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Political Science

This is a general guide to resources for political science research.

Jennie Correia, Social Sciences Librarian

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Jennie Correia
Milstein 304

Library catalogs

New York Public Library

College students that attend New York State colleges but are studying remotely from home out of the state/country may still apply for NYPL cards! 

If you are currently located in New York State

Your Barnard Personal Librarian
  1. Make an appointment with your Personal Librarian
  2. At your appointment, fill out the form and get your card right there!
  3. Your card may take a week to activate
Using the SimplyE app
  1. Download the SimplyE app
  2. Click Find Your Library and choose the New York Public Library
  3. Click Settings, then Accounts, then New York Public Library
  4. Click "Don't have a library card? Sign up" and enter the information
  5. Note: You must enable location services to sign up for a library card, but you only need them during the initial sign--up
  6. Go to any NYPL branch to get your physical card!

If you are located outside of New York State

  1. Download and fill out the application below [PDF file].
  2. You must use the Barnard address as your local address.
  3. You must also include a pin number (4 digits).
  4. Email your application/info to Use this subject in the email: NYPL Card Application. 
  5. NYPL staff can process these applications onsite and email you your library card number

Boolean Keyword Searching

Boolean searching is based on an algebraic system of logic formulated by George Boole, a 19th century English mathematician.

In a Boolean keyword search, the terms are combined by the operators AND, OR and NOT to narrow or broaden the search (in CLIO, Ovid, and some other databases, you DO have to enter them in capitals).  This type of search is possible in most library catalogs and databases, but Google and other Web search engines do not carry out OR and NOT searches properly.

These Venn diagrams help to visualize the meaning of AND, OR and NOT; the colored area indicates the items that will be retrieved in each case.


The operator AND narrows the search by instructing the search engine to search for all the records containing the first keyword, then for all the records containing the second keyword, and show only those records that contain both.


The operator OR broadens the search to include records containing either keyword, or both.
The OR search is particularly useful when there are several common synonyms for a concept, or variant spellings of a word.

Examples using OR:
medieval OR "middle ages"
"heart attack" OR "myocardial infarction"
vergil OR virgil   


Combining search terms with the NOT operator narrows the search by excluding unwanted terms.


Examples using combinations of the three operators:
puritans AND women AND (massachusetts OR connecticut OR "rhode island" OR "new hampshire")
(adolescen* OR teen*) AND (cigarettes OR smok*)
reagan AND "star wars" NOT (movie OR film OR cinema OR "motion picture")
"zora neale hurston" AND (correspondence OR letter* OR diar* OR autobiograph* OR memoir*)