WRTG: 1960s Research

Dylan: Don't Look Back (1967)

IC Library Print & Media Resources

Selected Subject Searches

(Click to run targeted Subject searches in the IC Library catalog)

Nineteen sixties
Nineteen sixty-four, A.D.
Nineteen sixty-eight, A.D
Nineteen sixty-nine, A.D.

United States -- Civilization -- 1945-
United States -- Foreign relations -- 1963-1969
United States -- History -- 1961-1969
United States--Politics and government--1961-1963
United States -- Politics and government -- 1963-1969
United States -- Social conditions -- 1960-
United States--Social conditions--1960-1980
United States--Social life and customs--1945-1970
United States--Social life and customs--20th century
Social change--United States--History--20th century
Social history--1960-1970
Social movements--United States--History--20th century
Social problems--United States--History--20th century
Medical policy--United States--History--20th century
Education--United States--History--20th century
Public schools--United States--History--20th century
Public welfare--United States--History--20th century
Poverty--Government policy--United States--History--20th century

Cold War
Cuba--History--Revolution, 1959
Cuba--History--Invasion, 1961
Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
Berlin Wall, Berlin, Germany, 1961-1989
Peace Corps (U.S.)  [begun 1961]
Vatican Council. (2d : 1962-1965)
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963--Assassination
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973  ["the Great Society"]
Project Head Start (U.S.)--History  [begun 1965]
National Endowment for the Arts--History  [begun 1965]
China--History--Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976
Guevara, Ernesto, 1928-1967  [Che Guevara]
Israel-Arab War, 1967
Riots--France--Paris  [1968 student uprising]
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968--Assassination
Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968
Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968--Assassination
Olympic Games (19th : 1968 : Mexico City, Mexico)
Democratic National Convention (1968 : Chicago, Ill.)
Riots--Illinois--Chicago--History--20th century
Chicago Seven Trial, Chicago, Ill., 1969-1970
Hoffman, Abbie
McGovern, George S. (George Stanley), 1922-
Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-
My Lai Massacre, Vietnam, 1968
Czechoslovakia--History--Intervention, 1968  [Soviet invasion]
Stonewall Riots, New York, N.Y., 1969  [gay liberation]
Manson, Charles, 1934-
Space race--United States--History
Space flight to the moon
Project Apollo (U.S.)
Apollo 11 (Spacecraft)
Kent State University Riot (May 4, 1970)
Baby boom generation

Vietnam War, 1961-1975 
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--United States
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Atrocities
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Influence
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Psychological aspects
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Social aspects
Peace movements--United States--History--20th century
United States. Selective Service System
Draft -- United States
Draft -- United States -- Draft resisters
Draft resistors--United States

Radicalism--United States--History--20th century
New Left--United States
Students for a Democratic Society (U.S.)
Student movements -- United States
Youth--United States--History--20th century
Baby boom generation--United States
Counterculture--United States—History--20th century
Communal living--United States
Underground press--United States
Underground press --United States—History--20th century
Hippies -- United States
Subculture--United States--History--20th century
Transcendental Meditation
Hallucinogenic drugs
LSD (Drug)
Leary, Timothy, 1920-1996
Marijuana -- History
Drug abuse -- United States -- History
Drug abuse--United States--History--20th century
Sex customs --United States  [covers the “sexual revolution’]
Sex customs--United States--History--20th century
Oral contraceptives  [the “pill”]
Birth control -- United States—History--20th century
PlayboyPlayboy Enterprises
Sex in popular culture--United States
Sex in popular culture--United States--History--20th century
Sex in motion pictures
Sex in motion pictures--History
Pornography--Social aspects
Pornography--Social aspects--United States

United States -- Race relations
United States--Race relations—History--20th century
Racism--United States--History--20th century
Civil rights movements -- United States -- History -- 20th century
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (U.S.)  [civil rights organization]
United States. Civil rights act of 1960
March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Washington, D.C., 1963  ['I have a Dream']
United States. Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Ku Klux Klan (1915- )
African Americans
African Americans--Civil rights
African Americans--Civil rights--History--20th century
African Americans--Civil rights--Mississippi--History--20th century
African Americans--Civil rights--Southern States--History--20th century
African Americans--Suffrage--History  [voting rights]
Voter registration--United States
African Americans--History--1964-
African Americans--Social conditions--1964-
African Americans --Civil rights -- History--20th century  
African Americans--Politics and government--20th century
Southern Christian Leadership Conference--History
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
Poor People's Campaign
Birmingham (Ala.)--Race relations
Wallace, George C. (George Corley), 1919-
College integration--Alabama--History
Mississippi Freedom Project  [summer 1964]
Selma to Montgomery Rights March (1965 : Selma, Ala.)
X, Malcolm (1925-1965)
Riots California Los Angeles  [1965 Watts riots]
Black power--United States
Carmichael, Stokely
Black militant organizations--United States
Black Panther Party
Black Muslims
Ali, Muhammad, 1942-

