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Homeland Security Digital Library

A How-To Guide to Searching Homeland Security-Related Content within the Homeland Security Digital Library Database


HSDL provides its user with a variety of research tools. 

  1. Books & Journals - The HSDL only provides freely available content and does not collect books or journals unless they are freely available. This section provides a list of resources that allow users to locate current and scholarly book and journal information from book vendors such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, major publishers, and free indexing sites. 
  2. Dictionaries, Glossaries, & Lexicons - This section provides a list of various reference sources. The resources are organized by topic. 
  3. Government Homeland Security Offices - This section provides a list of homeland security-related Federal, State, Territory, and Tribal Agency websites.
  4. Grants - This section provides a list of homeland security-related grants. 
  5. Statistics - This section provides a list of resources that provide homeland security and emergency-related statistics. 
  6. Thesis & Dissertation Repositories - This section provides a list of resources offering thesis and dissertation repositories that freely accessible. 

The HSDL Blog, On the Homefront, highlights recent reports and current issues in homeland security. 

There are three access points to On the Homefront. 

  1. Click 'Blog' from the menu bar on the HSDL homepage. 
  2. Select a featured blog post from the HSDL homepage
  3. Click the link '...more from the blog' located beneath the featured blog posts. 

HSDL offers a timeline visualization of homeland security and emergency management-related chronological events and milestones. To access this visualization of events, click on 'Timeline' on the homepage menu bar. 

Every event features a brief description, significance of the event, and related resources. The Timeline can be viewed in its entirety or can be filtered by month or by: 

  • Attacks - terrorist attacks, bombings, shootings, and other intentional acts
  • National Disasters - earthquakes, hurricanes, extreme weather, and other naturally occurring disasters
  • Man-made disasters - non-intentional, human-influenced disasters and accidents
  • Milestones - legislation, government actions, and selected documents of particular significance. 

The criteria for adding events include: 

  • located in the United States or having targeted U.S. citizens/property abroad;
  • loss of life or injury;
  • damage to environment or property;
  • monetary loss or economic impact; 
  • legislative impact or government response; or
  • historical interest.

*Definitions and criteria are taken from HSDL | About the Timeline

Use this outline as you review the HSDL Timeline. 

  1. Access the Timeline by clicking on this link on the top menu bar.
  2. Search within the Timeline through keyword search. 
  3. Filter events by type.
  4. Filter events by month. 

The In Focus Archive provides in-depth resource lists of items in the HSDL collection that focus on major homeland security topics. 

Critical Releases in Homeland Security is a bi-monthly subscription that provides users a digest of recently released documents that focus on a particular interest or potentially related importance. The collection is curated on the HSDL site along with an email sent to subscribers. Users must have an account to subscribe to the newsletter. 

Users can access the newsletter by scrolling to the webpage footer (bottom of page) and selecting 'Critical Releases in Homeland Security' located beneath the Services section.