Reference Materials

This is a research guide for finding materials on communication in the Greenfield Library at the University of the Arts. Reference materials are listed first, followed by a list of suggested subject headings for searching library catalogs. Periodical indexes to magazine articles and newspapers are next, followed by style manuals and finally Web sites. If you have questions about this topic please see the librarian's e-mail address at the end of this document.

The first place to look when beginning research on a topic is in reference material: specialized dictionaries, encyclopedias or handbooks. These allow you to check names, dates and places, find additional information, look up unknown terms, and check for the proper spelling of words. They are particularly helpful for finding basic background information on a topic, and are often the only place many students may need to look to find answers to their questions. They may include bibliographies (lists of additional materials on a topic, usually considered by the author to be the best materials on that topic) that you can use to find other materials.

All quoted material in the annotations is from American Reference Book Annual (ARBA) series, Greenfield REF Z1035.1 .A55, unless otherwise stated.

Blum, Eleanor. Basic books in the mass media: an annotated, selected booklist covering general communications, book publishing, broadcasting, editorial journalism, film, magazines, and advertising. 2nd ed. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1980.
Greenfield REF Z5630 .B55 1980

This book is a guide to the literature of mass media and is broken down into sections for each area listed in the title (general communications, book publishing, etc.). It has, according to the author, three primary purposes: "to serve as a reference tool; to suggest materials for research; and to provide a checking or buying list for libraries." It also has a secondary purpose: "to put together a bibliography which will allow the user, through judicious browsing, to piece together an informal history of the literature of mass communications and the authors/scholars who have shaped its direction." (p. ix) A new edition has been published and should be available soon.

The ABC-CLIO companion to the media in America / by Daniel Webster Hollis. Santa Barbara, CA : ABC-CLIO, c1995.

Greenfield REF P92.U5 H58 1995

"In today's world of news hype and sound bites, one does not often associate the notions 'news media' and 'historical perspective' together. Yet, in some 200 articles focusing on U.S. media, Hollis has placed in meaningful historical and cultural context an abundance of information and insight on such topics as 'Associated Press,' 'Broadsides,' and 'Pulitzer Prizes.' The work is arranged alphabetically by subject... Inexplicably, Barbara Walters merits her own entry, but Ben Bradlee and the Pentagon Papers do not. ... Still, for its eclectic content and meticulous marshaling of information, this work is praiseworthy--and even newsworthy--as an item for most library collections." ARBA 1996, entry number 964.

Critical dictionary of film and television theory / edited by Philip Simpson and Roberta Pearson. London : Routledge, 2000. Greenfield REF PN1993.45 .C75 2001

Dictionary of media literacy. Art Silverblatt and Ellen M. Enright Eliceiri. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1997. Greenfield REF P91.3 .S527 1997

Encyclopedia of American radio, 1920-1960. By Luther F. Sies. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., c2000.
Greenfield REF PN1991.2 .S57 2000

Encyclopedia of American social history. New York: Maxwell Macmillan International, 1993. 3 volumes.
Greenfield REF HN57 .E58 1993

A wide-ranging resource; contains material on advertising, publishing, communications, broadcasting, etc., in the context of American social history. Use the index in volume 3. Check the bibliographies at the end of the articles for additional sources.

Encyclopedia of communication and information / edited by Jorge Reina Schement. New York : Macmillan Reference USA, c2002. 3 volumes.
Greenfield REF P87.5 .E53 2001 v. 1-3

What is the history of cable television? How does it work? What do archivists do and why would they be in this encyclopedia? Organized alphabetically; use the index in volume 3 to find all references to your topic.

Encyclopedia of new media : an essential reference to communication and technology / Steve Jones, editor. Thousand Oaks, CA : Sage Publications, c2003.
Greenfield REF QA76.575 .E5368 2003

"What is the history of virtual reality? Where did MP3 come from? Who is Douglas Englebart? Why do these topics matter, what significance do they have in this day and age? Those are the kinds of questions the encyclopeida answer, in clear, jargon-free language."--quoted from the Introduction, p. 1. Who wrote "A Manifesto for Cyborgs"? What's LambdaMOO? You may know what hypertext is, but how would you define it? Arranged by topic/person/concept, medium-length signed essays provide definitions and short histories or overviews of each topic. Each entry concludes with a bibliography (including Web links), further reading, and related terms within the encyclopedia. Use the index if you can't find your topic.