Feminism -- United States
Feminism--United States--History--20th century
Women's rights--United States--History--20th century
Women in politics--United States--History--20th century
National Organization for Women
Women--United States--History--20th century
Stonewall Riots, New York, N.Y., 1969
Gay liberation movement -- United States
Gay liberation movement -- United States -- History
Gay rights--United States--History
Gays--Legal status, laws, etc.--United States
Gays--United States--History--20th century
Indians of North America  [Native Americans]
Indians of North America--Civil rights
Indians of North America--Cultural assimilation
Indians of North America--Government relations--1934-
Indians of North America--Legal status, laws, etc.
Indians of North America--Politics and government
American Indian Movement

Popular culture -- History -- 20th century
Motown Record Corporation
Dylan, Bob, 1941-
Folk music--United States--History and criticism
Protest songs--–United States--History and criticism
Rock music -- 1961-1970  [recordings]
Rock music--United States--History and criticism 
Beatles. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Rolling Stones
Joplin, Janis
Folk-rock music
Mitchell, Joni
Psychedelic rock music -- History and criticism
Doors (Musical group)
Grateful Dead (Musical group)
African Americans -- Music -- History and criticism
Hendrix, Jimi
Monterey International Pop Festival (1967 : Monterey, Calif.)
Woodstock Festival

Television broadcasting--United States--History
Sullivan, Ed, 1901-1974
Lear, Norman
African Americans on television
Motion pictures--United States--History
Experimental films--United States--History and criticism
James Bond films--History and criticism 
Easy rider (Motion picture)
Bonnie and Clyde (Motion picture)
2001, a space odyssey (Motion picture)
Theater--United States--History--20th century
Experimental theater--United States
Musicals--United States--History and criticism
Musicals--New York (State)--New York--History and criticism
Musicals--Political aspects--United States
Pop art -- United States
Warhol, Andy
Fashion--History--20th century
London (England)--History--1951-

IC Library Databases (Articles)

Signs of the Time

     In some databases, such as the Library catalog, you will find a subject heading for the decade of the sixties, but where there isn't one you will be faced with the problem of what words or numbers different writers use to refer to that era.  The best Keyword solution is a Boolean search phrase OR-ing together some likely alternatives and grouping them in parentheses: (1960s or 60s or sixties or "nineteen-sixties"). But in a Keyword search even this strategy will retrieve articles where the topic is, for instance, people in their 60s or sixties.

Time in a Bottle

Note: Most of our databases give you access to articles from the past three decades, but few can retrieve full text from before the 80s.  Below are two exceptions that can retrieve full text from the 60s--allowing you a contemporary perspective on issues and events of that decade.

      JSTOR : covers a wide range of scholarly journals in most disciiplines, always beginning with the first issue of each one.  This provides 100% full text access to articles from not only the first half of the 20th century but even the second half of the 19th.
     JSTOR offers only a Keyword search of its complete full text, so retrievals are large, but the relevancy ranking does a good job of putting the strongest matches on the first few pages.  This relevancy ranking does not weigh date, however, and will display a mix of articles written decades apart.  So if your topic is time sensitive, be alert to publication dates.
     User Advisory: The academic journals covered here feature numerous book reviews, so it's a good idea to tic the "Article" limit below the search slots so you won't be overwhelmed by book reviews on your topic.  
     Also note the "Date Range" limit, which you can set to 1960-1969 (although given the time delay in scholarly publication 1960-1974 might be better).

     New York Times (1851-2009) gives access to the full text of the New York Times 1851-2006. Click the "Continue" button and at the home page reset the default search of "citation and document text" to "citation and abstract" (since this is a Keyword search of 100% full text, you are likely to generate too many passing mentions of your search terms if you search all the text; first try the more focused "citation and abstract" search and only broaden it to "document text" if you retrieve too few hits).
     Use the "date range" limits to target the primary sources available here--contemporary/eyewitness reports. Without a date range limit you may retrieve hundreds of articles written decades after the events they discuss. For example, a search on "Martin Luther King" with a date range limit of 8/28/1963-9/5/1963 will target the Time's original coverage of the March on Washington and King's "I Have a Dream" speech.
     User Advisory: when searching for materials from earlier eras, be aware that language changes over time. For example, the term "African American" was not used prior to the 1970s, so when searching for articles on race relations in America prior to 1975, the terms "Negroes or Blacks" will be needed to retrieve relevant newspaper stories.

