Search strategy
Here is a good, basic formula for getting started with your research in African American Studies / Religion.
  1. Begin by using the keyword brainstorming worksheet docx to help you tweak your research question, identify keywords and related terms, and keep track of what you find.  
  2. Search in a library catalog (Summon, 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.
  3. Next, search research databases to find articles. The Library has hundreds of databases available, but the ones listed below are good places to begin.
  4. You may also wish to use Google or Google Scholar to search the Internet.  Take advantage of Google's advanced search features!
  5. Finally, use the CRAAP test worksheet pdf to evaluate the sources you find!
Book Search
Search OBIS
Search Summon
Print reference sources
Their lives and work

The Malcolm X Encyclopedia
Main Reference     BP223.Z8 L57626 2002       LIBRARY USE ONLY

The Martin Luther King, Jr., encyclopedia
Main Reference     E185.97.K5 M334 2008       LIBRARY USE ONLY

Historical chronology

American decades
Main Reference     E169.12 .A419 1994  vols. 1-10       LIBRARY USE ONLY
Also available as an ebook

Civil rights in America

Encyclopedia of race and racism (ebook)

Encyclopedia of racism in the United States
Main Reference     E184.A1 E773 2005  vol. 1-3       LIBRARY USE ONLY

The Greenwood encyclopedia of African American civil rights : from emancipation to the twenty-first century
Main Reference     E185.61 .E54 2003  vol. 1-2      LIBRARY USE ONLY

Encyclopedia of American race riots
Main Reference     E184.A1 E573 2007  vol. 1-2       LIBRARY USE ONLY
Internet resources
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research & Education Institute (Stanford U.)
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute supports a broad range of activities illuminating the Nobel Peace laureate’s life and the movements he inspired.

The Malcolm X Collection: Papers
Writings, personal memorabilia, organizational papers and printed matter documenting Malcolm X's activities and opinions as the Nation of Islam's first National Minister, and following his separation from the organization and his embrace of orthodox Islam in early 1964, as a prominent advocate of human rights and self-determination for African-Americans.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (NYPL)
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture located in Harlem, New York, is a research unit of The New York Public Library system, and is recognized as one of the leading institutions focusing exclusively on African-American, African Diaspora, and African experiences. 
Research help
Databases for finding articles, etc.
Articles from newspapers & magazines (primary sources)
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

African American Periodicals (1825-1995) Restricted Resource Some full text available
More than 170 periodicals by and about African Americans, published in 26 states. Includes academic and political journals, commercial magazines, institutional newsletters, bulletins, annual reports and more.

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.

New York Times (1851-2014) Restricted Resource Some full text available
Search by keywords or browse images of full pages by date.

Scholarly journal articles (secondary sources)
Academic Search Complete Restricted Resource Some full text available Resource contains images
Multidisciplinary - good for nearly all subjects. Scholarly and trade journals, popular magazines, newspapers, conference proceedings, book reviews, and more.

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

ATLA Religion Database Restricted Resource
Comprehensive index to journal articles, book reviews, and collections of essays in all fields of religion. Also covers antiquities and archaeology, Bible, church history, ecumenism, ethics, missions, pastoral ministry, philosophy, religions and religious studies, theology.

Dates of Coverage: 1949-

ATLASerials, Religion Collection Restricted Resource Some full text available
Full text from more than 100 journals selected by leading religion scholars in the United States.  

Black Studies Center Restricted Resource Some full text available

Index Islamicus Restricted Resource
Includes scholarship from various disciplines written about the Middle East, Muslim areas of Asia and Africa, and Muslim populations across the globe. Dates of Coverage: 1906 to date

SocINDEX Restricted Resource Some full text available
Provides full text of some journal articles, and indexing and abstracts for journals, books and conference papers.  Covers all sub-fields of sociology, including criminology, gender, marriage & family studies, social work, social psychology, addictions, violence, and more.   
Writing & citation help


ProQuest RefWorks is a citation management tool that helps researchers gather, manage, store and share information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies in a wide variety of styles.
  • Search - OBIS, OhioLink, PubMed & Scopus
  • Share - Folders via URL
  • Store - PDFs online and take notes
  • Read - Search your references fulltext and save searches
  • Write - Create a simple reference list and use Write-N-Cite to format paper in Microsoft Word
  • Check out our video tutorial!
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