Encyclopedia of propaganda. Armonk, NY: Sharpe Reference, 1998. 3 volumes.
Greenfield REF HM263 .E53 1998

Encyclopedia of television. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Pub., 1997. 3 volumes.
Greenfield REF PN1992.18 .E53 2004

Brought to you by the Museum of Broadcast Communications, Chicago, IL. Also an online version at

The encyclopedia of television, cable, and video. By Robert M. and Maxine K. Reed. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992.
Greenfield REF P87.5 .R44 1991

Encyclopedia of the documentary film / Ian Aitken, editor. New York : Routledge, 2006. 3 volumes.
Greenfield REF PN1995.9.D6 E53 2006 v. 1-3

Encyclopedic dictionary of semiotics, media, and communications / by Marcel Danesi. Toronto : University of Toronto Press, c2000.
Greenfield REF P87.5 .D36 2000

"Semiotics, media analysis, and communication science are interdisciplinary fields, and are thus cluttered with notions that are used in other disciplines. Hence, the choice of items for this dictionary was expanded to include not only the basic ideas coined within these fields, but also those that theorists and practitioners have taken from other fields--from anthropology, archeology, psychology, psychoanalysis, linguistics, philosophy, artificial intelligence, computer science and biology." author's preface, page [vii]. Includes people (e.g., Boole, Chomsky, Descartes, McLuhan) as well as terms, acronyms, and concepts. See index as well as cross-references.

From talking drums to the Internet: an encyclopedia of communications technology. By Robert Gardner and Dennis Shortelle. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 1997.
Greenfield REF P96.T42 G374 1997

History of the mass media in the United States : an encyclopedia / edited by Margaret A. Blanchard ; commissioning editor Carol J. Burwash. Chicago : Fitzroy Dearborn, c1998.
Greenfield REF P92.U5 H55 1998

"From its humble beginnings in 1690, when the first colonial newspaper was issued in Boston, U.S. journalism has evolved beyond the printed word into an institution of remarkably diverse forms. Covering the development of the mass media in the United States during the course of three centuries, this weighty compendium offers a unique historical perspective on this prominent and influential force in U.S. society. Although it encompasses many aspects of media, including advertising, book publishing, broadcasting, magazines, motion pictures, newspapers, photojournalism, public relations, radio and television, its primary emphasis is on the media as a disseminator of information and a communicator of ideas rather than as an entertainment source. Well conceived and well written, this impressive compilation makes a significant contribution to the study of journalism history." ARBA 1999, entry 820.

International dictionary of broadcasting and film. By Desi K. Bognar. Boston : Focal Press, c2000.
Greenfield REF PN1990.4 .B64 2000

International encyclopedia of communications. Barnouw, Erik, ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989. 4 volumes.
Greenfield REF P87.5 .I5 1989 v.1-4

Media and politics in America : a reference handbook / by Guido Stempel III. Santa Barbara, CA : ABC-CLIO, c2003.
Greenfield REF P95.82.U6 S74 2003

According to the author's preface, this book covers the history and evolution of political communication, problems of political communication, and a description of the process of news communication. Also included are an annotated chronology of political communication, biographical sketches of major figures, and legal documents and court cases related to political communication.

On the air: the encyclopedia of old-time radio. By John Dunning. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Greenfield REF PN1991.3.U6 D8 1998

St. James encyclopedia of popular culture. Detroit : St. James Press, c2000.
Greenfield REF E169.1 .S764 2000 v. 1-5

Social issues in science and technology : an encyclopedia / by David E. Newton. Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, c1999.
Greenfield REF Q175.5 .N49 1999

"Advances in science and technology have inundated our lives daily and at such a rapid rate that we have, at times, become immune to their importance and impact on society. Newton has provided a fresh look at the harms and benefits the progress in science and technology brings to us. Social Issues in Science and Technology : An Encyclopedia is a 'work in progress' because many of the entries presented are not yet resolved and may never be. The book provides overviews of about 100 subjects where new advances have forced society to define new issues raised by these discoveries." ARBA 2000, entry 1285. Each entry includes a bibliography (some with Web addresses). Consult the index for all references to your topic.