America: History & Life

     America: History and Life : For 60s research this database is invaluable because it is the only one that allows you to set a "Historical Period" limit (below the search slots on the left).  Set this for 1960-1969 and then whatever the Subjects or Keywords you enter, the articles retrieved will focus on how that topic played out in the 60s.  But: be aware that setting a Period limit of 1960-1969 will also retrieve any Period that contains the sixties decade, so, for instance, if your topic is labor unions in the 60s an article on labor unions from 1945 to 1975 will be retrieved.
     Also be sure to set the "Document Type" limit to "Article" to weed out all the many, many book reviews that will otherwise clot your search for articles.
     Having set the Period and Article limits, a good way to begin with this database is to open "Indexes" above the search slots and select the "Subject Terms" index, where you can check to see if there is a good Subject Heading for your topic.
     There's a good deal of full text here, but where there isn't be sure to use the "Find Full Text" links below citations to see if the full text can be supplied by another of IC's databases.

No Matter What Your Topic Is . . .

. . . these three comprehensive databases with ample full text will probably be able to retrieve information on it.

     ProQuest Research Library : is a comprehensive database with substantial full text.  Use the "Thesaurus" (above the search slots) to preview what Subject Headings are available.  Subect searching can be a more efficient way to search than with only Keywords, since it guarantees that the articles retrieved actually be about the Subject--not just use a particular word. 
     There is a Subject Heading here 1960-1969, but so few articles are assigned it that it's best avoided.  If your topic has a distinctive name, use that--Woodstock, Hippies, Nixon, Richard--or if the relevant subject is more generic--Civil Rights--try adding Keywords for the decade: 1960s or 60s or sixties or "nineteen-sixties."  
     Note that to the right of your search results you can limit your retrieval by "Source Type" (including Magazines, Newspapers, Scholarly Journals),  "Document Type," (including Cover Story, Editorial, or Interview), "Document Feature" (including Photographs, Illustrations), and "Location."
     Above each set of articles you retrieve ProQuest will display related Subject searches to help either broaden or narrow your focus.
     User Advisory: ProQuest is fussy about entering Subject searches in the designated search slot. If your subject is a person, enter the name--last name first--in the "Person" slot; if a named group of any kind--Microsoft, the Catholic Church, Radiohead, the New York Mets--enter it in "Co/Org"; if a place enter it in "Location." 
      Academic Search Premier  Comprehensive subject coverage with considerable full text.  Note that there is a “Subject Terms” link just above the search boxes, allowing you to search the index of Subject Headings--often a good first stop for more efficient Subject searching whereby you are guaranteed that your topic is indeed a main subject of the articles retrieved.
     A good initial strategy in this database is to search a likely topic in the Subject Terms and when you find it “explode” the term by double clicking it--this brings up a list of related Subject terms.  You can check as many terms as you like before "adding" them to your search by AND-ing or OR-ing them together.  
     There is a Subject Heading here for "Nineteen Sixties," as well as for each year of the decade, and you might want to browse these.  But most of these are articles about the 60s rather than about a particular issue or event, so you will be better off looking for a Subject Heading for what specifically interests you--for instance, "VIETNAM War, 1961-1975 -- Protest movements."
     User Advisory: For any retrieved set of articles, there will be a box displayed on the left that will limit the articles to “Scholarly” journals—just check the box and click the “Update Results” button below.

     General OneFile : is the most user-friendly of our comprehensive databases, covering almost any topic from a wide range of disciplinary angles and offering lots of full text.  Use the default Subject search to find the best subject heading for your topic (and when you find a good one be sure to look at the "Related Subjects" to see if there's something even better).  There is a Subject heading here--1960s (Decade)--but it retrieves mostly articles that are about the decade itself, and articles about specific issues and events that occurred during the 60s are better searched by their own Subject Headings--if available.  Otherwise, open the "Advanced" search option and try a Keyword approach.
     If there is a good subject heading for your topic here, open the "Subdivisions" link below it.  Most General OneFile subject searchs produce very large retrievals and the "subdivisions" help you narrow your search to a particular aspect: "Economic aspects," "Ethical aspects," "Forecasts and Trends," "History," "Media Coverage," "Political aspects," "Psychological aspects,"  "Social aspects," and "Statistics," to name only a few.
      If the best available subdivision is still too broad, open it and add your own Keywords in the "Search within these results" slot at the upper left.
     User Advisory: When first viewing your retrievals in General OneFile, note that you are seeing onlythe "Magazines" (popular articles) and must click on the tabs for "Academic Journals" (scholarly articles) or "News" (newspaper articles) to see those results.

