May 21, 2022

Reference: Middle Tennessee St. University Launches Searchable Encyclopedia About First Amendment (Free Access)

From Middle Tennessee State University:

Middle Tennessee State University has launched a new online, searchable encyclopedia about the First Amendment with the university’s John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies.


The First Amendment Encyclopedia, which is free to access, contains more than 1,500 essays and articles about court decisions and doctrines; people, law and events; and general issues and organizations significant in the First Amendment’s history in the United States.


Foundation and Update

The foundation of the online encyclopedia is the two-volume “Encyclopedia of the First Amendment” published in 2009 by CQ Press, an imprint of SAGE Publications, Inc. The printed encyclopedia contained more than 1,400 essays written by more than 200 contributors.

Two of the three original editors of the volumes — Dr. John Vile and David L. Hudson Jr. — have spent the past several months reviewing and updating entries and adding new ones.

Vile is a professor of political science and dean of the University Honors College at MTSU, and Hudson is a former scholar at the First Amendment Center in Nashville who now teaches at the Nashville School of Law and Vanderbilt Law School. David Schultz, a professor in the School of Business at Hamline University and a senior fellow and professor at the Institute of Law and Politics at the University of Minnesota School of Law, served as the third original editor.


Each encyclopedia article contains cross-referenced links to related articles, as well as outside references for further reading on the topic. A user can search the encyclopedia by any topic or name, browse two tables of contents organized by case category and topic category, or browse an alphabetical listing of all articles.

A chronological timeline on the development and history of the First Amendment contains links to articles with more information.

Direct to The First Amendment Encyclopedia

Read the Complete Launch Announcement

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.