Search strategy
Here is a good, basic formula for getting started with your research in African American Studies.
  1. Begin your search with a library catalog (OBIS, OhioLINK and/or WorldCat) to find books and reference sources.  They provide BACKGROUND and CONTEXT, review and SUMMARIZE earlier work, help you FOCUS your topic and provide CITATIONS to important books, journal articles, conference papers, interviews, etc.
     
  2. Next, search research databases to find articles. The Library has hundreds of databases available, but the ones listed below are good places to begin.
     
  3. Finally, you may wish to use Google or Google Scholar to search the Internet.  Take advantage of Google's advanced search features!
Search Almost Everything
Going a little further
African American Newspapers (1827-1998) Restricted Resource Some full text available
Provides online access to hundreds of historical U.S. newspapers chronicling the African American experience. Dates of Coverage: 1827-1998

America: History and Life Restricted Resource
Index to research on the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present. Indexes articles and book reviews from more than 1,700 journals published in more than 40 languages. Dates of Coverage: 1964 to date

American History in Video Restricted Resource Resource contains video
Digital streaming videos including documentaries, newsreels, archival footage, and public affairs videos, with searchable video transcripts.

Black Studies Center Restricted Resource Some full text available Resource contains images Resource contains video
Covers the Black experience from ancient Africa to the modern day from perspectives in history, literature, political science, sociology, philosophy, and religion. Also includes the full text backfile (1935 to 1975) of the influential black newspaper The Chicago Defender.

Ethnic NewsWatch Restricted Resource Some full text available
A full-text database of the newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press which represent the diversity of the American population in ways that are generally not seen in the mainstream media.  Coverage starts around 1960.  

JSTOR Restricted Resource Some full text available
Scholarly journal archive for the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences;  recent volumes (within 2 to 5 years) not available for many titles.

MLA International Bibliography Restricted Resource
An index to books and articles published on modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics. Coverage includes literature from all over the world.  THE source for scholarship on literatures and languages.  

Oxford African American Studies Center Restricted Resource Some full text available
African American and African history and culture including biographies, topical entries, primary source documents with commentary, images, maps, charts, tables, and more.

Research help
Key to Icons

Restricted Resource = Restricted resource
Some full text available = Some full text
openURL = OpenURL enabled

Resource contains images = Images
Resource contains video = Video files
Resource contains audio = Audio files

Other resources
  • Keyword brainstorming exercise -- use this worksheet to help you tweak your research question, identify keywords and related terms, and keep track of what you find
  • CRAAP test  -- this rubric is good for helping you to evaluate the sources you find, both in print and online
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