Old Age: Images & Realities

Old Age: Images & Realities


Print & Multimedia Resources

Subject Searches in the IC Library Catalog

Older people
Older people--Abuse of--United States
Older people--Attitudes
Older people--Care
Older people--Care--United States
Older people--Communication
Older people--Cross-cultural studies
Older people--Economic conditions
Older people--Employment--United States
Older people--Family relationships
Older people--Government policy--United States
Older people--Housing--United States
Older people in popular culture
Older people--Legal status, laws, etc.--United States
Older people--Medical care--United States
Older people--Mental health
Older people on television--United States
Older people--Psychology
Older people--Public opinion
Older people--Recreation
Older people--Religious life
Older people--Services for--United States
Older people--Sexual behavior
Older people--Social conditions
Older people--United States
Older people--United States--Economic conditions
Older people--United States--Family relationships
Older people--United States--Psychology
Older people--United States--Social conditions

Older men--United States--Social conditions
Older women
Older women--United States--Social conditions

Aging--Psychological aspects
Aging--Social aspects
Aging--Social aspects--United States
Aging--United States

Old age
Old age--Social aspects
Old age--Social aspects--United States
Old age--United States
Old age--United States--History
Adjustment (Psychology) in old age

Gerontology--United States

Ageism--United States

Intergenerational relations
Intergenerational relations--United States

Recommended Databases (Articles)


     AgeLine : Our dedicated databases for Aging Studies.  Take advantage of the "Thesaurus" button to browse the available Subject Headings, since subject searching can produce better targeted and more substantive results.  And note that in the Theasurus you can click any of the Subject Headings for a list of related Headings that may also be useful.  
    For the topic of how   old people are perceived and portrayed, you might try Subject searches on "Age stereotypes," "Attitudes toward aging," and "Ageism."

General OneFile

     General OneFile : iis the most user friendly of our comprehensive databases--covering virtually any topic from a wide range of disciplinary angles. Use the default Subject search to find an appropriate Subject Heading for your topic and then open the "Subdivisions" link underneath. These help you focus on a particular aspect or academic discipline--for example, "Economic Aspects," "Ethical Aspects," Forecasts and Trends," "History," "Media Coverage," Political Aspects," Psychological Aspects," and "Social Aspects."   Note: The best Subject heading here is "Elderly"--and the subdivision "Portrayals" will retrieve articles on images of the elderly in art and pop culture.  Also check the subdivision "Social aspects."
If the best available Subdivision is still too broad, open the set of articles and add Keywords in the "Search within these Results" slot at the upper left.
User Advisory: When viewing any retrieval set in General OneFile, note that you are viewing only the Magazines and must click on the "Academic Journals" or "News" tabs to see those resources.


      SocINDEX with Full Text : As the name implies, an excellent database for social issues. Click on the "Subject Terms" link above the search slots to find which Subject Headings will work here. Double click any Heading for a list of broader, narower, and related Subject Terms.  Note: for this topic begin with Subject searches on "Older people--social conditions," "Older people in mass media," and "Ageism."  Or try "Older people" as a Subject anchor and add your own Keywords.


     PsycINFO :  The American Psychological Association use their own Subject vocabulary (called "Descriptors"), so a visit to the "Thesaurus" below the search slots is a good idea. If you find an article on exactly what you want, be sure to check the assigned "Descriptors" on the right of the citation for more ideas about useful search terms.  Note: Among the best Descriptors for this topic are "Aged (attitudes toward)," "Aging (attitudes toward)," and "Ageism."
User Advisory: PsycINFO deals only with scholarly literature, much of it assuming a graduate-level understanding of the discipline.  But among these you may find interesting, accessible articles on your topic.


     ProQuest Research Library : is comprehensive database with substantial full text.  When opening, click on "Continue"--there's usually no need to choose a narrower subdivision--and at the home page click on the "More Search Options" tab at the bottom to see all available search fields.
      Above each set of articles you retrieve ProQuest will display related Subject searches to help either broaden or narrow your focus.
     User Advisory: If you don't want to be  overwhelmed with scholarly articles on the health issues of older people, try running a Subject search on "Older People and "Social Conditions" or either "Older People" and "Stereotypes" or "Aging" and "Stereotypes."

