How Free is Free Speech?

Library Resources | May 07, 2018

default image

In today’s political environment, it’s important to speak about a topic like freedom of speech from a position of knowledge. HeinOnline research databases can help make that process smoother.

How free is free speech? This is a question that students will be asking today, tomorrow and long into the future. On the open web, top results on free speech will almost always favor sites such as Wikipedia, online newspapers or discussion forums. But when researching an important, layered and historic topic like free speech, these sites provide students and researchers with limited amounts of information. It’s helpful to understand historic, legislative and international perspectives to provide context to the current landscape.

According to Free Speech, the People's Darling Privilege: Struggles for Freedom of Expression in American History from HeinOnline Legal Classics, “The free speech tradition is our legacy from citizen activists — men and women, black and white, Republicans and Democrats, Southerners and Northerners — who struggled and suffered to make the American ideal of free speech and democracy a reality.”

The free speech tradition is our legacy from citizen activists — men and women, black and white, Republicans and Democrats, Southerners and Northerners — who struggled and suffered to make the American ideal of free speech and democracy a reality.

Researchers can conduct a faster, targeted search by using primary sources and reviewing legal history on free speech that provides a much richer view than a casual web search. Research databases from HeinOnline cover legal history and government documents including classic treatises from some of the greatest minds in legal history, the entire Congressional Record, Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations, an entire database dedicated to constitutions and much more. HeinOnline provides a suite of databases that are available on EBSCOhost® or EBSCO Discovery Service™ that enable libraries to make legal history and government documents available to students and patrons for thorough, well-rounded research.

Additional works on free speech can be found in HeinOnline Legal Classics database via EBSCOhost and EBSCO Discovery Service.  For example, performing a text search “free speech” OR “freedom of speech” draws results that include Some Observations on the Four Freedoms of the First Amendment by Henry S. Drinker.

Library patrons can search HeinOnline U.S. Congressional Documents for "First Amendment" OR "free speech" OR "freedom of speech" to produce records on this topic.

Similar strategies can be produced to find relevant Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations documents. Learn the way the concept of free speech is addressed in countries like China, Canada, and more in HeinOnline’s World Constitutions Illustrated database.

  • HeinOnline Legal Classics includes nearly 12,000 complete works from some of the greatest legal and academic minds in history
  • HeinOnline Federal Register provides comprehensive coverage (dating back to 1936) of The Federal Register
  • HeinOnline Code of Federal Regulations features the codification of the general and permanent rules and regulations published in the Federal Register and dates back to its inception (1938)
  • HeinOnline US Congressional Documents features the complete Congressional Record bound version, as well as the daily version back to 1980, plus the three predecessor titles as well as more than 65,000 congressional hearings and thousands of committee prints, CRS Reports, House documents, Senate documents, and much more
  • HeinOnline World Constitutions Illustrated includes both historical and current constitutions for every country in multiple languages, as well as books and other documents

Request a Free Trial

Thanks for your comment!

Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator for approval.


Other EBSCO Sites +