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Subject Librarian:

Alicia Kubas

This subject covers: sources that provide information about all countries in the world. Specialized sources on individual countries are not listed here.

Article Databases and Indexes

Academic or Scholarly Articles Subject Indexes

Covers the world's scholarship in history from 1450 to the present.

Since its establishment in 1914, PAIS (Public Affairs Information Service) has chronicled issues in the public debate through highly selective coverage of a wide variety of sources, including references to monographs, periodical articles, notes and announcements, government documents, policy reports and analytics. Addition of the Archive to our current PAIS International database extends comprehensive access to public and social policy information.

This core database for the field of sociology contains information on sociology and social policy worldwide. Sociological Abstracts includes citations from the 1952-present.

CSA Worldwide Political Science Abstracts is building on the merged backfiles of Political Science Abstracts, published by IFI / Plenum, 1975-2000, and ABC POL SCI, published by ABC-CLIO, 1984-2000. The database provides citations, abstracts, and indexing of the international serials literature in political science and its complementary fields, including international relations, law, and public administration & public policy.

General Indexes to Magazine, Journal & Newspaper Articles

The world's largest academic multi-disciplinary database. Includes full text access to over 4,000 scholarly (peer-reviewed) publications back to 1975. A great place to start your research on any topic. Find search tips on their help page.

This resource is licensed by the MINITEX Library Information Network with state appropriations from the Minnesota Higher Education Services Office (MHESO) and the Minnesota Department of Education.
MasterFILE Premier provides full text for more than 2,000 general magazines covering a broad range of disciplines. It includes Magill Book Reviews, reference and travel books, biographies, full text primary source documents, American Heritage Dictionary and an Image Collection of 107,135 photos, maps and flags.

An online resource of news from around the world, obtained from newspaper articles, television and radio broadcasts, online sources, conference proceedings, periodicals, and non-classified reports. NOTE: This resource has been discontinued and is now an archive of world news between 1995 and 2013.

Indexes, Other

Polling the Nations is an online database of public opinion polls containing the full text of 500,000+ questions and responses, from 14,000+ surveys, conducted from 1986 through the present in the United States and more than 100 other countries around the world.

Catalogs and Bibliographies


When searching in MNCAT, first choose "Advanced Search". Then use the country name that you are interested in as a subject. Some useful subheadings include: Bibliography, Biography, Civilization, Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Foreign Relations, History, Languages, Maps, Politics and Government, Social Conditions, and Statistics.

National Bibliographies

from the University of Queensland. "Handy Hint: If the link to the catalogue does not work, click on the name of the library to be connected to its webpage.Look for a link to connect to the catalogue from there."

General Reference Sources

Atlases & Maps

This is an interactive mapping program hosted by National Geographic. It incorporates elements of print atlases, plus many other features.

World Bank Atlas

The Atlas provides readers with a quick view of the state of life on our planet, measured by a range of key development indicators and illustrated by colorful and informative maps.

Country Studies

Issued by the US Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, these electronically accessible publications include facts about the land, people, history, government, political conditions, economy, and foreign relations of independent states and other territories. The Background Notes are updated and/or revised as they are received from the Department's regional bureaus and are added to the database of this Department of State website.

Paper copies of earlier editions are available in the Government Publications Library in Wilson.

This interactive database from the United Nations provides the flag, latitude & longitude, total area, total population, population density, capital city, languages, largest city (and its population),currency, UN membership date, GDP, GDP per capita, and contact info for the Mission in New York and Geneva for a single country at a time.

Country Commercial Guides (CCG's) are prepared annually by U.S. embassies with the assistance of several U.S. government agencies. These reports present a comprehensive look at countries' commercial environments, using economic, political and market analysis.
Current editions are searchable from the link above along with a variety of other titles, including: Industry Sector Analyses, Marketing Insights, Multilateral Development Bank Reports, Best Markets, and other Industry/Regional Reports.
Prior years through 2001 are located at State Department Web Site Archive.

An up-to-date source of information on 191 countries. Provides basic data such as population profile, currency, map, and current time, as well as short profiles in the following areas: people, history, economy, agriculture, energy, metals, and environment. Also provides current news wire stories about the country. The Country Review, in-depth reports on each country and News Archive/Search Engine is available only through subscription.

The Library of Congress Country Studies Series presents a description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of countries throughout the world. The series examines the interrelationships of those systems and the ways they are shaped by cultural factors.

This web page brings together several different types of country profiles produced by the World Bank. They include: data profiles from the World Development Indicators database, information and communications technologies, Country-at-a-Glance tables, Edstats, GenderStats, HNP (health, nutrition and population) stats and African statistics.

Published annually, this brief guide profiles the economy, government, land, demographics, communications, and national defense establishments of 191 nations and other political entities. Prior years may be accessed via Countries of the World. Tables of data items in each country's profile can be viewed from the Notes and Definitions link. Click on the term being defined and a table for all countries will appear.


Listing of official government web sites for all nations excluding the United States.