Violence in America : an encyclopedia. Ronald Gottesman, editor in chief ; Richard Maxwell Brown, consulting editor. New York : Scribner, 1999- .
Greenfield REF HN90.V5 V5474 1999 v.1-3

"This 3-volume encyclopedia examines the history of violence in America from the 1622 Powhatan uprising against Jamestown to the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School. The aspect of violence in America is approached from many different angles. The various ways violence is represented in America is included in entries about dance, music, painting, sculpture, and literature as well as comics, movies, and television. The work is intended to help students and general readers research hundreds of issues relating to violence. It should be intended for use as a beginning step for further research or to answer simple questions." ARBA 2000, entry 734.

Webster's new world dictionary of media and communications. Richard Weiner. 1st ed. New York: Webster's New World: distributed by Prentice Hall Trade Sales, 1990.
Greenfield REF P87.5 .W45 1990

Searching the Catalog by Subject

The University Libraries combine their holdings in one online catalog. Use the University Libraries catalog to find books, videos, CDs, scores, journal titles, etc. To locate all of the materials the library holds on a topic, it is most efficient to search by Subject. Use the following subject headings in the online catalog. Be careful to follow the exact spelling and form. These subject headings are standard and are used in most libraries.

Communication is a very broad subject. Please be sure to ask for help for more specific materials.


Books on media coverage of historical events such as the war with Vietnam or the Persian Gulf War will often have a subheading such as "Press coverage" or, for journalists' personal accounts, "Journalists." For example, see:


Periodical Indexes: Finding Articles

Magazine and journal articles will always be the best place to look for current information on your topic. Periodical indexes are research tools that allow you to search for articles in journals and magazines.

Access to the Periodical Indexes and Databases
From the library home page, select
Articles. Not sure about which one to try? Click on the click for info link, and of course you can always ask a librarian which ones to try.

I've found articles I want to read. Now what?
There are different ways to find an article once you pull up a citation in the index:

  • Check to see if our library holds the journal title. Look up the journal title or the ISSN*** in the catalog and look at the holdings.
  • See if there is a link in the index you're using to a full-text article online and download it or e-mail it to yourself.
  • Use interlibrary loan to request materials not owned by the UArts Libraries.
  • See what other libraries in the area hold the journal.

    • ***What is an ISSN? ISSN stands for International Standard Serial Number and is a unique number for a magazine or journal (not individual articles, but the magazine/journal title itself). You can use it in the UArts Libraries catalog and in many periodical indexes and databases. Searching with a number is much more precise than typing out a long title.

For many communication research projects, the EBSCOhost and Nexis Uni databases will serve you well. Design and Applied Arts Index is good for interface design, multimedia design, advertising and marketing, and other communication and information design-related topics.

Periodical Indexes in print at the library
There are several important indexes in the field of communication that are available in print form. Printed indexes are on the shelves at the back of the card catalog.

Communication Abstracts
Greenfield Indexes 302.205 C737a

Greenfield Library has v. 23, 2000- .
"Communication Abstracts covers major communication-related articles, reports, and books from a variety of publishers, research institutions, and information sources--providing coverage of recent literature in the areas of general communication, mass communication, advertising and marketing, broadcasting, communication theory, interpersonal and intrapersonal communication, small group communication, organizational communication, journalism, public relations, radio, public opinion, speech, and television. General film-related topics, with the exception of experimental or research items, are excluded because of the availability of bibliographic and abstracting services in this area."--from the preface.

Published six times a year. Check the author and subject indexes at the back of each issue. Cumulative indexes are published in number 6 of each volume.

Film Literature Index
Greenfield Indexes 791.016 F487

Greenfield Library has v. 1, 1973- .
"Film Literature Index is a quarterly subject, author index to the international film and television/video literature appearing in periodicals. The list of film periodicals is based on an examination of over three hundred titles from around the world. While periodicals of purely fan interest, totally technical data and extremely short pieces of press release information have been eliminated, Film Literature Index does include both well-known established film journals and the specialized, exotic or fugitive film publications."--from the preface.

