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:


Citations are drawn from alternative, radical, and left publications, that report and analyze the practices and theories of cultural, economic, political, and social change. 

A bibliographic reference to the history of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present. 

A multidisciplinary database covering the journal literature of the arts and humanities. 

Largest education database in the world, covering research documents, journal articles, technical reports, program descriptions and evaluations, and curricular materials in the field of education. 

Provides bibliographic citations to articles and reviews pertaining to Central and South America, Mexico, the Carribean, and Hispanics in the U.S.

Coverage of the history of the world from 1450 to the present (excluding the United States and Canada.  

Identifies publications written from a leftist political, economic, social or cultural perspective. Publication types include articles, books, and other current and historical sources. 

Indexes articles from scholarly journals, theses, proceedings, and books on literature, language and folklore.

Major areas of coverage include: Administration of justice,  Economic conditions, Education, Health conditions, Human rights, International Relations, Labor conditions and policy, Media and communications, Politics, Population and demographics, and Social conditions.

Offers broad, international coverage of all types of scholarly research.

A multidisciplinary database  covering the journal literature of the social sciences.

Accesses  research sponsored in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. 

Identifies articles, books, chapters, gray literature and media on women's studies and feminism.


Full-Text Journal Aggregators:

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

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

Includes searchable full-text for backfile articles in the Journal of Black Studies, Journal of Negro Education, Journal of Negro History, Negro American Literature Forum, Phylon (1960-), Transition, Black American Literature Forum, Callaloo, Phylon (1940-1956), Phylon Quarterly, African American Review, and Journal of Blacks in Higher Education.

Online periodical archive of back files of periodicals in the humanities and social sciences.  The scope is worldwide and includes journals in English, German, Italian, French, Spanish and other Western languages.

Provides access to the full text of over 100 scholarly journals in arts and humanities, social sciences and mathematics.


Encyclopedia & Handbooks:


Provides a range of historical and current information on African American history, society and culture and includes coverage of Africa and the Black Diaspora. Has chronologies, texts of important documents, legislation, speeches, biographical profiles, essays, and more than 650 photographs, illustrations, maps and statistical charts.

More than 1,000 stories of a people overcoming adversity to emerge triumphant, including the recent successes of modern-day pioneers like Suzan-Lori Parks (winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for drama and Vonetta Flowers, the first African American to be awarded the Winter Olympic gold medal.

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.

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.
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.

Identifies doctoral dissertations from U.S. & Canadian institutions. Abstracts from 1980. Full text access CIC university dissertations (including UIUC) available in PDF digital format from 1997.

Bringing together primary source documents spanning six centuries–from 1490 to 2007–from libraries and archives across the Atlantic world, includes many thousands of original manuscripts, pamphlets, books, paintings, maps, and images not available elsewhere. Topics emphasized include: Slavery in the Early Americas, African Coast, The Middle Passage, Slavery and Agriculture, Urban and Domestic Slavery, Slave Testimony, Spiritualism and Religion in Slave Communities, Resistance and Revolts, The Underground Railroad, The Abolition Movement and the Slavery Debate, Legislation and Politics, Freed Slaves, Freedmen and Free Black Settlements, Education, Slavery and the Islamic World, Varieties of Slave Experience, Slavery Today and the Legacy of Slavery.

Covers the works of 54 African-American poets writing in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

A collection of poetry written by the most important and influential African American poets of the twentieth century.  Presently includes over 6,000 poems from over 100 complete editions by 46 poets.


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