eBooks on Human Rights topics

Hi all,

Besides acquiring print books, the UConn Libraries is acquiring many ebooks that can be accessed through the HOMER catalog, or from the main page by searching the “Everything @ UConn” and the “Books and Media Worldwide” tabs’ search boxes. The two major distributors where we acquire books from are eBrary and EBL. They do have different interfaces and policy regarding printing pages or how many people can “check out” a digital copy. Sometimes only one person can view an ebook, sometimes multiple users can view an ebook. Offhand I can’t tell you which ebook follows one rule or the other rule–it really depends on the publisher, who decides what type of license is granting to the distributor. So feel free to explore this products and if you have problems or question do let us know. In addition, the links bellow my require you to use your netid and password before accessing the books. Finally, I do recommend that you create an account in both EBL and Ebrary (which are free) to keep track not only of what ebooks you are reading but also to save annotations you may want to do as you are reading them.

Here is a little sample of what we have acquired this academic year. eBooks purchases were based on faculty and students suggestions. Some books do have print counterparts but other don’t. If you prefer a print copy do let us know.


Marisol Ramos
Librarian for Latin American & Caribbean Studies, Latino Studies,
Spanish and Anthropology And Curator of Latin American and Caribbean Collections




A Bit of Queer History for National Coming Out Day

The idea for National Coming Out Day was proposed by Rob Eichber and Jean O’Leary, who was then head of the organization National Gay Rights Advocates.   The date, October 11, was chosen to commemorate the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, held on October 11, 1987.   A few months later, a group of over 100  lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists from around the country gathered in Manassas, Va., about 25 miles outside Washington, D.C.  Recognizing that the LGBT community often reacted defensively to anti-gay actions, they came up with the idea of a national day to celebrate visibility and coming out.

But even before National Coming Out Day was created over 20 years ago, there was a long history of LGBT activism and movements to increase the visibility of gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, and queer individuals (and far more identities beyond just those I’ve listed here as well!)  While visibility of the LGBT community in society is increasing, visibility of LGBT history is unfortunately not.  Bayard Rustin should be a household name.  While the Stonewall Riots are generally lauded as the birth of the gay rights movement, fewer know of the riots at Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco in August 1966, or that the first recorded queer sit- in actually took place in 1965 at Dewey’s, a coffee shop and lunch counter in Philadelphia:

 According to an article by Doug Ireland from In These Times,  

“The establishment began refusing service to this LGBT clientele, prompting a protest rally on April 25, 1965. Dewey’s management turned away more than 150 patrons while the demonstration went on outside. Four teens resisted efforts to force them out and were arrested and later convicted of disorderly conduct. In the ensuing weeks, Dewey’s patrons and others from Philadelphia’s gay community set up an informational picket line protesting the lunch counter’s treatment of gender-variant youth. On May 2, activists staged another sit-in, and the police were again called, but this time made no arrests. The restaurant backed down, and promised “an immediate cessation of all indiscriminate denials of service.”

Unfortunately, violence against the LGBT community continues in the present day.  The 2010 gay pride parade in Belgrade, Serbia was marred by violence between police and protestors.  And in the United States, far too many gay teens have committed suicide in the past month as a result of continued bullying and harassment in schools. Sex columnist Dan Savage has launched a new advocacy campaign on YouTube called “It Gets Better,” in order to give hope to gay teens who are experiencing harassment and bullying.

From his column explaining the project:

“Billy Lucas was just 15 when he hanged himself in a barn on his grandmother’s property. He reportedly endured intense bullying at the hands of his classmates—classmates who called him a fag and told him to kill himself. His mother found his body.   Nine out of 10 gay teenagers experience bullying and harassment at school, and gay teens are four times likelier to attempt suicide. Many LGBT kids who do kill themselves live in rural areas, exurbs, and suburban areas, places with no gay organizations or services for queer kids.  “My heart breaks for the pain and torment you went through, Billy Lucas,” a reader wrote after I posted about Billy Lucas to my blog. “I wish I could have told you that things get better.”   I had the same reaction: I wish I could have talked to this kid for five minutes. I wish I could have told Billy that it gets better. I wish I could have told him that, however bad things were, however isolated and alone he was, it gets better.

