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Israel From the Palestine Mandate to the Present: A Research Guide: Locating Primary Sources

Newspaper Databases

Access World News (coverage varies)

Contains varying years of coverage for the following papers: Ha'aretz, Hatzofe, Jerusalem Times, Ma'ariv and Yediot Aharonot (tip: click on "World," then Israel, and then click on "BBC Selected Newspaper Articles").  Also contains Jerusalem Post and a couple of Palestinian news sources.

Factiva (coverage varies; earliest is 1971 to present)

Full-text coverage of over 8000 business and news publications in 22 languages. Excellent for country political and economic conditions. Works only on Microsoft Internet Explorer.

LEXIS-NEXIS Academic (ca. 1990 to present)

Contains the complete text of some 1400 newspapers and periodicals. Dates of coverage for individual titles vary but none earlier than 1969.

TIPS: Click on "sources" at the top and then choose country.  Remember that for fewer results, use the options for searching just in the headline and/or lead paragraph.

 

 

Locating Primary Sources

 The first step in identifying primary source material is to read the bibliographies and scan the footnotes in secondary works on your subject. Read also the preface and acknowledgments: authors often identify particularly useful works, libraries, or archives there.

Some of the types of materials you will use as primary sources are:

1. Newspaper and journal articles written at the time of the events.
2. Personal records, memoirs and diary accounts written by those who witnessed or who participated in the events.
3. Records and publications of governments or governmental agencies involved in the events.


Specific Newspapers

 

Christian Science Monitor - Historical
1908-1995
Provides full text of all articles.

Christian Science Monitor

Foreign Broadcast Information Service Electronic Index (1941-1996)
An index to the FBIS Daily Reports which provide translations and translated transcriptions of foreign press and broadcast media. The text of the daily reports are found in Government Documents with the following call numbers:
Daily Report. Middle East and North Africa (1974-1980) Prex 7.10:FBIS-MEA
Daily Report. Middle East and Africa (1980-1987) Prex 7.10:FBIS-MEA
Daily Report. Near East and South Asia (1987-1996) Prex 7.10:FBIS-NES

Foreign Broadcast Information Service. Daily Reports (1941-1945, 1947-1974)
Microfilm 4379
Translations of foreign broadcast and print media covering all areas of the world. It is arranged chronologically.

Haaretz

Online edition of the daily newspaper.
Jerusalem Post
Online edition of the daily newspaper, with an archive of the past year's issues.
Issues from 1989 to the present are available on Newsbank Access World News
Palestine Post/Jerusalem Post backfile 1932-1988
Issues from 1933 to 1988 are also available on microfilm (MICFILM 3532) in the Woodruff Library.

 Jewish Chronicle (London)
1841-2006 Micfilm 3419

 

New York Times
1851 to present Micfilm 1
1851-2005 New York Times Historical
1980 to present Lexis-Nexis Academic

Palestine Bulletin
1925-1932 Micfilm 3532

Palestine Post
1932-1950 Micfilm 3532
Palestine Post Archive
1932-1950

Sunday Times (London)
1822 to present Micfilm 3422
1985 to present Lexis-Nexis Academic

Times (London)
1785 to present Micfilm 3 Daily editions
1785-2011 Times Digital Archive
1985 to present Lexis-Nexis Academic

Wall Street Journal
1958 to present Micfilm 85
1885 to 1985 Wall Street Journal Historical
1985 to present Factiva

 
Full text fully searchable digital newspaper.
 
 

Official Records

GREAT BRITAIN

Parlamentary Records and Debates

For further information concerning British Parliamentary records see British Parliamentary Papers Research Guide

Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) Official Report, House of Commons (1909 to present)
Government UK J301 .K22

Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) Official Report, House of Lords (1909 to present)
Government UK J301 .J22
The Woodruff Library receives the final bound edition of the debates for both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Each volume has an index of speakers and subjects. From 1830 on, each session is indexed either at the end of the last volume of the session or in an additional volume. Earlier years of the debates (1803-1908) are on Micfilm 3332; indexes for each session are filmed at the beginning of each volume.

