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Politics and international relations: Further sources

A guide to finding information in politics and international relations. Includes links to key resources and sources of help.

Conference papers

Conference papers are published in a variety of ways - they may be published as a book, or as a special issue or supplement to a journal. Some may not be published at all!

If published promptly they can you give you the latest information on research in your field.

See our guide to finding conference papers for details of specialist sources for finding this type of information.

European Documentation Centre

The University of Reading was a European Documentation Centre (EDC) up to 2019, adding to Library stock a range of official European Union (EU) publications to support the study of European integration and make EU information available to the general public. A legacy physical collection of EDC material, including institutional working papers and journal parts, is shelved on the 3rd Floor of the Library, with books and bound journals integrated into the rest of the Library's stock.

Much EU official documentation is now made freely available on the Internet and can be located online using the resources in the Europe sections of the Websites listings for Politics and International Relations and for Law. For further detail on locating EU resources both online and in print, see our specialist guide:


Laws of a state can provide a contemporary or historic context to particular political and ethical issues.

In the UK these are generally passed in one of two forms: as an Act of Parliament or as a Statutory Instrument (SI). Current and historical collections of the original text of Acts and SIs are maintained by the Library, with original and up-to-date versions of UK and foreign legislation increasingly available online through a number of services. For more information consult:

Maps & atlases

Maps on a tableMaps can be used in nearly all disciplines to either research or display spatial information. The University Library contains about 70,000 maps and atlases, covering the whole world. They include original and facsimile maps from medieval to modern times, and access to online resources is also available.

To find out how maps can help you, see our presentation on Using maps for your research:

For more information see the following guide:

For digital maps of Great Britain, the best place to start is Digimap. This includes nine datasets, including contemporary Ordnance Survey maps; historical Ordnance Survey maps; geology maps; environmental land cover maps; marine charts and thematic data; aerial imagery; census and socio-economic data; detailed building and land cover data and world maps. Maps can be printed out or data downloaded for use in a geographical information system.


Newspapers can be a good source for the latest developments in a field and for current opinion on controversial topics.

We have online access to a number of current and archive newspaper issues. For further information and links go to our Finding newspapers guide.

Parliamentary publications

The UK Parliament and other national and regional assemblies and parliaments around the world typically publish official papers on their activities, providing a potentially rich resource for research into political and legislative processes.

The Library holds an extensive historical collection of UK parliamentary papers, much of the content of which is now also accessible electronically; current and recent parliamentary publications are ordinarily available online. For more information, read:


Statistics, whether of social, economic, financial or other measures, can inform your research into political questions. You'll find some selected key data resources linked to in the E-resources and Websites sections of this subject guide.

For details of some of the major sources and producers of statistical data, see our specialist guide:


Reading University theses and dissertations

The Library receives a copy of all theses accepted for the degrees of PhD and MPhil by the University. All theses held by the Library can be found on the Enterprise catalogue. Recently submitted theses might also be available to download from the University's Institutional Repository, CentAUR.

Masters theses can usually be consulted in the relevant school or department.

Finding theses from other institutions

There are a number of specialist sources for finding theses produced at other institutions around the world. Many more are becoming available online making it much easier to get the full-text. For more information see our guide to finding theses.

See our guide to finding theses for more information: