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Homeland Security Digital Library

A How-To Guide to Searching Homeland Security-Related Content within the Homeland Security Digital Library Database


To access the Homeland Security Digital Library, connect to the NU Library Homepage and select the A-Z Database link located in the top menu bar. A link to the database is also provided below the image. 

The Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL) is sponsored by the United States Department of Homeland Security's National Preparedness Directorate, FEMA, and the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security. 

Sources for the information provided within the database include: 

  • Federal, state, and local governments
  • International governments and institutions
  • Nonprofit organizations and private sector entities
  • Think tanks, research centers, colleges, and universities

The HSDL is updated almost every business day, and the resources are available in full-text. 

Some archival information is available such as the Federalist Papers, older legislation, and Executive Orders. 

Follow these steps to create an account within the HSDL database. Creating an account allows users to create alerts and manage alerts. 

  1. Click on the icon of the arrow. Click on this icon to sign in to your account once created.
  2. Click on the link 'Create one on the CHDS site' located in the 'Sign in to your account' box. This is also where you will sign into your account. 
  3. This link will direct you to the Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CDHS) account registration page. Fill out the form to register an account. 

NOTE: NU Library does not have access to HSDL account information.

Creating alerts within HSDL allows users to save search criteria and receive weekly notifications about new documents or resources that match these search criteria. Alert notifications are sent every Friday. Users will not receive an email if the search criteria do not yield any new documents. 

To prevent receiving too many results, refine the search criteria. HSDL conducts full-text searches. To refine search criteria, 

  1. Use the advanced search;
  2. Search by title and summary only; or
  3. Connect with an NU librarian to find the best search. 

Alert Digests

Digests include a list of new documents that match the saved search criteria. The lists include the new document's title, summary, and links to the abstract and full-text document. Documents are not sent as attachments. Users will need to be authenticated into the NU Library to view linked documents. Notifications include new documents added to the collection within the last week or published within the last six months. 

Managing Alerts

To manage saved alerts, log into your HSDL account, and select 'Alerts and Subscriptions' located at the page's footer (bottom). Click the 'delete' link to remove the selected alert. Editing alerts are not available at this time. Users will need to delete the old alert and create a new one with the desired search criteria.