Library Resources and Services for MSTU 4016, The History of Communication

Library Resources and Services for MSTU 4016, The History of Communication

This research guide is intended as an overview of library resources and services of particular relevance for Professor Ioana Literat’s Fall 2020 course MSTU 4016, The History of Communication. The resources, primarily electronic but also some in print, have been selected to support the objectives of the course, i.e., "to introduce students to the history of communication, while explicating the relationship between communication and sociocultural change." This guide also includes a section describing research consultation and assistance services and options for document retrieval and delivery available to all members of the Teachers College community.

Resources designated (CU) are accessible online through Columbia University Libraries.

Online Catalogs

EDUCAT - The most definitive record of the holdings of the Gottesman Libraries at Teachers College, including books, e-books, journals, e-journals, dissertations, media, and other specialized collections of all kinds.

CLIO Catalog - A union catalog of Columbia University Libraries (exclusive of the libraries of Teachers College, the Columbia Law School, and Jewish Theological Seminary), providing the most definitive record of individual libraries' holdings of books, e-books, journals, e-journals, dissertations, media, and other specialized collections of all kinds.

WorldCat - A union catalog of the contents of over 10,000 libraries worldwide, providing the means to do exhaustive searching by author, title, subject, and numerous other criteria and to find locations for specific items in libraries nearby and elsewhere.  WorldCat is also freely accessible on the Web at

Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) are the official subject terms prescribed by the Library of Congress for the cataloging of books and are in use in essentially all academic libraries. To find works pertaining to the history of communication and related topics, it may be useful to use some of the subject terms listed below when searching the online catalogs of libraries at Teachers College, Columbia University, and other institutions.

· Advertising [HF5801-HF6182]

· Advertising -- History

· Book industries and trade [Z116-Z550]

· Book industries and trade -- History

· Books -- History [Z4-Z8]

· Cell phones [TK6564.4.C45]

· Cell phones -- Social aspects

· Communication [P87-P96]

· Communication -- History

· Communication and culture

· Computer networks [TK5105.5-TK5105.9]

· Computers and civilization [QA76.9.C66]

· Digital media

· Information technology [HC79.I55 (Economic history and conditions)]. [HD30.2 (Management)], [T58.5-T58.64 (Technology)]

· Information theory [Q350-Q390] (Use for Communication theory)

· Interpersonal relations -- Technological innovations

· Internet -- Social aspects

· Mass media

· Mass media -- Social aspects

· Mass media and culture [P94.6]

· Motion pictures -- Social aspects [PN1995.9.S6]

· Multimedia systems [QA76.575]

· Oral tradition

· Popular culture

· Publishers and publishing [Z278-Z549]

· Radio broadcasting [HE8690-HE8699]

· Reality television programs [PN1992.8.R43]

· Social media

· Technology -- Social aspects [T14.5]

· Telecommunication [HE7601-HE8635 (Industry)], [TK5101-TK5105.9 (Technology)] (Use for Telecommunications)

· Television [TK6630-TK6685]

· Television broadcasting [HE8700-HE8700.9]

Written communication [P211-P211.7]

For an overview of the call number system used in our library and many other academic libraries, see the Library of Congress Classification Outline page.

Periodical Indexes

Communication-Related Databases

Communication Abstracts (CU) - A comprehensive source of information about communication-related publications on a world-wide scale. Containing over 244,000 records, Communication Abstracts covers major journals in communication, mass media, and other closely-related fields of study to create a research and reference resource that encompasses the breadth of communication discipline and depth encompasses the breadth of the communication discipline.

Film and Television Literature Index with Full Text (CU) - "Covers journal and magazine titles for film and television reviews, scholarly and critical analysis of cinema and television, and articles of popular interest about film and television."

Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts (LLBA) (CU) - Indexes and abstracts articles in the study of language, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics, and descriptive, historical, comparative, theoretical, and geographical linguistics.

History-Related Databases

America: History and Life with Full Text (CU) - Index (with some abstracts) of literature covering the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present.

Historical Abstracts with Full Text (CU) - Provides citations and abstracts for publications related to world history, excluding the U.S. and Canada, from 1450 to the present.

Social Science Databases

Anthropology Online (CU) - "Brings together a wide range of written ethnographies, field notes, seminal texts, memoirs, and contemporary studies, covering human behavior the world over. Essential for study in the areas of politics, economics, history, psychology, environmental studies, religion, area studies, linguistics, and geography, the database will contain more than over 100,000 pages of full-text material at completion, including tens of thousands of pages of previously unpublished material from major archives."