Communication & Mass Media Complete

     Communication and Mass Media Complete (CMMC) : You can find a handful of interesting articles here by running Subject searches on "Older people on television," "Older people in advertising," and "Older people in mass media."

Project Muse

     Project Muse : 100% full text scholarly articles from the past 10 years.  One of the few databases that uses the same Library of Congress Subject Headings found in library catalogs.  So you can enter any of the Subject Headings listed above under "Subject Searches in the IC Library Catalog."
User Advisory: If you are looking for articles on your topic, it can be helpful to winnow out all the book reviews; just click the "Articles only (No Reviews)" box on the left under the search slots.

CQ Researcher

     CQ Researcher :  CQ (Congressional Quarterly) Researcher publishes weekly reports devoted to a single issue in the news, including health, criminal justice, international affairs, education, the environment, technology, and the economy. Each report provides an "Overview," "Background," "Current Situation," "Outlook," "Pro/Con," and "Chronology." Try Keyword searches on “poverty” or “crime” or “gangs” or “inner cities.”  Check out: "Caring for the Elderly" (2006), "Aging Baby Boomers" (2007), and "Rethinking Retirement" (2009).

Contact Us

Picture: Brian Saunders
Humanities Librarian
(607) 274-1198

And Don't Just Take My Word For It . . .

Check out our Health Science Librarian Lee Smigiel's Research Guide for Aging Studies.

Web Tools

Search Engine: Google Advanced

     Google Advanced Search: When doing research on the Web, always use the Adanced Search version of Google. This not only provides more flexibility in entering search terms, but more importantly it allows you to target the Web domains that are likely to provide the most authoritative information.
     Under "Need More Tools?" you will find  the "Search within a site or domain" slot.  You may enter only one domain at a time, but it's worth targeting each of the three domains likely to supply the best information: colleges and universities (enter the "edu" tag), nonprofit organizations (enter the "org" tag), and the United States government (enter the "gov" tag).  

Web Directory: Open Directory Project

     To find some of the most authoritative Web resources on a topic, use Web directories, where all the Web pages have been selected and annotated by editors.  The largest Web directory is the Open Directory Project, where you might begin with this page of linked categories related to old age.

Selected Web Sites

Aging: Issues and Groups: From Vanderbilt University, a good gateway to online resources.

Pew Research Center: The Pew Research Center conducts nonpartisan public opinion polling and social science research and is an outstanding resource for social issues and public policy information.  Take a look at Growing Old in America: Expectations vs. Reality, Go West, Old Man, and Forty Years After Woodstock, A Gentler Generation Gap.

Brookings Institute: : A leading think tank, sometimes characterized as liberal, with information on a wide range of social/political issues.  See their section on Aging.

Rand Center for the Study of Aging: Research on Aging.

Social Gerontology and the Aging Revolution:  Take a walk on the wild side with this gateway compiled by online Sociologist extraordinaire, Michael Kearl.

AARP maintains an online list Internet Resources on Aging.

The U.S. Census Bureau's last survey on our older population is available online: 65+ in the United States: 2005.  Browse the table of contents (beginning on page iii) and note in particular "Chapter 6: Social and other Charcteristics."

The University of Michigan online Statistics, provides statistical resources on Aging.

Citation Help

MLA "Cite LIke the Devil" Guides

  1. MLA citation for books: in print, from databases, on the Web
  2. MLA citation for articles: in print, from databases, on the Web.
  3. MLA citation for Web and Multimedia resources, including Web sites, movies, DVDs, CDs, and videos.
  4. MLA in-text (parenthetical) citation (far less satanic than the first three).


Noodlebib guides you through the required data entry for citation in the MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian styles. It takes care of punctuation, alphabetization and formatting, producing a polished source list for import into Word.