Skip to Main Content

Political Science *

Below are links to databases and scholarly web sites that support the study of political science and its related sub-disciplines.

Archival Resources

Archival Resources

  • California Digital Newspaper Collection (CDNC) -- this historical newspaper collection provides access to over 400,000 pages of significant historical California newspapers published from 1846-1922, including the first California newspaper, the Californian, and the first daily California newspaper, the Daily Alta California. The database also contains issues of several current California newspapers as part of a pilot project to preserve and provide access to contemporary newspapers.
  • California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives (CEMA) -- a program that advances scholarship in ethnic studies through its varied collections of primary research materials. Digital collections document the lives and activities of African Americans, Asian/Pacific Americans, Chicanos/Latinos, and Native Americans in California. The collections represent the cultural, artistic, ethnic, and racial diversity that characterizes the state's population.
  • California Public Records -- a site maintained by the Los Angeles Times that includes government documents obtained by reporters for stories they have written as well as materials submitted by readers.
  • California State Archives -- collects, catalogs, preserves, and provides access to the historic records of state government and some local governments. The Archives collection is primarily composed of records from California state agencies, the governor's office, the state legislature, and the State Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal.
  • Calisphere -- the University of California's gateway to more than over two million digitized open access photographs, documents, personal letters, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, films, advertisements, musical recordings, and other unique cultural artifacts that reveal the diverse history and culture of California and its role in national and world history. More than 300 cultural heritage organizations (libraries, archives, museums, and historical societies) in California contribute content.
  • JoinCalifornia [copy and paste this link:] -- a comprehensive online archive of California election results, with candidate biographies and information about state legislative races since 1898 and federal and statewide offices going back to 1849. This information includes 13,402 candidates running in 24,153 races in 493 elections.
  • Online Archive of California [OAC] -- provides free public access to detailed descriptions of primary resource collections maintained by more than 150 contributing institutions including libraries, special collections, archives, historical societies, and museums throughout California and collections maintained by the 10 University of California (UC) campuses.
  • Rose Institute's California Political History Archive and Database -- Claremont College's digital collection that chronicles California's election, redistricting, and political history together with biographical information on state legislators and constitutional office holders since 1849.
  • UCLA Online Campaign Literature Archive -- a directory of sites about legislative candidates from districts which are substantially within Los Angeles County, state elections gathered that include U.S. congressmen, California state-wide offices and measures, and California state legislators, and municipal elections gathered include those associated with Los Angeles County; the cities of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Culver City; and any special districts (school districts, water districts, etc.) that substantially overlap those cities.
  • USC Digital Library -- a digital repository of original research materials which have been selected for archiving and preservation by the USC Libraries. The site includes collections encompassing digital images of personal papers, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, maps, photographs, posters, prints, rare illustrated books, as well as audio and video recordings, many of which encompass a broad range of unique materials related to California political history. For questions about the USC Digital Library and its contents, contact Suzanne Noruschat, Southern California Studies Librarian,

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.

News Feeds and Analysis Services

News Feeds and Analysis Services

Cal Matters -- a nonpartisan and nonprofit news organization bringing Californians stories that probe, explain and explore solutions to quality of life issues while holding our leaders accountable. News gathering and editing is independent of any commercial or political interests.

Capitol Alert -- maintained by the Sacramento Bee newspaper, this site provides daily news and updates concerning California politics and current events. The site includes links to the latest California and national political news and information about California legislators.

Los Angeles Times Essential Politics -- provides news and information about California politics, public policy, and government activities from the Los Angeles Times newspaper. Coverage for 2018 includes congressional races key to the midterm elections, the California governor race, and political events in Sacramento.

Rough and Tumble -- online clearinghouse of newspaper articles, reports, and press releases concerning California public policy and political issues. This is an outstanding site for obtaining local and regional news coverage on current issues and to access archived links to historical information. Includes a resource page linking to California newspapers and news organizations. -- founded in order to help journalists, policy makers, and engaged citizens become better informed about innovative public policies. Covering all fifty states, special focus is given to the issues of welfare reform, land use, the environment, growth management, transportation, taxes and state budgets, healthcare, education [especially the manner in which public schools are financed], and campaign finance reform.

