Human Rights:
An Interdisciplinary Bibliography and Research Guide

The present work, Human Rights: An Interdisciplinary Bibliography and Research Guide (( is a project for the Human Rights Program of the Center for International Studies of the University of Chicago. It is intended to provide a guide to core resources in human rights-related disciplines and how to access and use them.

Created January 19, 2001. Updated 27 April 2004. Sources compiled by Lyonette Louis-Jacques, Foreign and International Law Librarian and Lecturer in Law, University of Chicago Law School, D'Angelo Law Library (DLL).

General Human Rights Research Strategies

A general tenet of research is not to duplicate effort. Do not reinvent the wheel. In which case, a useful beginning research strategy is to see if someone else already has done the work for you. Is there already a book or journal article on the topic? How up-to-date is it? What is the quality of the existing work? Make sure to search by country and region, and look for materials in different languages and from different perspectives. Look out for bias, and try to get a balanced view from the resources found.

Is there someone else working in the area? "People" resources are very important in human rights work, so the researchers should look for individuals working in the field, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), inter-governmental organizations (IGOs), and national governmental bodies, and their work products. These can include useful compilations of documents, statistics, journals, conferences, etc. And it is very important to be current - monitor developments in the field as close to the present day as possible. This involves reading the periodical literature as well as newspapers and press releases. And the information can be in multiple formats - hardcopy/print, microform, electronic (databases, CD-ROMs, the Internet, etc.). And, with electronic mailing lists, you can get human rights information delivered daily directly to your mailbox!

Another tenet is to act locally. Look to see what resources exist in your school, your city, your state first, before consulting externally. Ask yourself - what organizations, government agencies, embassies, consulates, libraries, faculty, research centers, etc. work in this field? Are there any directories where they are listed (print and electronic)? Perhaps they have a web site? Perhaps they are in the phone book?

And if you've exhausted local resources, there are federal government agencies to contact, national and international organizations, and people generally. Listservs and newsgroups are sources that can sometimes be used to find information, especially after calling people and searching the Internet.

And for human rights, the resources are widely available. It is just a matter of finding them!

Human Rights: General Background Sources

Human Rights: Major Starting Points

Off-Campus Access to Subscription Databases

For resources that the University Libraries subscribe to (fee-based or $), you may need to connect ( to them using the campus proxy server ( if you are not accessing them via the University network.

Treaties, Conventions, and Other International Human Rights Instruments

Domestic/Foreign Law: Constitutions, Cases, Statutes, Treaties (U.S. and Non-U.S.)

Other Human Rights Documents (Reports, Decisions, Cases, Etc.

Country Reports

General Country and Human Rights News and Information Sources

Periodicals, Newsletters, Working Papers, Conference Proceedings, Books

Human Rights in Africa

Human Rights in the Americas

Human Rights in Asia

Human Rights in Europe

Human Rights in the Middle East

Human Rights: Special Topics

D'Angelo Law Library

The D'Angelo Law Library is located at 1121 East 60th Street (across the Midway from Harper Library, between Woodlawn and Ellis Avenues); the reference staff can be reached by phone at 773-702-9631 and in person on the Second Floor of the Law Library. It is good to begin your research by asking for help at the Reference Desk. See also the D'Angelo Law Library Guide for Law Journal Students. Some core sources to use include LegalTrac which indexes over 900 law journals and newspapers from common law countries from 1980 to date. $ Its online equivalent is the Legal Resource Index available via the LexisNexis (LAWREV library and LGLIND file) and WESTLAW (LRI database) legal databases. $ See also the Index to Legal Periodicals and Books. $ Non-law students and faculty have access to another flavor of LexisNexis called LexisNexis Academic Universe ( via campus library terminals and off-campus via the University connectivity package and proxy server. Academic Universe includes mostly the same library of cases, statutes, regulations as LexisNexis for Law Schools except for selected sources of international treaties, European Court of Human Rights decisions, and French legal materials. $

The LexisNexis service includes the full text of U.S. federal and state court cases, statutes, and regulations, plus the full text of articles from several hundred law journals from about the mid-1980s to date, as well as worldwide news stories. $

For foreign and international - in the INTLAW library of the Law School flavor of LexisNexis, you can find selected international treaties, and legal documents of the European Union, Australia, Canada, the UK, Hungary, France, Russia, Mexico, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, and selected other materials. As well as the Council of Europe's European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) cases. Copies of the LexisNexis Directory of Online Services and the Westlaw Databases Directory are available to review. Ask at the D'Angelo Law Library Reference Desk. 2-9631.

WESTLAW includes similar materials, especially UK, Mexican, and Canadian cases, and European Union materials as well as European human rights decisions. WESTLAW's full text journals database includes foreign and international journals published in the United States. $

There are many more resources available for human rights research. The author would be happy to hear about the resources you find useful in your work. Please contact her directly at Prepared by Lyonette Louis-Jacques, Foreign and International Law Librarian and Lecturer in Law, D'Angelo Law Library, University of Chicago Law School,, 1-773-702-9612; fax: 1-773-702-2889. See generally, Legal Research of International Law Issues Using the Internet (