Anthropology Plus (CU) - Provides worldwide indexing of journal articles, reports, commentaries, and edited works in the fields of social, cultural, physical, biological, and linguistic anthropology, ethnology, archaeology, folklore, material culture, and interdisciplinary studies.

AnthroSource (CU) - Covers current issues of the American Anthropology Association's journals and bulletins, as well as archived issues of all of the AAA' s journals, newsletters, and bulletins.

Social Sciences Full Text - Provides coverage of English-language journals across social science disciplines, with indexing from 1983, abstracting from 1984, and select access to full text from 1984 to the present.

SocINDEX with Full Text (CU) - Offers comprehensive coverage of sociology, encompassing all sub-disciplines and closely related areas of study. The database contains full text for more than 860 journals dating back to 1908, more than 830 books and monographs, and over 16,800 conference papers.

Sociological Abstracts (CU) - Abstracts and indexes the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences, covering such major areas as culture and social structure, family and social welfare, history and theory of sociology, radical sociology, rural and urban sociology, and the sociology of the arts, business, and education.

Education Databases

ERIC - Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education to provide extensive access to education-related periodical literature, ERIC (which stands for Educational Resources Information Center) provides coverage of conferences, meetings, government documents, theses, dissertations, reports, audiovisual media, bibliographies, directories, books, and monographs. In addition to this version, made available via the ProQuest platform, ERIC is also accessible via the U.S. government ERIC site and through Ebsco ERIC.

Education Full Text - Provides comprehensive coverage of an international range of English-language periodicals, monographs, and yearbooks. Indexing coverage begins June 1983; abstracts are included beginning spring 1994; full text of some journals is available beginning in January 1996.

Education Index Retrospective - Provides cover-to-cover indexing for an international range of English-language periodicals and yearbooks; coverage from 1929 through mid-1983.

Education Research Complete - Provides indexing and abstracts for more than 2,100 journals, as well as full text for more than 1,200 journals, and includes full text for nearly 500 books and monographs.

Professional Development Collection - Designed for professional educators, this database provides a highly specialized collection of nearly 520 high-quality education journals, including more than 350 peer-reviewed titles. The database also contains more than 200 educational reports.

Multidisciplinary Databases

Academic Search Premier - A multidisciplinary database providing full text for more than 4,600 journals, including nearly 3,900 peer-reviewed titles. PDF backfiles to 1975 or further are available for well over one hundred journals. See also Academic Search Complete (CU), a scholarly, multidisciplinary full-text database, with more than 8,500 full-text periodicals, including more than 7,300 peer-reviewed journals. The database features PDF content going back as far as 1887.

JSTOR (CU) - An online archive of over 1,200 leading scholarly journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, as well as select monographs and other materials valuable for academic work. Journals are always included from volume 1, issue 1 and include previous and related titles. The most recently published issues (the past 3-5 years) are generally not available through JSTOR, though they usually are through other e-sources.

ProQuest (CU) - Provides broad multidisciplinary coverage of scholarly journals, newspapers, dissertations, and other types of publications; for international coverage and access to full texts of dissertations only, search ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global, a subset of ProQuest.

Federated Search Engines

Super Search (via Gottesman Libraries) - To search some or all of our periodical indexes and EDUCAT simultaneously for books, journal articles, reports, dissertations, etc.

Quicksearch (via Columbia University Libraries) - To search the catalog, multiple periodical indexes, and other web resources simultaneously within a variety of subjects and disciplinary subcategories.

Google Scholar - Provides the means to search for scholarly research across many disciplines and sources:  articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities, and other web sites.

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Print Resources

History of the Mass Media in the United States: An Encyclopedia (1998)


The Concise Encyclopedia of Communication (CU) - Presents key concepts and entries from the twelve-volume ICA International Encyclopedia of Communication (2008), condensing leading scholarship into a single online reference.

Encyclopedia of Communication Theory (CU) - In more than 300 entries, "offers current descriptions of the theories that explain numerous aspects of communication and present the background issues and concepts that comprise these theories."

Encyclopedia of International Media and Communications (CU) - "Explores the ways that editorial content--from journalism and scholarship to films and infomercials--is developed, presented, stored, analyzed, and regulated around the world."

Encyclopedia of New Media (CU) - Describes itself as "an essential reference to communication and technology," this work deals with such topics as "broadband, content filtering, cyberculture, cyberethics, digital divide, freenet, MP3, privacy, telemedicine, viruses, and wireless networks."

Encyclopedia of Television, Cable, and Video (CU) - "This is a major reference work about the overlapping fields of television, cable and video. With both technical and popular appeal, this book covers the following areas: advertising, agencies, associations, companies, unions, broadcasting, cable-casting, engineering, events, general production and programming."

