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The Point: Navigating Complex Global Tragedies with Library Resources


Today’s Point was written by FSU members and UMB librarians Jessica Holden (Reference Archivist) and Mary Moser (Engagement and Advancement Librarian)

Dear Colleagues,

As the global tragedies unfold around us, the deluge of information from all channels can feel overwhelming. Your colleagues in Healey Library want to remind you of the available resources that can help you make some sense of current events and the historical context that led us to this point.*

In their October 10 campus outreach message about the violence in Gaza, Chancellor Suarez-Orozco, Provost Berger, and Vice Chancellor Ferrer-Muniz encouraged the campus community "to learn about the causes and humanitarian consequences of the [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict – so that we may better understand them." In support of this responsibility, Healey Library offers the following resources, among many others, that provide insight on Israel and Palestine.

As is always the case, no one source of information will be perfect. We encourage you to search and consult multiple sources, and to approach each source of information critically, carefully, and thoughtfully. (Also, our standard disclaimer applies: The resources listed below are intended as examples of the types of titles you might find when searching Healey Library's extensive collections. The resources available through Healey Library have undergone a thorough evaluation process and support a rigorous and diverse academic and research curriculum at our R2 university; however, inclusion on this list or in Healey Library's collections does not suggest an endorsement on the part of Healey Library or its staff.)

We also include examples of resources available through our Counseling & Therapy video collection to help members of the UMass Boston community work through complex feelings of grief and trauma you may be experiencing as you watch these devastating events occur.  

Please feel free to share any of these resources and guidance with your colleagues and students who might benefit from them as well.

Search UMBrella

As a starting point for exploring any topic, we encourage all UMass Boston patrons to search UMBrella, the primary discovery tool for Healey Library's resources, for current and historical perspectives relevant to your own questions. Start with the UMBrella search box on the Healey Library homepage. Enter a few keywords, similar to searching Google, and then click the yellow "search" arrow.

On the results screen, use the filters on the left side to filter content by peer-reviewed status, item type (including books, archival materials and collections, videos, etc.), publication date, and more.

If you have any questions while searching UMBrella, click the Ask a Librarian button at the top of the page to access FAQs, reference contact information, and 24/7 live chat support from a librarian.

You might also find some of these additional resources helpful:

Current News Sources

Daily English-language translated news briefs from Arabic and Persian media

Ethnic Newswatch

Current issues of newspapers, magazines, and journals from ethnic and minority presses, including sources in Arabic, English, and Hebrew


Current issues of regional newspapers in both Arabic and Hebrew, as well as some in English. Download the PressReader app.

New York Times

You’ve claimed your complimentary New York Times subscription, right? If not:

  1. Go to 
  2. Search for and click the listing for “University of Massachusetts”
  3. Follow the steps based on whether you are on or off campus
  4. Attention Chrome users! You will get a security warning. Please click ignore!

In addition to the news subscriptions listed above, Healey Library maintains a carefully curated collection of titles intended to support the full range of scholarly and teaching activities of a research university. If you’re not finding what you’re looking for in the library’s collections, we encourage you to suggest additional items for purchase!

U.S. Political Documents

Congressional Publications

Full-text access to 200+ years of United States congressional records, including hearings, committee assignments, and voting records


An open access website published by the Government Publishing Office (GPO) which provides access to publications from the three branches of the United States government

Historical Sources – Physical Books (Examples of Titles)

Historical Sources – E-Books (Examples of Titles)

Historical Sources – Streaming Videos (Examples of Titles)

Trauma-Informed Resources (Examples of Titles)

We hope some of these resources are helpful to you. As librarians, we believe that knowledge is power, and that educating ourselves through information from reliable and trustworthy sources is one of our primary responsibilities in difficult times such as these. Please reach out to us with any questions, or if the library can be of assistance to you, your colleagues, or your students.

In partnership,

Jessica Holden, Reference Archivist

Mary Moser, Engagement and Advancement Librarian


*While this issue of The Point focuses primarily on the current violence in Gaza, we remain mindful of the additional genocidal conflicts happening in Sudan, Myanmar, Ethiopia, and other countries around the world. The resources and guidance we list above will also be effective for finding current and historical information about these atrocities and others.