Society and the Media

    SocINDEX with Full Text : As the name implies, an excellent database for social issues. Click on the "Subject Terms" link above the search slots to find which Subject Headings will work here. Double click any Heading for a list of broader, narower, and related Subject Terms.  And note that you can check the boxes to select as many Headings as you like and then "add to search using or" and run the search--all without even retyping the terms back on the home page.  But: there is no Subject Heading for the nineteen-sixties so you will need to enter the Keyword options: 1960s or 60s or sixties or "nineteen-sixties."

     Communication Source : Like SocINDEX, this is an Ebsco database with most of the features described above.  Use the Thesaurus above the search slots to browse available Subject Headings.  Once you find one, "explode" it by double clicking and scan all the related Headings. 

And So On

     The databases described above seem to have the greatest general relevance for researchers of the 1960s, but many others may be excellent for a particular topic. For the arts there are RILM Abstracts of Music Literature and Performing Arts Periodicals Database  and MLA International Bibliography . For sex and gender issues there are GenderWatch and LGBT life with Full Text .  For sports events try SPORTDiscus with Full Text .

Where's the Full Text for this Article??

     Few databases offer 100% full text.  Most retrieve a mix of full text articles and article "citations"--article title, author(s), publication info, and usually an "abstract" or one-prargraph summary of the content.  When a citation makes you want the full text, look below it for this icon: 
     Clicking "GETIT" checks (almost all) the IC Library's other databases to see if any offers the full text of the article--or if the Library has a print subscription to the journal in which the article appeared. 
  • "GETIT" will usually find the full text in another database and open it in a new window.  
  • If none of our databases can access the full text but we have a print subsciption to the journal, "GETIT" will retrieve the Library catalog record for the journal so that you can see if the date of the article falls within the date range we have on hand.

Contact Us

picture of Dr. Brian Saunders

Dr. Brian Saunders

Humanities Librarian
(607) 274-1198

Search Argos

Related Guides

I have a research guide for Pop Culture which might be useful if your 60s topic is a book, film, album, television show, or play. Also of possible relevance are Innovations in the Arts (some of which date from the 60s), Environmental Research (enviornmentalism was redefined in the 60s), Men/Women/Marriage/Divorce (roles and instituttions unsettled by the 60s), Controversies & Social Issues  (some of which have been with us since the 60s), and of course Writing.

Sixties Headline Stories

Facts on File World New Digest: Top News Stories of 1960-1969: Not much depth of analysis in these newswire-type stories, but the year-by-year organization provides a good journalistic overview of the era.

Web Resources

Selected Web Sites

     The particular 60s-related topics you may choose to pursue are too numerous to anticipate here.  The following are Web sites that treat the decade.
  • WWW-Virtual Library: History: USA: 1960-1969: A comprehensive gateway site to online resources.
  • Sixties Project: Interesting site created in the late 90s, but not updated since. Click on "Scholars" and be sure to open "Resources" and then "Articles" and "Primary Documents."
  • 1960s: A collection of documents and links compiled by the University of Houston's College of Education. Note: the resources require that you click on the angled categories across the top of the "Overview."
  • 1960s and Youth Culture: A digital exhibit from bowling Green State University. 
  • History of American Journalism: The 1960s: Not just journalism, but also the events it reported. Scroll down for categories of resources--most video--such as "Political Scene" and "Social Climate."
  • Psychedelic Sixties:  Emphasis is on the literature of social change, but offers a range of online exhibits.
  • American Cultural History: 1960-1969: From Kingwood College Library, this site is no longer being maintained, but a pdf snapshot of the "live" site remains. The links no longer work, but some of the facts and figures might interest you.
  • The 1960s: from A&E/History Channel, an assortment of articles on major thematic strands of the decade, along with links to particular topics.
  • Digital History: America in Ferment: The Tumultuous 1960s: interesting collection of brief articles.
  • 1960s:  This page is a hash, even by Wikipedia standards, but you can use it for brainstorming and for its links.

Web Directories

     Web Directories differ from search engines like Google in that all the online resources have been selected and annotated by editors, thereby promising a much higher degree of quality control. 

Web Search Engines

  Google Advanced Search: When doing research on the Web, always use the Adanced Search version of Google. This not only provides more flexibility in entering search terms, but more importantly it allows you to target the Web domains that are likely to provide the most authoritative information.
Under "Need More Tools?" you will find the "Search within a site or domain" slot. You may enter only one domain at a time, but it's worth targeting each of the three domains likely to supply the best information: colleges and universities (enter the "edu" tag), nonprofit organizations (enter the "org" tag), and the United States government (enter the "gov" tag).

Citation Help

MLA Citation

MLA is the citation style used by most disciplines in the Humanities. Here is my guide to the latest (2016) update of the MLA style.