But gay adults aren’t allowed to talk to these kids. Schools and churches don’t bring us in to talk to teenagers who are being bullied. Many of these kids have homophobic parents who believe that they can prevent their gay children from growing up to be gay—or from ever coming out—by depriving them of information, resources, and positive role models.”

Nor is gay history taught in the majority of schools.  As the postcard puts it, “History has set the record a little too straight.”   For the most part, students aren’t taught that so many authors, artists, engineers, doctors, politicians, and visionaries in our society that played HUGE roles in history, both in the US and around the world, were gay.  And the only gay people we do hear about in history seem to always be the ones who died, such as Harvey Milk, or in relation to the AIDS crisis.   

As State Senator Sheila Kuehl pointed out in 2006 regarding textbooks in California, “According to the textbooks now, no gay person ever made any contribution to anything in California.”

With so much left out of textbooks and the curriculum, even in higher education, archival resources play an invaluable role in uncovering hidden histories.  The Dodd Research Center has a large collection of materials documenting gay and lesbian history in the United States.  The LGBT Studies Subject Guide has information on finding archival sources both at UConn as well as a list of repositories around the country with significant LGBT history collections.  So please do come to the archives, and discover the richness of LGBT history!

A poster announces a “Gay In” in Central Park in New York City, as part of Gay and Lesbian Pride events in 1978. Poster from the Alternative Press Collection at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut. Not to be copied or reproduced without permission.

Think Tank Working Papers

In addition to using the library’s subscription databases such as CIAO (Columbia International Affairs Online), to find white papers and publications from think tanks and NGOs, there are a number of good websites to look at as well:

WorldPress (not to be confused with wordpress!) has a searchable library of international NGOs and think tanks, listed alphabetically:

Here are a few examples:

FRIDE is a think tank based in Madrid that aims to provide the best and most innovative thinking on Europe’s role in the international arena. It strives to break new ground in its core research interests of peace and security, human rights, democracy promotion, and development and humanitarian aid, and mould debate in governmental and non-governmental bodies through rigorous analysis, rooted in the values of justice, equality and democracy.

FRIDE’s working papers:


International Development Research Center

IDRC is a Canadian Crown corporation that works in close collaboration with researchers from the developing world in their search for the means to build healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous societies.

IDRC Working Papers


Harvard Kennedy School of Government Faculty Working Paper Series

Faculty working paper topics include human rights, advocacy, economics, international relations/globalization, security, conflict management, legal issues, and welfare, health care and social policy.

New Research Guides Available!

In addition to the Human Rights Research Guide, there are several new research guides available on the UConn Libraries website:

For a complete listing of research guides, go to http://classguides.lib.uconn.edu/

Welcome Back!

Happy first day of classes at UConn, and welcome back!

For those who are new to this blog, it is designed to be a resource for human rights students and faculty with updates on events, collections, new resources and research tips.  Feel free to comment or email me with questions and research topics that you’d like explored.

For the next couple of weeks, I’ll also be updating about my participation in a human rights delegation to Rwanda this summer, and those updates will all be labeled with a Rwanda tag. 

Happy reading, and enjoy the first day of classes!

All the best,

How to Find Full Text Articles on Human Rights

Looking at the stats for this blog, it looks like many people who come here do so after googling “full text human rights articles” or something similar. 

For those looking for full text articles on human rights, there is good news and there is bad. 

First the bad:  Using Google, Yahoo!, or any other internet search engine is going to provide very limited results.  You may come up with a random article that someone cut and pasted and added to their website.  You may come up with essays on human rights that people have written on personal blogs.   Unfortunately, neither of these results are appropriate for academic human rights research

Instead, you need to find articles in peer-reviewed journals.  Examples of peer reviewed journals include titles like The Journal of Human Rights and Human Rights Quarterly, While there are a few journals freely available online, such as the Harvard Human Rights Journal, the bulk of them are only available through subscription databases such as Academic Onefile (formerly InfoTrac), Proquest Research Library, J-STOR, Academic Search, etc.