British Parliamentary Papers. House of Commons Sessional Papers
Microfiche 684 (1731-1955/56)
Microprint 8 (1922-1978)
Microfiche 684 (1979 to present)
Consisting of Bills, Reports of Committees and Commissions, and Accounts and Papers, the Sessional Papers cover a wide range of political, historical and economic information. Included in the Sessional Papers are the so-called Command Papers which include government "White" or position papers and significant Royal Commission reports. Also found in the Command Papers is the British Treaty Series containing the text of treaties, agreements and notes exchanged between Britain and various foreign powers. The Sessional Papers (Parliamentary Papers) for the twentieth century are indexed by the following:

Indexes to British Parliamentary Papers
Information Commons CD Stand Alone Computer
This is the best index to the Sessional Papers for the period it covers. The "Sessional Index" is based on the indexes for each session and covers the period 1801-1945 for the House of Commons and 1801-1922 for the House of Lords. The keyword capability of the "Sessional Indexes" makes it especially useful. This CD also includes a "General Subject Index" covering 1801-1899 for the House of Commons and 1801-1859 for the House of Lords. There is also an index to personal names.

General Index to the Bills, Reports, and Papers printed by order of the House of Commons and to the Reports and Papers Presented by Command, 1900 to 1948-49 (1960)
Reference J301 .M3 1900-1949

 
General Alphabetical Index to the bills, Reports, and papers Printed by Order of the House of Commons and to the Reports and papers Presented by Command, 1950-1958-59 (1963)
Reference J301 .M3 1963
The two titles above are cumulations of the Sessional Indexes for the periods covered. Arrangement is by subject although the later index also lists committee chairmen and personal authors.  For Parliamentary Papers after 1959, use the sessional indexes which appear as the last volume of each session as reproduced on the microfiche . For publications after 1990 use

British Parliamentary Papers Index (1990 to present)
Information Commons Non-Web Databases

 

Colonial Office Records

British Colonial Office Palestine Correspondence 1927-1934
Microfilm 1219
This is Public Record Office record class C.O. 733. Indexed by British Colonial Office Palestine Original Correspondence, 1927-1930; Guide to the Scholarly Resources Microfilm Edition of the Public Record Office Collection C.O. 733 (Microguide Microfilm 1219) and its companion volume with the same title covering 1931-1934 (DS119.8 .G7 A24)

Original Correspondence: Palestine (C.O. 733)
Micfilm 2085
This set is comprised of Public Record Office record classes 733 and 793. For C.O. 733 this set covers 1921-1948 with the exception of the years 1927-1934 covered in the microfilm listed above. There is no index to this set, however one may refer to List of Colonial Office Records: Asia (Government UK CD1042 .Ad G74, no. 16, v.6) for a list of the dates covered by each volume in the collection. In addition, the National Archives online catalog gives a partial breakdown of the class by subject. At the home screen type "CO 733" in the "go to reference" box at the top left hand corner of the page. When the summary screen appears, click on "Browse from here" in the right hand corner of the page.

C.O. 793 is the Register of Correspondence for Palestine and covers 1921-1939. It lists, in chronological order, the subjects of items contained in each file of each volume.

The Zionists Movement and the Foundation of Israel 10 volumes (2004)
Stacks DS149 .Z677 2004
A collection of documents taken from both Foreign Office and Colonial Office files.
 

Foreign Office Records

British Documents on Foreign Affairs: Reports and Documents from the Foreign Office Confidential Print

Pt. II, Series B: Near and Middle East, 1918-1939
DS63 .2 .G7 B75 1985

Pt. III, Series B: Near and Middle East, 1940-1945
JZ632 .B762 1997

Pt. IV, Series B: Near and Middle East, 1946-1950
JZ632 .B772 1999

The "Confidential Print" was a means of distributing diplomatic dispatches and other papers among government offices and agencies. These documents were generally reports of conditions or other matters in a country or area that observers, diplomatic, military, or civilian, thought important. All of these volumes have a table of contents with two or four word descriptions of the contents of each document. Relevant volumes are:

 

Confidential British Foreign Office Political Correspondence.

Palestine and Transjordan, 1940-1946
Microfilm 4216 __________.

Palestine, 1947-1948
Microfilm 4215
These two sets reproduce documents from record class F.O. 371: General Correspondence, Political. The microfilm has no guide or index but the following title may be used for general descriptions of the files:

Public Record Office, London. List of Foreign Office Records. General Correspondence (Political).
GovUkFolio CD1042 .A2 G74
See volumes 18-29 for descriptions of F.O. 371 files from 1940-1948. Palestine is always covered in the section entitled "Eastern."