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.

California Ballot Measures

California Ballot Measures

Listed below are sites where you can obtain information on and the full-text of California ballot measures and propositions:

  • California Attorney General -- provides current information and full text of initiatives from 2004 to the present.
  • California Secretary of State -- provides current information and full text of propositions from 1996 to the present.
  • Statewide Ballot Measures Database -- a database of statewide ballot measures, including California. New measures are added as they are certified and identified by National Conference of State Legislatures. Results are updated soon after election night; each entry is then updated with “pass” or “fail." Users can search legislation for each year from the late 1800's through 2017 by state, topic, keyword, year, status, or primary sponsor.

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.

California Bills and Legislation

To search for bills from the 1993-1994 legislative session to the most current session, use the Official California Legislative Information website listed below. Also use this site if you are doing a legislative history of a California law that passed no earlier than the 1993-1994 legislative session. Searching by bill number is most efficient way to do this. For older documents, search the HathiTrust digital archive linked below. If you are unsure of what a term means, search the Legislative Glossary.

Bills and Legislative Documents

  • Openstates: California Bills -- aggregates legislative information from all fifty states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. This link provides access to California bills. enables users to identify representatives, look up information on an important bill that is been in the news, discover how their representatives are voting, or just stay current with what is happening in their state. Additionally, the sites allows bulk downloads of data. General bill and vote data is collected multiple times a day from official sources, linked at the bottom of relevant pages. This is an excellent source for comparing legislation.
  • Assembly Committees – provides selective access to recent hearings online. Look for "Publications" or "Committee Hearings" by committee.
  • California Legislative Information -- offers access to bill information, lists of standing committees and committee hearings, as well as the California Code, Statutes, Constitution, and other official publications. Measures prior to 1999 can still be found at which will remain as an archive for legislative information.
  • California State Assembly and Senate Final Histories -- produced by the California State Assembly Chief Clerk, the site includes bill history by session of legislature. Use this site for finding bills prior to 1993.
  • California Senate Committees -- provides selective access to recent hearings online. Look for "Hearings" or "Archives" by committee.
  • California State Assembly, Office of the Chief Clerk -- provides quick links to the Assembly Daily File, Assembly Journals and Histories, as well as the Legislative Calendar and Rules. Access Official Publications Archives by clicking on the "Bills & Legislature" link on the left.
  • FindLaw's California Codes -- links to official Web sites, but also allows users to search the California Constitution's Table of Contents, the California Codes, and California Statutes.
  • HathiTrust Digital Library, California Legislative Publications 1850 – 2009 -- a searchable, full-text collection of California Legislative publications including Senate and Assembly Bills (1911-1988); Statutes and Journals (1849-2009); Final Calendars (1899 - 2011); and other titles.
  • Index to Reports Published in the Appendices to the Journals of the California Legislature 1905-1970 -- a site maintained by Juri Stratford at UC, Davis that provides references to over eighteen hundred reports published in the Appendices between 1905-1970.
  • Legislative Open Records Act -- enacted in 1975, this legislation defines and limits the public access to legislative records. LORA provides for access to inspect and reproduce all legislative records not exempt under its terms. Requests under LORA shall be made in writing and must be submitted to the Chair of the Assembly Rules Committee. Site includes links for the public to Examine Assembly Committee Records, Examine Assembly Legislative Records, and Examine Records in Joint Custody.
  • -- enables users to identify representatives, look up information on an important bill that is been in the news, discover how their representatives are voting, or just stay current with what is happening in from all fifty states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Congress. This information is then standardized, cleaned, and published to the public. Additionally, the site allows bulk downloads of data. General bill and vote data is collected multiple times a day from official sources, linked at the bottom of relevant pages. This is an excellent source to look up information on an important bill that’s been in the news, discover how their representatives are voting, compare legislation between California and other states, or to just stay current with what is happening in California.

