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Library Database Information: Homeland Security Digital Library

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Homeland Security Digital Library

Homeland Security Digital Library

A Bellevue University Library Guide

What is the Homeland Security Digital Library?
The Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL) is a collection of over 123,200 documents related to homeland security policy, strategy, and organizational management from a wide variety of sources including federal, state and local governments; international governments and institutions; nonprofit organizations and private entities. All documents are full text or linked full text.

How to access:

Mouse over Find on the library homepage then click on A-Z Database List. Now click on Homeland Security Digital Library. If off campus, you will be prompted for your BU login. Once you are logged into one database, you are logged into all of them until you close your browser.

How to use HSDL:

The main area of the homepage features Highlights of the HSDL Collection, including

  1. Policy & Strategy Documents from five  areas: General U.S. Policy Documents, National Strategy Documents, Key Legislations, Presidential Directives, and Executive Orders.  Research Reports & Theses are also available.
    • The resources for each area are grouped into various sections which are listed across the top. Click on the one you are interested in viewing or scroll through the entire list.
  2. Featured Topics: This is a selection of resources associated with primary topics in homeland security or topics particularly relevant to current issues in policy, strategy and organizational management.
    • Scroll through the 30 topics or click on "See all featured topics" to access these resources.
    • The resources are grouped by type of document or report.
  3. Research Tools: The seven research tools include Dictionaries, Glossaries & Lexicons, Grants, Government Homeland Security Offices websites, Books & Journals, Theses & Dissertation Repositories, over 100 Selected Websites, and over 3 dozen resources for Statistics.
  4. Critical Releases in Homeland Security. This is located at the bottom of the page and is archive of bi-weekly alerts featuring new, high-value documents.

The right column of the homepage contains recent HSDL Blog posts

Basic Search: This is located at the top of every page.

  1. You may do a keyword search within all fields, or use the drop down menu to choose a specific field to search: title, author, or title and summary.. 
  2. You can choose to search the full HSDL Collection or either the entire News Digest Collection or a specific publication from the News Digest Collection.  We do not have access to the restricted materials.
  3. You may conduct a phrase search by enclosing the phrase in quotation marks or use the advanced search for this.
  4. Search tips are available by clicking on Help above the search box.

Advanced Search

  1. This feature provides more search fields to focus and limit your search as well as letting you choose a specific date or date range.
  2. Besides searching the full HSDL Collection or the News Digest Collection, you may search the 13P Cyber Infrastructure Collection, which is
    managed by Dartmouth College, and is a a specialized collection created by a consortium of leading research institutions dedicated to strengthening the cyber infrastructure of the United States.
  3. Results can be sorted by relevance or by date. Use the options on the right to further refine your results.
  4. Search tips are available by clicking on Help above the search box.

Other Features:

  1. News Digest Collection can be accessed directly from the left side of the homepage.  It incudes 7,100 periodic digests focusing on homeland security. Click on it to see the latest daily updates or click on a specific publication in the column to the right. You may also use the seardh box above ro locate news on specific topics.
    News & Reports links to newly released reports and breaking news stories related to homeland security.  It is updated daily.
  2. Ask a Librarian, located at the top of the right column, is an email reference service that allows students to submit questions that are of a brief or factual nature.  An HSDL librarian will respond within two working days. You can also access FAQs from this page.
  3. Lists, located in the right column, are resources in the HSDL Collection that have been put into various groupings, according to topic or for some other reason.
  4. Events & Conferences at the bottom of the right column of the homepage provides dates and links for current and upcoming homeland security related conferences and events.

Viewing, Emailing, and Printing Documents:

  1. Documents may be viewed by clicking on “Open Abstract” or “Open Resource.” You may access the full text pdf from the abstract screen, without having to return to the reults list, by clicking on the title of the document.  In some cases, where a document is not in the HSDL collection, the link to the full text is provided.
  2. While HSDL does not have a built in email function, documents may be emailed as an attachment.  Save documents to your computer or portable drive and attach to your email.  Be sure to use the Adobe Acrobat toolbar when saving a pdf document.
  3. Most documents are PDFs which may be printed by using the icon in the Adobe Acrobat toolbar.


Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL) (library research tutorial)


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24/7 Librarian

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Chris Armstrong
Bellevue University Freeman/Lozier Library