International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (CU) - This key reference work comprises 4,000 articles, commissioned by 52 Section Editors, and includes 90,000 bibliographic references as well as comprehensive name and subject indexes.

Software Studies: A Lexicon (CU) - A collection of brief essays on aspects of computer software (ranging from "Algorithm" to "Weird Languages") and their implications for society.

E-Collections (Text, Images, Sound)

Entirely Online Materials

Alexander Street Press Databases (CU) - Themed collections of print documents, video, and recorded sound across disciplines; notable databases include American History in Video, "the largest and richest collection of video available online for the study of American history, with 2,000 hours and more than 5,000 titles on completion"; 60 Minutes: 1997-2014, providing "streaming video access to the 60 Minutes news show archive for the third and fourth decades of this long-running show, plus segments from the CBS News program Sunday Morning"; Meet the Press, streaming videos of "broadcast-television's longest-running program, with interviews, panels and debates from across the political spectrum . . . includes every surviving program from the show's inception in 1947 through the present day"; The March of Time, "Time Inc.'s unique and controversial film series" shown in movie theaters and on television from 1935 through 1967"; and many other broadcast and print media archival resources.

Ebook Central - Online books across a range of subject areas; searchable, under Browse Subjects, by Language/Linguistics, Computer Science/IT, etc. and various sub-topics, and by author, title, and other criteria.

Media History Digital Library (CU) - Contains "digital scans of media periodicals and fan magazines from 1904 to 1963" . . . including "online access to the histories of cinema, broadcasting, and recorded sound."

Oxford Scholarship Online (CU) - Provides the full text of classic and newly published Oxford University Press books in art, education, music, and other disciplines.

ProQuest Historical Newspapers (CU) - "Full-text and full-image articles from major American newspapers: Atlanta Constitution, Baltimore Sun (1837-1985), Boston Globe, Call and Post (1934-1991), Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor (1908-1997), Irish Times (1859-2009), Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Norfolk Journal and Guide (1921-2003), Philadelphia Tribune (1912-2001), San Francisco Chronicle (1865-1922), Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Scotsman (1817-1950) every page in PDF files."

Sage Knowledge (CU) - "A database of ebooks and reference books published by SAGE covering the social sciences and education, including such areas as African American Studies, Aged & Gerontology, Anthropology, Communication and Media Studies, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Economics, Education, Gender & Sexuality Studies, History, Politics, Psychology, Social Issues, Social Work & Social Policy, and Sociology."

Handbooks of Research

Print Resources

Handbook of New Media: Social Shaping and Social Consequences of ICTs (2006)

Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology (4th Edition, 2013)


The Routledge Handbook of Language and Culture - This collection comprises 33 chapters, by various experts in the field, divided into seven parts: Overview and historical background; ethnolinguistics; studies of language and culture; language, culture, and cognition; research on language and culture in related disciplines/sub-disciplines; language and culture in applied domains; and cultural linguistics: past, present, and future directions.

The SAGE Handbook of Media Studies (CU) - "Offers a comprehensive review of today's burgeoning field of media studies within five interconnected areas: humanistic and social scientific approaches; global and comparative perspectives; the relation of media to economy and power; media users; and elements in the media mosaic ranging from popular music to digital technologies, from media ethics to advertising, and from Hollywood and Bollywood to alternative media."

Wiley Online Library (CU) - Provides full-text access to reference works in the social sciences and humanities; notable works include A Companion to Film Theory and A Companion to Television.

Reviews of Research

Current Overviews of the Literature

Annual Reviews (CU) - Reviews of topics in biomedical, physical, and social sciences published as annual journals; see series for Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology, and many others.

Communication Research (CU) - "Peer-reviewed and published bi-monthly . . . publishes articles that explore the processes, antecedents, and consequences of communication in a broad range of societal systems."

Citation Indexes

Databases for Tracing the Influence of and Responses to Authors and Writings

Google Scholar - Provides the means to search by author or publication title, and indicates and provides links to works that have cited the documents retrieved.

Scopus (CU) - Abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature and quality web sources with smart tools to track, analyze, and visualize research.

Web of Science (CU) - Comprising the Arts & Humanities Citation Index, the Social Sciences Citation Index, and the Science Citation Index Expanded, this database supports searching by topic, author, or publication name, and is also a major means for doing cited reference searching, to find articles that cite a person's work.

Digital Archives

Online Manuscripts, Archives, Realia, and Media

Academic Commons - Columbia University's online repository, where current faculty, students, and staff can deposit the results of their scholarly work and research.