Policy Reports and Analyses

  • California Law Revision Commission [Copy and Paste this link:] -- an independent state agency charged with the reviewing California statutory and decisional law to discover defects and anachronisms and recommends legislation to make needed reforms. The Commission's efforts enable the Legislature to focus on significant policy questions in a recommendation rather than on the technical issues which can be resolved in the process of preparing background studies, working out intricate legal problems, and drafting implementing legislation.
  • California Research Bureau -- provides independent, nonpartisan, timely and confidential research or and analysis of policy issues for the Governor, Legislature and other Constitutional Officers. Its work includes fact-finding and fact-checking of claims or statistics, analysis of demographic, economic, environmental or other data at any level (district, state, national), summaries of scholarly evidence for specific topics, investigative surveys of groups and institutions, fifty-state reviews to compare/contrast policies, and tracking of local, state, federal and international bills, codes, court cases and regulations (including all California legislation since statehood in 1850).
  • Legislative Analyst's Office -- a 16-member bipartisan committee that provides fiscal and policy advice and an analysis of the fiscal impacts of public policies to the Legislature. The office provides budget comments in the form of separate written reports, handouts for hearings, and entries in an online list. These documents help set the agenda for the work of the Legislature's fiscal committees in developing a state budget.
  • Senate Office of Research -- a nonpartisan office that provides research for members and committees of the California State Senate. The office works with state senators throughout the stages of the legislative process by generating problem-solving ideas, gathering and analyzing data, preparing briefing papers, crafting legislation, organizing informational hearings, and assessing implementation of enacted laws. The office also prepares information and analyses for the Senate Rules Committee as it considers the confirmation of governor’s appointees to state agencies; track and analyze emerging federal issues; and, serve as a liaison with academic institutions and other researchers outside the Capitol.

Lobbying and Special Interests Tracking

  • CalAccess -- maintained by the the Secretary of State of California, this site provides financial information supplied by state candidates, donors, lobbying firms, individual lobbyists, and daily filings. The Power Search feature provides quick access to useful summary information at the contributor, candidate, ballot measure and campaign committee levels with options for sorting and further manipulating the data.
  • California Fair Political Practices Commission -- the mission of the Commission is to promote the integrity of state and local government in California through fair, impartial interpretation and enforcement of political campaign, lobbying and conflict of interest laws. The site offers information on candidate fundraising, independent expenditures, lobbying, and campaign regulations and enforcement.

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.

California Election Information

Listed below are sites devoted to providing election information and analysis for California:

  • Cal-Access -- provides financial information supplied by state candidates, donors, lobbyists, and others. Searching provides quick access to useful summary information at the contributor, candidate, ballot measure, and campaign committee levels, with options for sorting and further manipulating the data.
  • California Ballot Measures Database -- provides information on California ballot propositions and initiatives from 1911 to the present, searchable by keyword and date. The database contains the full text of the initiatives, accompanying material related to their filing and qualification, related legal and legislative history, and digital images of pertinent documents, including the original ballot pamphlets.
  • California Voter Foundation -- a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working through research, oversight, outreach, and demonstration projects to provide a guide for voters in California elections, information on voting registration, a directory, and map of California voting system and news. The organization also champions major reforms in voting and elections law and policy.
  • County Election Offices -- a searchable directory of election officials by county, including contact information. Search is also allowed through an interactive county map with links to county elections officials' websites.
  • JoinCalifornia [copy and paste this link:] -- a growing online archive of California election results that include candidate biographies and information on state legislative races since 1898, and federal and statewide offices going back to 1849. Currently, records include information about 14,243 candidates, who ran in 26,021 contests in a total of 541 elections.
  • Los Angeles County Elections -- a comprehensive and well-maintained resource directory of links to general politics and current election information focused on Los Angeles and Southern California.
  • State Elections Web Archive -- created on Archive-It by the Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation Web Collecting Program, the state elections website database aims to preserve campaign websites of declared candidates running for state elective offices in order to assure the continuing availability of these important, ephemeral documents for use by researchers and scholars. This initiative preserves campaign content and websites for candidates in a variety states, including California. Preservation began in July of 2018.
  • Statewide Database: the Redistricting Database for the State of California -- maintained by the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley, this is a database that includes voting, registration, and geographic datasets for for statewide elections beginning in 1992 as well as coverage of redistricting court cases, redistricting news for all states, and other resources such as research on redistricting criteria, initiative language, and maps.
  • Voter’s Edge California -- a joint project of MapLight and the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund, this is a comprehensive, nonpartisan online guide to elections covering federal, state, and local races in the state of California. Site provides access their full, personalized ballot by entering their address, in-depth information on candidates, measures, and who supports them, candidate biographies, top priorities, answers to questions, photos, policy videos, endorsements, and detailed information about who funds their campaigns.