The white pages of the index are for film, and the gray pages are for television and video.

Style Manuals: Citing Your Sources

When you find information on a topic, no matter what format it takes (book, journal, Web page), there are style manuals to show you the correct way to give cite those sources in a paper. Style manuals often also cover basic grammar and research skills.

Web Sites for Communication

Searching the Web can be overwhelming. If you are using the Internet for research, you want to choose sites that meet the standards of accuracy, currency and authority.

Below are just a few communications-related sites that may be of interest to the University of the Arts community. Most of these sites were taken from Brian J. Webb's Fall 2000 syllabus for History of Communication.


Professional associations are a great place to start looking for reliable authoritative information. They exist to promote professionalism, create standards and guidelines, publish, and serve as an important communication tool.

National Communication Association
"[National Communication Association] is a scholarly society and as such works to enhance the research, teaching, and service produced by its members on topics of both intellectual and social significance. Staff at the NCA National Office follow trends in national research, teaching, and service priorities. It both relays those opportunities to its members and represents the academic discipline of communication in those national efforts."-- from About NCA

Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
"The AEJMC exists to promote the highest possible standards for education in journalism and mass communication, to encourage the widest possible range of communication research, to encourage the implementation of a multi-cultural society in the classroom and curriculum, and to defend and maintain freedom of expression in day-to-day living."-- from AEJMC: About the AEJMC

National Association of Broadcasters
"NAB is a full-service trade association which represents the interests of free, over-the-air radio and television broadcasters."-- from About NAB

New York Women in Communications, Inc
"NYWICI empowers women in all communications disciplines to reach their full potential by promoting their professional growth and inspiring them to achieve and share their successes. As the premier organization for women communications professionals in the New York Metropolitan area, NYWICI is a not-for-profit association founded in 1929. With over 800 members, we represent a variety of industries in print, broadcast, and electronic communications."-- from NYWICI-About Us

Public Relations Society of America
"The Public Relations Society of America, based in New York City, is the world's largest organization for public relations professionals. The Society has more than 28,000 professional and student members. PRSA is organized into more than 100 chapters nationwide, 19 professional interest sections, along with affinity groups, which represent business and industry, counseling firms, independent practitioners, military, government, associations, hospitals, schools, professional services firms and nonprofit organizations. The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) has 255 Chapters at colleges and universities throughout the United States."-- from About PRSA


"This is an exceptional online ready-reference source for breaking news and current events. 1stHeadlines' goal is to 'provide a one-stop location where readers can view the latest 'breaking news' headlines from top online sources around the world in a fast, easy-to-read format.'" Source: Jo A. Cates' review in American Reference Books Annual, 2005, entry 898. Greenfield REF 011.02 Am35

American Journalism Review
"American Journalism Review is a national magazine that covers all aspects of print, television, radio and online media. The magazine, which is published six times a year, examines how the media cover specific stories and broader coverage trends. AJR analyzes ethical dilemmas in the field and monitors the impact of technology on how journalism is practiced and on the final product. The magazine is owned by the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland." quoted from "About AJR"

Columbia Journalism Revew
"Columbia Journalism Review's mission is to encourage and stimulate excellence in journalism in the service of a free society. It is both a watchdog and a friend of the press in all its forms, from newspapers to magazines to radio, television, and the Web. Founded in 1961 under the auspices of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, CJR examines day-to-day press performance as well as the forces that affect that performance. The magazine is published six times a year, and offers a deliberative mix of reporting, analysis, criticism, and commentary., our Web site, delivers real-time criticism and reporting, giving CJR a vital presence in the ongoing conversation about the media. Both online and in print, Columbia Journalism Review is in conversation with a community of people who share a commitment to high journalistic standards in the U.S. and the world." quoted from "About Us"

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
"FAIR, the national media watch group, has been offering well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986. We work to invigorate the First Amendment by advocating for greater diversity in the press and by scrutinizing media practices that marginalize public interest, minority and dissenting viewpoints. As an anti-censorship organization, we expose important news stories that are neglected and defend working journalists when they are muzzled. As a progressive group, FAIR believes that structural reform is ultimately needed to break up the dominant media conglomerates, establish independent public broadcasting and promote strong non-profit sources of information." quoted from About Us/What's FAIR?

free! The Freedom Forum Online
"The Freedom Forum is a nonpartisan, international foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit for all people. The foundation focuses on four main priorities: the Newseum, First Amendment freedoms, newsroom diversity and world press freedom." quoted from About the Freedom Forum
See also The Newseum, one of Freedom Forum's ventures.