Columbia University Rare Books and Manuscript Library Digital Collections - "Columbia University Libraries digitizes its rare and unique collections for the purposes of preservation, access, and online exhibition. Most unbound materials, including photographs, posters, drawings, objects, ephemera, and manuscripts, as well as archival “born” digital files can be found via the Digital Library Collections (DLC) website. Bound and printed materials, notably rare books, may be accessed via CLIO, the Columbia Libraries online catalog, and the Internet Archive. Online Exhibitions provide a highly curated means of accessing selected digitized objects."

Internet Archive - A non-profit digital library offering free universal access to books, movies, and music, as well as 150 billion archived web pages.

Library of Congress Digital Collections - This site provides access to the full array of digitized Library of Congress collections, including the contents of the previously discrete American Memory website.

New York City Municipal Archives Collections - "The NYC Municipal Archives Online Gallery provides research access to more than 1,600,000 digitized items from the Municipal Archives' vast holdings, including photographs, maps, blueprints, motion-pictures and audio recordings."

New York Public Library Digital Collections - Comprising 872,510 items digitized from The New York Public Library's collections, "this site is a living database with new materials added every day, featuring prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, streaming video, and more."

PocketKnowledge - The social archive of Teachers College, including unpublished manuscripts and archives from the library's collections, documents from other departments and administrative offices College-wide, and the work of TC students, faculty, and researchers.

Archival Catalogs

Databases for Locating Collections of Archives and Searching Their Contents

Access to Archival Databases (AAD) System (CU) - Index to records for files from the National Archives.

Accessible Archives (CU) - Searchable collection of U.S. history resources, including the Pennsylvania Gazette, the Civil War coverage of three newspapers, Godey's Lady's Book, a group of African-American and abolitionist newspapers, and selections from several 19th century Delaware Valley newspapers.

ArchiveGrid (CU) - Archival finding aids and citations for thousands of libraries, museums, and archives.

Archive Finder (CU) - A directory of archives and manuscript repositories, with some links to web pages for the repositories and to online finding aids.

Columbia University Archives Research Guides (CU) - "These Research Guides were put together to help you take advantage of the Columbia University Archives holdings. For each type of search, you will find the most popular resources available and how to access them: some online and some which are non-circulating and are available only at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library (RBML) reading room. These lists are not exhaustive; these are only the "top" or "most frequently consulted" resources. Each guide covers a different research area."

Guide to the Records of the New York City Board of Education - "The collection of the records of the Board of Education at the New York City Municipal Archives is the product of several strands of collecting activities. This Guide is the first effort to provide a coordinated description of the entire collection, an essential step in unleashing the potential value of the records for educators, historians, architects, and participants in family and community history activities. The Guide is intended to be used in coordination with finding aids and inventories for the various components of the collection."

New York City Municipal Archives Collections - "The NYC Municipal Archives Online Gallery provides research access to more than 1,600,000 digitized items from the Municipal Archives' vast holdings, including photographs, maps, blueprints, motion-pictures and audio recordings."

Bibliography and Citation Management Programs

Citation Management Software - An extensive description of and guide to the use of Zotero, Mendeley, and EndNote, courtesy of Columbia University Libraries.

Columbia University Libraries

Other Morningside Campus Libraries

You will find an alphabetical listing of Columbia University libraries and centers by clicking on "Libraries" on the top page of the Columbia University Libraries website. You may want to explore the websites of individual Columbia libraries for descriptions of distinctive collections, subject and research guides, and other valuable information and resources readily available online. See complete lists of databases pertaining to Journalism and Communications and to Music, Dance, Drama, and Film available through Columbia University Libraries; in addition, see research guides on Film Studies and Journalism.

Library Services

Ask a Librarian - Explore a variety of kinds of research support: submit an email reference query to librarians; request a research consultation with a Gottesman librarian; review frequently asked questions via the library's Knowledge Database.

Course Reserves - E-Reserves provides online access to digital course readings, including e-journal articles and book chapters, as well as call numbers for physical course reserves materials (books, DVDs, videos, etc.). More information about E-Reserves and physical Course Reserves can be found on the Course Reserves page.

Paging and Pick Up - For the Fall 2020 semester, we are offering a paging service which allows students to use physical materials that are located on campus.

Requesting New Materials - Teachers College students, faculty, and staff may use the materials request form to request library materials not owned by Gottesman Libraries, or the Columbia Morningside Campus Libraries.

Workshops - The Gottesman Libraries' education program offers a calendar of workshops on citation management, research techniques, and academic writing processes. Visit the Events page on the library’s website to learn about and RSVP to upcoming workshops.

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