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.

California Judiciary and Case Law

California Judiciary

  • Judicial Council's California Courts -- provides access to the "Opinions" page of the Courts [located at the top left-hand corner of the screen]. Slip opinions from the last 120 days are posted as Word and PDF files. Also available is a searchable opinions database (1850 to present), which is updated monthly and are current to within 90 days of filing. Searching is free, but limited to personal use.
  • California Appellate Courts Case Information -- system provides case information for California Supreme Court and Court of Appeals cases. Case information is updated once an hour throughout the business day. Select a jurisdiction, then search by case number, by party, by attorney or by case caption. Once you find your case, you can sign up for email notification of specific case activity.

California Case Law

  • Supreme Court of California [SCOCAL] -- a joint project between the Robert Crown Law Library at Stanford Law School and Justia, Inc. That provides free access to the full text California Supreme Court opinions from 1934 to the present, along with detailed annotations of selected cases. Also includes some briefs and other docs available for selected cases.
  • FindLaw's California Cases -- offers free comprehensive California case law from 1934 to present but system requires you to register before beginning search.
  • Public Library of Law -- database of cases from all 50 states back to 1997. Use the "Advanced Search" box to limit by jurisdiction. Access is free, but registration required to view the full text.

California Law School Resources

Law school libraries often create their own research guides on a variety of topics, including local resources, unique aspects of their collections, and legal research techniques. Below are links provided by the Library of Congress Law Library to law school libraries in California where you can locate specialized research guides concerning all aspects of California Law.

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.


Databases and Directories

California State Agency Databases -- produced by the Government Documents Round Table of the American Library Association, this comprehensive directory contains links to an annotated list of databases produced by the State of California, listed under nineteen specific subject areas. This is an excellent resource for finding agency-specific data and information.

LEXIS/NEXIS State Net -- provides comprehensive access to state bills and laws, constitutions, proposed and enacted, regulations, newspapers of record articles about legislative issues affecting the states.  NOTE: Database is currently limited to one user at a time. Contact Eimmy Solis for information about accessing the database.

Los Angeles Times -- full-text access to the Los Angeles Times newspaper from 1985 to the present. Contents are updated daily. Historical content back to the first issue published in 1881 can be found here.

Access World News -- comprehensive news collection for exploring issues and events at the local, regional, national and international level. Source types include print and online-only newspapers, blogs, newswires, journals, broadcast transcripts and videos. Includes many local California newspapers and news outlets.

State and Local Government on the Net -- this site provides a comprehensive set of over 5,500 links to state agencies, servers controlled by local government agencies, and servers with a domain that is associated with a city or county government. Also included under the executive branch heading are state and local commissions and boards. This is one of the best sites for finding obscure local government home pages. Useful for quickly locating city or town websites.

State Legislatures Internet Links -- contains information gleaned from the home pages and websites of the fifty state legislatures, the District of Columbia and the Territories. You can select to view specific website content materials [such as, bills, press rooms, statutes] from all states, one state or a selected list of states.

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.

Basic Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedures

Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedures

Produced by the the Aizman and Shiffman law firm, this site provides definitions and information about fundamental constitutional rights and legal procedures written in an accessible, jargon-free style.