Jewish Communities in Arab Countries, 1841-1974 6 volumes (2005)
Stacks DS135 .A68 M56
A collection of Foreign Office reports.  

 

Other

The Zionist Movement and the Foundation of Israel 10 volumes (2004)
Stacks DS149 .Z677 2004
"These volumes draw together documents found in the British National Archives to trace the origins and development of the Zionist movement in the 19th and 20th centuries...." (Editor's Preface. p. v)

Records of Jerusalem, 1917-1971 9 volumes (2002)
Stacks DS109.93 R43
"The documents included in the present book are taken mainly from... the Foreign Office, Colonial Office, War Office and Prime Minister's records...." The papers also include American State Department material and United Nations documents and telegrams." (Publisher's Note, p. v)

ISRAEL

Knesset
The web site of the Israeli parliament lists members, current political factions, committees, elections statistics and reproduces various documents of importance.

Major Knesset Debates, 1948-1981
Translation of the major Knesset debates dealing with the critical issues in Israel’s history from 1948 to 1981.

Israel's Foreign Policy: Selected Documents
also Stacks DS119.6 .I78
18 volumes Documents cover 1947-2001 with emphasis on the period 1977-2001.

LEAGUE OF NATIONS

League of Nations Documents: A Descriptive Guide to the Microfilm Collection 3 volumes
Reference Z6473 .R45

League of Nations Documents, 1919-1946
Micfilm 1138
The library has parts 1-22, 30:
[pt. 1] Bibliographic tools. 1 reel.--[pt. 2] Category IA: Administrative commissions. 14 reels.--[pt. 3] Category IB: Minorities. 25 reels.--[pt. 4] Category IIA: Financial questions. 25 reels.--[pt. 5] Category IIB: Economic questions. 16 reels.--[pt. 6] Category III: Health. 10 reels.--[pt. 7] Category IV: Social questions. 13 reels.--[pt. 8] Category V: Legal questions. 33 reels.--[pt. 9] Category VIA: Mandates. 18 reels.--[pt. 10] C.P.M. documents. 18 reels.--[pt. 11] Permanent Mandates Commission minutes and reports. 6 reels.--[pt. 12] Category VIB: Slavery. 3 reels.--[pt. 13] Category VII: Political questions. 34 reels.--[pt. 14] 19/F/-, 19/6/-, 20/6/ -, series. 1 reel.--[pt. 15] Category VIII: Communications and transit. 17 reels.--[pt. 16] Category IX: Disarmament. 19 reels.--[pt. 17] Category X: Financial administration. 17 reels.--[pt. 18] Category XI: Traffic in opium and other dangerous drugs. 33 reels.--[pt. 19] Category XIIA: Intellectual cooperation. 6 reels.--pt. [20]Category XIIB: International bureaux. 2 reels.-- [pt. 21] Category XIII: Refugees. 3 reels.--[pt. 22] Category G: General questions. 19 reels.- and [pt. 30] Reports of the Mandatory Powers to the League. 34 reels.

League of Nation Documents Relating to the Palestine Question
Selected documents run from 1921-1947 from a United Nations site.
 

 

UNITED NATIONS

Access UN
1946-presentThe Readex Index to United Nations Documents & Publications, provides fast access to current and retrospective United Nations documents and publications. Articles appearing in UN periodicals are individually indexed. Indexing of the bilateral and multilateral treaties in the UN Treaty Series is another unique feature of the Index.

UNBISnet
1979 to present
Contains the "Catalogue of UN publications and documentation indexed by the United Nations Dag Hammarskjld Library and the Library of the UN Office in Geneva," Voting Records of the General Assembly (38th session 1983-present) and Security Council (1st year 1946-present), and Index to Speeches (beginning with 1983 for General Assembly, Security Council, and Economic and Social Council; 1982 for Trusteeship Council).

United Nations Databases
Provides access to online databases that support the areas of audio-visuals, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Humanitarian Affairs, Statistics and Indicators, Treaties, United Nations Document Symbols: Guide, United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine, NGO Directories.

 

United Nations Official Records

United Nations General Assembly (GAOR) (1946-present)
UN Official Records
The "main deliberative body" which currently consists of 185 Member States. Regular sessions are held between mid September and mid December.

