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Country Information

Page history last edited by msellar@marymountpv.edu 8 years, 7 months ago

Library Guide


Country Information

The following guide will help you locate information about countries, including the geography, history, economy, politics and culture.  When researching countries, it is important to remember political situations can change rapidly and even Internet sources can quickly become out-of-date.  Pay careful attention to notes on when the resource was last updated and be sure to consult recent news sources for current events.


Find basic historical and demographic information


Print resources:

Encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference works are a good place to begin if you need an overview of your topic or want to look up quick facts or definitions.


Book  Encyclopedia of Eastern Europe : from the Congress of Vienna to the fall of communism.

Long articles on each of the primary countries of the region as well as relevant subject and biographical entries. Includes brief bibliographies for further research. Note: does not cover developments since the fall of communism.


REF DJK 6 .E53 2000
Book  Worldmark encyclopedia of cultures and daily life

This encyclopedia set focuses on the traditions, living conditions, and personalities of many of the world’s culture groups. Emphasis is on how people live today, rather than how they lived in the past.


REF GN333 .W67
Book Worldmark encyclopedia of the nations

Information on history and government, economy, and people.  Each volume in the set is organized by region, with countries alphabetical within the volume.


REF G63 .W67 2007
Book Encyclopedia of the world's nations and cultures

This set covers all the countries of the world.  Lengthy articles cover politics, education, economics, geography, and culture.


REF G63 .K874 2007
Book The Pacific Islands : an encyclopedia   

Organized by broad subjects such as politics, economy, and society, the final chapter includes profiles of the islands of the Pacific.


REF DU 17 .E53

Book Encyclopedia of modern Asia

In addition to subject and biographical entries, this set includes 33 country entries ranging from Turkey in the west to Japan in the east.  Focus is on the 20th Century. Includes suggestions for further reading.


REF DS 4 .L48 2002

Book New encyclopedia of Africa   

This set that includes entries for each of the countries of the continent as well as subject and biographical articles.


REF DT 2 .N48 2008

Book Encyclopedia of Latin American history and culture  

This encyclopedia set includes lengthy entries on the countries of the region along with relevant subject and biographical articles. Provides brief bibliographies for further research.


REF F1406 .E53 2008



Online resources:

When you are doing independent research on the Internet it is especially important to evaluate the source. The sites listed here are considered authoritative for basic facts. Resources with a lock are specialized search engines paid for by Marymount Library.



Country Background Notes

From the U.S. Department of State.  Basic country information and overviews of geography, history and government, people and economy.  More emphasis is placed on politics and relations with the U.S. and other countries.


BBC News Country Profiles

Short guides to the history, politics, and economic background of countries and territories, as well as links to recent BBC news stories on that region. 


Britannica Online

Articles focus on history, economics and culture.  Provides current statistics and color maps and flags.  Click on “Year in Review” and then “World Affairs” to locate more recent political information.


Country Studies

Reports published by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress between 1988-1998.  Basic country information and “a description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions….”  Because these were published some time ago, users should be aware the information may well be out of date.  Emphasis is on lesser known regions of the world and not all countries are covered.



Search 500 encyclopedias to find short articles on the country's history, demographics, economic conditions, politics, culture, etc.  Results include images and related articles.


UN's Millenium Development Goals Indicators 

In the year 2000 the United Nations set eight development goals to be achieved worldwide by the year 2015. To help track progress towards these eight goals (which include universal education, poverty reduction, and environmental sustainability), 60 indicators are tracked. The United Nationsl Statistics Division coordinates the collection of this data. Country reports listing each indicator with statistics are available.


UNData Country Information

Locate statistical information gathered and published by the United Nations for a particular country, including summary statistics, economic indicators, social indicators, and measurements relating to the environment.  Sample reports: Environment Statistics (Angola) and Economic and Social Indicators (Angola).


World Factboook

From the Central Intelligence Agency.  Factual and statistical information on geography, population, economics, and politics of every country.






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