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AHS Subject Guides: World Language: Silva

This site holds lessons in which the librarians have collaborated with World Language Teachers

Silva: Argentina's "Dirty War"

Research Resources for Argentina’s Dirty War and Marshal T. Meyer: 1976-1983

Information literacy topics:

  • Determining best sources

  • Searching strategies for information

  • Using technology tools

Objective: To learn to access appropriate print and online research sources, to practice effective searching strategies.


1. This activity guide is online at:

Amity websiteHigh SchoolAHS Library Information Center

Find Online StuffBy SubjectWorld LanguageClass ProjectsTeacher’s Name


2. Discussion: quick tour of sources:

Types of online databases discussed today...

  • School product databases, example: ABC Clio,  World History, The Modern Era:

    • These databases include articles from many different kinds of periodical, e-books, encyclopedias, etc.

    • Includes lots of easy access tools, overviews on topics (a little like a textbook), usually divided in subject areas

    • There is no pre-established topic for Argentina’s Dirty War, so looking under the pre-determined lists of topics under the TOPIC or PERSPECTIVE tabs is not effective.

    • Search hints: Try a keyword search for “Argentina”, “dirty war”, and “Argentine Revolution”  (whole phrases should be written in quotes). There is a fair amount of background and specific information about the events and people involved.

    • Be sure to open the links in the left-hand sidebar to view additional materials under Reference Articles, Photos, or Maps.

  • School product databases, example: SIRS:

    • SIRS has more powerful search tools including an Advanced Search by subject or keyword, and topic browse.

    • Search hints: when you find an article that is relevant, look at the subject headings below it.  If an article has a subject heading that matches your topic closely, click on that subject to see all articles that were tagged. (There IS a subject heading for Argentina, History, Dirty War (1976-1983)


  • School product databases from (formerly iConn) (Connecticut’s State Library digital web site). (Remember, to use these databases from outside school you need a library card from any library in Connecticut).

    • Very streamlined format with lots of material.

    • iConn is a web site that has a different database products, with names like

      • Academic Search Premier

      • History Reference Center

      • Mainfile

      • Masterfile Premier

    • Search hints for different databases

1. Start from the left menu, Search Individual Resources/High School


2.  A simple KEYWORD search in the main search box, using Argentina dirty war will bring up many hits, but you will have to wade through some irrelevant results.


3. Try the ADVANCED search, using any of the following terms in combination (because we know that these subject terms are used in these databases):

  • political violence (as a subject term) AND Argentina (as a subject term)

  • government investigations (as a subject term) AND Argentina (as a subject term)

  • human rights violations (as a subject term) AND Argentina (as a subject term)\

  • dirty War, 1976-1983 (as a subject term)


4. You can extend your searches to multiple databases at the same time by clicking CHOOSE DATABASES above the Advance Search fields, and checking off all of them (except maybe the ones that are obviously irrelevant).


  • Open (free) web sources, like the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).  

    • This site is reliable because it is managed by a recognized international non-governmental rights organization.

    • Searching on non-academic sites is not always consistent. You need to look through all the menu choices carefully.


Additional Tips:

  • Get a library card so you can use at home.

  • Practice searching some of the databases from our online resources at the library web page.

  • You are MORE likely to find something useful AND reliable for school FASTER from one of our subscription databases than from a web search.

    • Everything that ISN’T useful has NOT been included.

    • Everything you find in a full-text search is really available, as opposed to just being a summary (abstract).

    • You can avoid “pseudo-authoritative” sources written by people who confuse opinion with science, and beliefs with objective facts.


Additional Resources


Argentina’s Dirty War and Marshall T. Meyer: 1976-1983:


Official documents from government entities, and non-governmental organizations can be found at The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).  


This is an incredibly complete report on the situation, compiled by the IACHR after a country visit. Click on a few of the issues, like “unidentified dead”, “unlawful use of force”, or “the problems of the disappeared

Encyclopedia overview: The Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity pp. 63-65


Ministerio de Educación de la Nación (Argentina).  24 de marzo: Día de la Memoria para la Verdad y la Justica is a website devoted to history of and events leading up to the Argentine Revolution and subsequent military dictatorship and repression.  

For an overview of the military take-over, look at the section on El golpe de Estado



Photos: BBC Absent Faces Photographic Exhibit de Gustavo Germano, a photographer who documented through family photographs the cases of people missing, or “disappeared” after the military coup.


Video Argentina Human Rights museum video. “Thirty-six years after the start of the 1976-83 military dictatorship, Marc Rogers visits ESMA with Víctor Basterra, a survivor of the infamous former clandestine detention centre in Buenos Aires, which has been converted into a memorial for the 30,000 disappeared during the darkest chapter in Argentina's history.”

Video: Homenaje a 33 años del golpe militar - A YouTube user created this music video, using Gustavo Germano’s “Ausencias” photographic exhibit (see above).

Amity High School, Amity Region 5 School District, Woodbridge, CT 06525, 203-397-4844 Librarians: Robert F. Musco and Victoria Hulse Copyright 2017