Independent Media Center
"The Independent Media Center is a network of collectively run media outlets for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of the truth. We work out of a love and inspiration for people who continue to work for a better world, despite corporate media's distortions and unwillingness to cover the efforts to free humanity." quoted from About Indymedia

" JournalismNet is described as a 'working journalist's guide to the Net--300 different Web pages with over 6,000 links designed to help journalists (and anyone else) find useful information fast.' Maintained by Julian Sher, this well-organized site has grown immensely in the last decade. There are links for international, U.S., and Canadian media, news archives, and breaking news, as well as links focusing on how to find people and facts. Working journalists are advised to bookmark this site." Source: Jo A. Cates' review in American Reference Books Annual, 2005, entry 900. Greenfield REF 011.02 Am35

The Media Channel
"MediaChannel is concerned with the political, cultural and social impacts of the media, large and small. MediaChannel exists to provide information and diverse perspectives and inspire debate, collaboration, action and citizen engagement." quoted from Media Channel: Who We Are

Media Tank
"Living in a time when media has increasing power to shape the values and opinions of our society, Media Tank works to provide communities with tools to understand and participate in critical decisions about our nation's media system and culture. Through our community education, grassroots organizing and national field-building, we are helping to define and build an emerging movement for media justice and reform as a key strategy for social change." quoted from About Media Tank

Museum of Broadcast Communications, Chicago, IL
"Our mission is to collect, preserve, and present historic and contemporary radio and television content as well as educate, inform, and entertain through our archives, public programs, screenings, exhibits, publications and online access to our resources. The MBC is a not-for-profit organization that has offered the diverse populations multiple opportunities for public learning since 1987." from About Us.

Photojournalism Internet Resources from College & Research Libraries News, July/August 2003, by Paul Cammarata and Clo Cammarata.

The Poynter Institute
"The Poynter Institute is a school for journalists, future journalists, and teachers of journalists." quoted from About Poynter

propaganda critic
"As Anthony Pratkanis and Elliot Aronson point out, "every day we are bombarded with one persuasive communication after another. These appeals persuade not through the give-and-take of argument and debate, but through the manipulation of symbols and of our most basic human emotions. For better or worse, ours is an age of propaganda." (Pratkanis and Aronson, 1991)"--quoted from the Why Think About Propaganda page. Contains a video gallery, references, and purchasing links to some of the author's favorite books.

Television News Archive, Vanderbilt University
"The Television News Archive collection at Vanderbilt University is the world's most extensive and complete archive of television news. The collection holds more than 30,000 individual network evening news broadcasts and more than 9,000 hours of special news-related programming including Nightline since 1989. These special reports and periodic news broadcasts cover presidential press conferences and political campaign coverage, and national and international events such as the Watergate hearings, the plight of American hostages in Iran, and the Persian Gulf war.
Individuals throughout the world may make video tape loan requests for reference, study, classroom instruction, and research. Also, you will find some useful information in the abstracts themselves." quoted from home page


Editor & Publisher Online

Independent Media Center

propaganda critic
"As Anthony Pratkanis and Elliot Aronson point out, "every day we are bombarded with one persuasive communication after another. These appeals persuade not through the give-and-take of argument and debate, but through the manipulation of symbols and of our most basic human emotions. For better or worse, ours is an age of propaganda." (Pratkanis and Aronson, 1991)"--quoted from the Why Think About Propaganda page. Contains a video gallery, references, and purchasing links to some of the author's favorite books.


American Library Association: Internet Resources: Government Information
A collection of links to government information resources. Originally published in College and Research Libraries News, November 1998.

FedWorld: federal database of information and resources

Federal Census

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