Research Desk: Databases on Land, Nazis, African Mining

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garyWe’re back from the wonderful Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Lillehammer with a new roundup of resources for you. Thanks to everyone who came to and shared the presentation I did there with Margot Williams of The Intercept, 100 Best Databases for Internet Research. You can find links to all the resources that Margot and I talked about in this post.

Now, on to this week. First are some new reference databases on land contracts, Nazis, and African mining:

Reference Databases

From the Columbia University Center on Sustained Development in partnership with The World Bank and the UK Department for International Development.

“ is an online repository of publicly available contracts for large-scale land, agriculture, and forestry projects. The repository includes the full text of contracts; plain language summaries of each contract’s key social, environmental, human rights, fiscal, and operational terms; and tools for searching and comparing contracts.”

Already in the database are 38 contracts from the following countries:

  • Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 2.13.45 PMCambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Congo
  • Ethiopia
  • Liberia
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Sudan
  • Timor-Leste

Digital Archive: Documents On Nazi Persecution and its Aftermath 

NazisThe International Tracing Service in Bad Arsolen, Germany, has made its online archival collection available free of charge: “The documents are interesting not only for researchers, for people personally concerned, immediate family and second and third generations, as well as genealogists… The online documents should help contribute to raising public awareness of the work of the ITS and its valuable archives on the victims of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution. The ITS was able bring the project to life in less than 12 months and has placed 50,000 images in the portal.”

Direct to Digital Archive

Africa Mining Law Database


“The primary laws and regulations for mineral resources across all 53 African countries will be freely available via a new African mining law online platform, the African Mining Legislation Atlas (AMLA) from year end.

The AMLA platform is a World Bank project, involving partners from across Africa. The platform aims to promote accessibility of information and transparency in the extractive sector.”

Portions of the AMLA database are already available online.

Research Reports

2014 International Religious Freedom Report (from U.S. State Department)

“Now in its 17th year, this Congressionally-mandated report comprises almost 200 distinct reports on countries and territories worldwide.”

Direct to 2014 Report and Report Archive

Global Food Security Report (from U.S. intelligence agencies)

“The inter-agency assessment, Global Food Security, was prepared under the leadership of the National Intelligence Council’s Strategic Futures Group within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and drafted principally by the CIA.”

Direct to Complete Report

From European Parliament Research Library
From House of Commons Library, UK Parliament

Gary Price ( is director of GIJN’s Resource Center and a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker. He is the author of INFOdocket (@infodocket) for Library Journal, and was a co-founder and senior editor at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker. He previously served as contributing editor to Search Engine Land and director of Online Information Services at 

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