But now the good news!  University students only need to go to their school’s library website to access subscription databases for their research.  UConn students have a number of tools available to them for finding journal articles.

The Human Rights Research Guide, http://classguides.lib.uconn.edu/humanrights, has an entire page devoted to databases and finding journal articles on a variety of human rights subjects.    For UConn students, all you have to do is click on the database links.  (If you’re off campus, login to the UConn Virtual Private Network (VPN) first.)

Once you’re inside the database, many of them have ways to search for full text articles only.  But what if the perfect article for your paper comes up and it isn’t available full text?

For example, this citation, taken from the PAIS International database.  The article does not come up as full text.

Global Challenges: Climate Chaos and the Future of Development.
Sachs, Wolfgang
IDS Bulletin, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 36-39, Mar 2007
… development issues including economic growth & equity, human rights & wellbeing. He argues that the growth of the West was made possible by unsustainable exploitation of carbon resources & the colonies, & this can never again be repeated. The …
View Record | InterLibrary Loan | UConn Links

But, don’t despair! 

Click on the UConn Links button at the bottom of the citation.  When you do this, a new window opens telling you that UConn does in fact have this article available full text in another database. 

If you find an article that isn’t available full text in any of UConn’s databases, you can request the article through Document Delivery/Inter-Library Loan (DD/ILL) and a pdf copy will be emailed to you within 2-5 days.

For human rights articles in particular, here are a couple of databases that I recommend.

Academic Onefile

Includes most disciplines (multidisciplinary) with good coverage of both popular and scholarly publications.  Click on the boxes to limit to peer reviewed articles.  Can also limit search to full text only.

Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO)

Articles and reports on international affairs. Includes scholarly articles, papers from university research institutes and non-governmental organizations, foundation-funded research projects, and conference proceedings.

Changes to UConn Library Website

Happy Spring Semester!

You’ve probably noticed that the UConn Libraries website has a whole new look– http://lib.uconn.edu 

Since some things have moved around, I wanted to take a moment and point out the links to some human rights resources:

The Human Rights Research Guide:  http://classguides.lib.uconn.edu/humanrights

The Human Rights Research Guide is redesigned for the Spring semester, and has information on how to find human rights journals, databases, reference books, archival collections, films, websites and more!

The Human Rights Research Database Locator: http://rdl.lib.uconn.edu/subjects/2096

The Research Database Locator for Human Rights provides links to the most popular databases for finding arcticles on an array of human rights themes.

50 Human Rights Blogs Worth Checking Out

Laura Milligan of e-Justice has created a list of The Top 50 Human Rights Blogs, broken down into categories such as Civil Liberties, Capital Punishment, Children’s Rights, International Outreach, General, Religion, Whistleblowers, and Politics.

A few Human Rights Blogs included in the list:

ACLU Blog of Rights: The American Civil Liberties Union posts about legislation, issues and campaigns that protect, influence and threaten civil liberties and freedom.

Labor is not a Commodity: This international labor rights blog covers child labor, underpaid workers and more.

Human Rights Now: The Amnesty International USA blog reports on global and regional conflicts, torture, progressive legislation and a lot more.

AlterNet: AlterNet’s Rights and Liberties blog covers everything from current political events to everyday human rights violations in lesser known areas.

Stop Genocide: Stop Genocide is a well-organized resource that shares news stories, tips for teaching about genocide, commentary and predictions about the state of human rights.

PhD Studies in Human Rights: This blog is designed for PhD students but is a great resource for anyone wanting to find news and reference material related to human rights issues.

New UDHR Website

The United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library has launched a new web site, Universal Declaration of Human Rights : An Historical Record of the Drafting Process (http://www.un.org/Depts/dhl/udhr/) as part of the commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Declaration.  The site provides access to early United Nations documents related to the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The new web site is a joint digitization project of the UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library and the Library of the UN Office at Geneva.