Black Studies Collections

Guide to Selected African American Printed Reference Books

Guide to Selected African Caribbean Printed Reference Books

History, Philosophy and Newspaper Library

Internet Links

Networked databases

Online Library Catalog

Subject bibliographies


(Restricted to University of Illinois users.)


Magazine & Periodical Indexes:


Multi-disciplinary database provides full text for more than 4,500 journals, including full text for more than 3,700 peer-reviewed titles.

Identifies articles in major African-American newspapers published in the United States during the 19th century. Contains information about cultural life and history during the 1800s, including first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day. Also contains early biographies, vital statistics, essays and editorials, poetry and prose, and advertisements. 

Provides online access to approximately 270 U.S. newspapers chronicling a century and a half of the African American experience. Collection includes papers from more than 35 states, features many rare and historically significant 19th-century titles.

Features more than 170 periodicals by and about African Americans. Includes academic and political journals, commercial magazines, institutional newsletters, organizations’ bulletins, annual reports, and other genres.

A full-text collection of  newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic and minority U.S. press from 1960 to present. 

The only periodical database of current titles pertaining to black studies and culture available today. Contains over 150 scholarly and popular journals, newspapers and newsletters from the United States, Africa and the Caribbean with full text coverage for 40 of these titles.  It also has the largest backfile of retrospective bibliographic citations for black periodicals from as early as 1902. Also includes The Marshall Index, a guide to black periodicals from 1940 to 1946.

Includes full-text backfiles of 25 black studies titles.  These include the African American Review, Black Scholar, Callaloo, Fire!!!, Journal of African American History, Journal of Black Studies, Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Journal of Negro Education, Phylon, Transition, and Women, Gender, and Families of Color.

Atlanta Daily World (1931-2003) , Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988) , Chicago Defender (1910-1975) , Cleveland Call & Post (1934-1991) , Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005) , New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993) , Norfolk Journal and Guide (1921-2003) , Philadelphia Tribune (1912-2001) , Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002).


Encyclopedia & Handbooks:


Provides informative biographical profiles of the important and influential persons of African American and/or black heritage. Covers persons of various nationalities in a wide variety of fields, including architecture, art, business, dance, education, fashion, film, industry, journalism, law, literature, medicine, music, politics and government, publishing, religion, science and technology, social issues, sports, television, theater, and others.

In nearly 700 entries, this set documents the full range of the African American experience during the period from the arrival of the first slave ship to the death of Frederick Douglass, and shows how all aspects of American culture, history, and national identity have been profoundly influenced by the experience of African Americans.

Focusing on the making of African American society from the 1896 "separate but equal" ruling of Plessy v. Ferguson up to the contemporary period, this encyclopedia traces the transition from the Reconstruction Era to the age of Jim Crow, the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Migration, the Brown ruling that overturned Plessy, the Civil Rights Movement, and the ascendant influence of African-American culture on the American cultural landscape.

The central focus is on the experience of African-Americans throughout North and South America.  Volume 6 is a selection of primary documents.

Contains articles on race, ethnicity, sociology, and other social sciences.  Full text of civil rights speeches and other relevant documents is included.


Digital Collections:


Focusing predominantly on Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, New York, and towns and cities in North Carolina this resource presents multiple aspects of the African American community through pamphlets, newspapers and periodicals, correspondence, official records, reports and in-depth oral histories, revealing the prevalent challenges of racism, discrimination and integration, and a unique African American culture and identity.

Created from the Library Company’s acclaimed Afro-Americana Collection, this online resource provides researchers with more than 12,000 essential books, pamphlets, and broadsides, including many lesser-known imprints, in African American history, literature, and culture.

Features the 3-volume Encyclopedia of African American History 1619-1895, the 3-volume Black Women in America encyclopedia, the 5-volume  Africana encyclopedia of the African and African American experience, and selected articles from other reference works. Also includes  bibliographies, timelines, maps, image collections, and key primary source documents.

Primary sources from African Americans actively involved in the movement to end slavery in the United States between 1830 and 1865.

Black Drama to provides access to English-language plays written by black authors from North America, the Caribbean, and Africa between 1850 and the present. There is a concentration of materials from the Harlem Renaissance, modern African American authors, and 20th Century African playwrights.

Consists of primary source documents from the personal papers of African Americans and records of civil rights organizations. Module one (Organizational records and personal papers) consists of 37 collections of organizational records and personal papers and contains records of civil rights organization and personal papers on African American life in the 20th century. The second module (Federal government records) is comprised of 36 collections from federal government agencies and contains records on the major milestones and events in the civil rights movement.

Combines several resources for research and teaching in Black Studies: Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience, International Index to Black Periodicals (IIBP), historical black newspapers, and the Black Literature Index. 

Features documentaries, newsreels, interviews and archival footage surveying the evolution of black culture in the United States.  Included are films covering history, politics, art and culture, family structure, social and economic pressures, and gender relations.  Includes more than 200 videos.

Black Thought and Culture is a single source for the published works of numerous historically important black leaders.  Along with well-known works, the collection features approximately 5,000 pages of unique, fugitive, and never-before-published materials. When complete, Black Thought and Culture will provide approximately 100,000 pages of monographs, essays, articles, speeches, and interviews written by leaders within the black community from the earliest times to 1975.

Comprises six modules: Board of Directors, Annual Conferences, Major Speeches, and National Staff Files; Branch Department, Branch Files, and Youth Department Files; Special Subjects; The NAACP's Major Campaigns: Education, Voting, Housing, Employment, Armed Forces; The NAACP's Major Campaigns: Legal Department Files; and The NAACP's Major Campaigns: Scottsboro, Anti-Lynching, Criminal Justice, Peonage, Labor, and Segregation and Discrimination Complaints and Responses.


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