This database contains links to governmental institutions, which provide information on the World Wide Web, including:
- legislative, executive, judicial branches
- governmental representations in foreign countries
- political parties and party alliances (on national, regional and municipal level)
- parliamentary groups, youth organizations etc. of political parties (only on national level)


Broad country by country coverage with bibliographies. Volume one includes country comparison tables and information from the U.N., etc.


Illustrated Book of World Rankings

Contains rankings for over 230 variables.

This book is published annually by the Economist magazine. It contains rankings and profiles of countries.


Provides detailed information on countries of the world including statistical surveys, information on
government, finance, religion, press, publishers, radio and television, etc.

International Yearbook and Statesmen's Who's Who

Part one profiles the structure and functions of the world's major international and national organizations, part two; overview of the political, economic and social issues of the world's countries, part three; careers and achievements of 8,000 leading world figures.

Very useful and reliable yearbook providing concise, descriptive and statistical information on countries
of the world. Includes selected bibliographies for further research.

Provides tables of data on: world and regional population, production in agriculture, hunting, fishing, forestry, mining, and manufacturing and foreign trade (summaries and specific products and their price index). Also includes detailed data by country such as: number of teachers and schools, AIDS cases, food supply in calories per capita, mass media infiltration and access (book production, newspaper circulation, television and radio penetration), transportation and communications (railway and airline traffic, telephones and motor vehicles in use, shipping), energy production and consumption by sector, natural resources and pollution indicators, intellectual property (research, workforce andexpenditures, patent, industrial design and trademark applications), and international tourism.

Internet Resources

Web Sites

Each country profile provides a short description of: geography, maps, flag, history, current ruler, area, populations, capital, largest cities, languages, ethnicity/race, religion, literacy rate, economy, and government.

Periodical and Newspaper subscriptions

News Sources

Full-text news for over 9,000 sources including U.S. and international news sources, major wire services, and hundreds of local broadcasting outlets and blogs. Provides unique coverage of local news outlets, including over 100 Minnesota sources. Paid advertisements are excluded. Collections can be searched by specific title, region, state, country, or continent. Mostly English language news coverage with some 200 titles in Spanish, French, Afrikaans and other languages.

Societies, Agencies, and Organizations

Official Agency & Organization Websites

Home of the State Department's country-specific information on the web, this page links to lists of many kinds, such as country names and diplomatic lists, as well as Department authored reports.

Statistics and Data

Statistical Resources

Microfiche collection of publications of national governments (or closest equivalent) that contain yearly summary data for the country as a whole. For contents and countries covered, see the guide CIS National Statistical Compendiums.

The International Data Base (IDB) is a source of demographic and socio-economic statistics for 227 countries and areas of the world. The IDB combines data from individual countries with U.S. Census Bureau estimates and projections to provide information from 1950 to 2050.

Index to statistical publications from U.S. and state government agencies, international intergovernmental organizations, professional and trade organizations, business organizations, commercial publishers, independent research organizations, and universities. Comprised of three indexes--the American Statistics Index (ASI)--Index to International Statistics (IIS)-- and Statistical Resources Index (SRI) that give summaries to the companion microfiche collections with links to selected full-text tables and web sites when available. The Government Publications Library has microfiche copies of almost all the publications indexed in this database.

This database provides international statistics on all major social and economic subjects. It replaces the older database "UN Common Database" which will be discontinued in mid-2008.

The statistical tables on this web site cover general population, youth and elderly populations, human settlements, water supply and sanitation, housing, health, child-bearing, education, literacy, income and economic activity, and unemployment for as many countries as possible in the most current year possible.

WDI (World Development Indicators) Online contains statistics for over 550 indicators from 1960 for over 200 countries and 18 country groups. Subjects include: social welfare, economies, natural resources, and the environment. Data may not be available for all years for all countries.

Includes world development indicators which give selected social and economic statistics on 124 countries. Selected indicators can be viewed on the World Bank web site:

Style Manuals and Writing Guides

Bibliography Software

Citation managers are software packages used to create personalized databases of citation information and notes. They allow you to: import and organize citation information from article indexes and other sources save links to pdfs and other documents, and in some cases save the document itself format citations for your papers and bibliographies using APA and many other styles include your own notes

Writing Guides

This popular book is an indispensable and entertaining guide for writers, proofreaders, editors, managers, clerical staff, teachers, and students. Use this site to find the answers to your questions concerning proper English grammar and punctuation.

This guide shows users how use a standard citation format, MLA, to cite government information.

Covers citation forms for federal, state, regional, and local documents as well as those of some international bodies.

University of Minnesota

Related U of M Web Sites

We are a depository for publications from the governments of the United States, Minnesota and Canada and for the international intergovernmental organizations, the United Nations and the European Union. We link to online government publications, directories, specialized databases and guides to using government publications.

Library Information

Wilson Library

309 19th Ave. S.
West Bank, Minneapolis Campus
Service Desk: 612-624-3321

Government Publications Library

Basement Level, Wilson Library
West Bank, Minneapolis Campus


Map Library (John R. Borchert)

S-76 Wilson Library
West Bank, Minneapolis Campus
Reference: (612) 624-4549