Chinook Classic searching:

  1. From the full record of a relevant title, you can find similar titles by:

    • Looking at the Subjects listed and clicking on the links to find other titles in the catalog with the same subject heading. Good places to start:
      Arab-Israeli Conflict and subdivisions
      Country Name--History and subdivisions
    • Clicking on the "Nearby Call Numbers" button. This will allow you to virtually browse the collection by showing you what other titles would be shelved next to that one.
  2. Titles may have different locations in the CU library system, for example, Norlin Stacks, PASCAL offsite, or Norlin Library Periodicals Collection. If you are wondering where these locations are, click on the location link.
  1. You can use the "Request It!" button to:

  2. Requesting electronic copies:

    • You can order an electronic copy of a book chapter in a book we own through ILLiad.
    • You can order an electronic copy of an article in a print journal we own by clicking on the "Request a PDF (UCB only)" button in the record for the print journal (sample record).
  3. If an item is checked out or we do not own it, search the Prospector consortial catalog by clicking the brown "Search Prospector to find it in another library" button that appears on the left. You can order a copy of what you want online if is available to be loaned from another Prospector library. Circulation will contact you when it is available for pick-up.

  4. Click the "Find More Resources" button to look up a topic in Encyclopedia Britannica Online, search Google Scholar, or export a citation into RefWorks bibliographic management software (available to all CU students).


How do I?

Finding Articles in Library Databases:


Use the Find Articles and More page to access databases by broad discipline.


Relevant disciplines might include the following. Expand the discipline area to select a subdivision of the topic.


  • International and Area Studies --General-->Access UN, Yearbook of the United Nations
  • International and Area Studies--Africa and the Middle East-->Confidential Print: Middle East, 1839-1969
  • New and Newspapers--Historical AND International--lots of possibilities
  • History-Other World Areas Primary Sources-->House of Commons Parliamentary Papers
  • Jewish Studies--Most Useful
  • Government--US Congress-->ProQuest Congressional
  • Government--Declassified Documents-->Declassified Documents Reference Service, Digital National Security Archive
  • Law--Primary Sources-->Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) through HeinOnline, and others.
  • United Nations




  • Foreign Relations of the United States, Government Information--US S1.1


Microfilm Collections:


  • Confidential British Foreign Office political correspondence. Palestine and Transjordan, 1940-1946, 301-F76 9:C78 Palestine, Norlin Library-- Government Information--Micro
    Guide at Norlin Library--Government Information--Reference 301-F76 9:C78 Palestine 1940/46 Guide
  • Confidential British Foreign Office political correspondence. Palestine, 1947-1948, 301-F76 9:C78 Palestine 1947/48, Norlin Library--Government Information--Micro
    Guide at Norlin Library--Government Information--Reference 301-F76 9:C78 Palestine 1947/48
  • League of Nations documents and serial publications, 1919-1946, Norlin Library--Government Information--McGov 1011 L471
    Guide at http://microformguides.gale.com/BrowseGuide.asp?colldocid=3028000&Page=1
    Print copy at Norlin Library--Government Information--Reference Z6745 R45

Order of presentation during library instruction session:


British (dominant power up until 1948)

Parliamentary: House of Commons Parliamentary Papers,

Executive: Confidential Print: Middle East, 1839-1969, British Documents on Foreign Affairs (print), Confidential British Foreign Office Political Correspondence Palestine and TransJordan, 1940-1946 (microfilm), Confidential British Foreign Office Political Correspondence Palestine 1947-1948 (microfilm)

League of Nations (1919-1946): (website above), League of Nations documents and serial publications, 1919-1946 (microfilm)


United Nations(1946-present) (website above) and Yearbook of the United Nations (print and online)


United States (dominant power 1948-present):

Congressional: Proquest Congressional

Executive: Foreign Relations of the United States through HeinOnline, Declassified Documents Reference Service


Newspapers (multiple timeframes): Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS)

How do I?

You can make requests for any item we do not hold through ILL. Visit this page for your basic ILL options. Please note the decision to loan items is up to the holding library. How much time it takes to fill the request can range from 24 hours to 3 weeks, depending. Articles and book chapters are generally faster than books.


The ILLiad interlibrary loan system is used to make requests:

  • Log in using your Identikey, and submit the required information. Also, the more of the non-required information you can provide the easier it will be to expedite your request.
  • The first time you log in you will need to fill out your contact information.
  • If you enter ILLiad from a database like America: History and Life, it will often supply most of the required information automatically.
  • Specify a realistic "Not Wanted After Date". If you order an item and do not use it, the Libraries will have to pay for the loan anyway.
How do I?

Still need help after trying the strategies listed on this guide? Or can't figure out how to use a particular resource? Here are some options for further assistance:


Government Information: Deb Van Tassel, Leanne Walther, or Peggy Jobe can be reached at 303-492-8834 or govpubs@colorado.edu