United Nations Security Council (SCOR) (1946-present)
UN Official Records
The body responsible for maintaining peace and security. Consists of 15 members, of which China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, and United States are permanent members. The other ten members are elected for two year terms by the General Assembly. The Security Council is convened at any time in the event of dispute and decisions made must be carried out by Member States.

United Nations Economic and Social Council (ESCOR) (1946-present)
UN Official Records Coordinates the economic and social work of the UN and its specialized agencies and institutions. The Economic and Social Council works under the authority of the General Assembly, has 54 members, and meets for a one-month period annually.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD): Trade and Development Board (TDOR) (1965-1992)
UN Official Records
The governing board of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) with a current membership of 144 states.

United Nations Trusteeship Council (TCOR) (1947-1980)
UN Official Records
Established to ensure that Governments responsible for administering Trust Territories take adequate steps to prepare them for self-government or independence.

United Nations Treaty Series (1946-present)
United Nations
Contains "treaties and international agreements filed or registered with the Secretariat of the United Nations pursuant to Article 102 of the Charter." See also the United Nations Treaty Collection database. 
   

 

UNITED STATES

Congressional Debates and Publications

Congressional Record (1789 to present)
Government Documents-Congressional Record
The index to proceedings in both the House and Senate are found in the last volume ( or a separate index volume following it) for a particular session.

Proquest Congressional formerly Lexis-Nexis Congressional Universe (coverage varies; 1789 to present)
There are several parts to this database: The CIS Index indexes and abstracts congressional publications from 1970 to the present; the Historical Indexes cover 1789-1969 and index the contents of House and Senate reports, hearings and committee prints; the Publications section offers indexing to and full text of the Congressional Record back to 1985 as well as indexing to and full text of committee reports, prints and House and Senate documents beginning ca. 1993.

 

Department of State Records

Confidential U.S. Diplomatic Post Records: Middle East, Jerusalem
Microfilm 1331
Covers the period 1925-1941. The guide to this set is at Microguide Micfilm 1331 .

Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files: Palestine and Israel: Internal Affairs, 1945-1949 and Foreign Affairs, 1945-1949
Microfilm 1362
The guide to this set is at Microguide Micfilm 1362 .

Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files. Palestine, United Nations Activities, 1945-1949
Microfilm 1724
The guide to this collection is at Microguide Micfilm 1724.

Foreign Relations of the United States (1861 to present)
Government Documents S1.1
An invaluable source of documents concerning U.S. relations with foreign countries. Selected volumes from 1945-1972 are available at the State Department web site. Other selected volumes from 1863-1955 are available at the University of Wisconsin web site.

The Palestine Mandate: Collected U.S. Documents relating to the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine (1977)
Stacks D651 .P3 U55 1977
A number of documents from the period 1920-1924.

Records of the Department of State Relating to the Internal Affairs of Palestine, 1930-1944
Microfilm 1517

Records of the Department of State Relating to the Internal Affairs of Turkey, 1910-1929
Microfilm 1518
Palestine was a part of the Turkish Empire until 1917. The bulk of the material relating to Palestine in this collection is found on reels 79-88. Refer to the guide shelved at Microguide Micfilm 1518.

Records of the United States Consulate in Jerusalem, Palestine: Confidential Correspondence, 1920-1935
Microfilm 1640

OTHER

The Avalon Project at Yale Law School: The Middle East 1916-The Present, a Documentary Record
Provides many important documents from various sources pertaining to the history of Israel.

Berichte aus Israel 12 volumes (2004)
Stacks DS119.8 .A9 B493 2004
Reports from Austrian diplomatic officials stationed in Israel from 1946 to 1972.  Most of the documents are offical reports although those for the years 1946-1949 are from a variety of unofficial sources.  A supplement covers the years 1927-1938.

Political and Diplomatic Documents, December, 1947-May, 1948. 2 volumes (1979)
Stacks DS126.4 .I68 1979
Contains documents relating to the policy of the Jewish Agency Executive and Politcal Departments.  From the World Zionist Organization's Central Zionist Archives.

Political Documents of the Jewish Agency. 2 volumes (1996-1998)
Stacks DS126.4 .J48 1996
Covers the period from May, 1945 to November, 1947.

Subject Guide

Tarina Rosen's picture
Tarina Rosen
Contact:
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