SubjectsPlus: African American Studies

TRUMAN STATE UNIVERSITY Pickler Memorial Library Truman State University
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Academic Search Complete Restricted Resource openURL Resource contains images Some full text available

The world's most valuable and comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database, with more than 8,500 full-text periodicals, including more than 7,300 peer-reviewed journals. In addition to full text, this database offers indexing and abstracts for more than 12,500 journals and a total of more than 13,200 publications including monographs, reports, conference proceedings, etc. The database features PDF content going back as far as 1887, with the majority of full text titles in native (searchable) PDF format. Searchable cited references are provided for more than 1,400 journals.

America: History and Life Restricted Resource openURL
Indexes history journals and some other publications covering the US and Canada.
JSTOR Restricted Resource Resource contains images Some full text available
An archive of more than 1200 core scholarly journals in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Fulltext back to their date of first publication to within the current 2-5 years.
SocIndex with Full Text Restricted Resource openURL Some full text available
A comprehensive sociology research database with more than 1.9 million records and the full text for over 400 journals dating back to 1908.  Also contains full text for more than 700 books and monographs and more than 6000 conference papers.  Journals related to Criminology & Criminal Justice, Education, Gender Studies/GLBT Studies, History, and Education are also found in this database.  For some journals, there may be a 12 month delay in provision of full text content.

Biographical Information

African American Lives
Shelf Location: REF E 185.96 .A446 2004

African American National Biography.
Shelf Location: REF E 185.96 .A4466 2008 (8 vols.)
Biographies of thousands of African Americans throughout the nation's history.  An excellent and authoritative scholarly source.
African American Voices
Shelf Location: REF E 185.96 .A48 1996 (2 vols)

Biography and Genealogy Master Index Restricted Resource
 A comprehensive index to biographical sources. One simultaneous user.
Notable Black American Women.
Shelf Location: REF E 185.96 .N68 1992 (2 vols.)

Who's Who Among African Americans.
Shelf Location: REF E 185.96 .W522 2010


Historical Statistics of Black America.
Shelf Location: REF E 185 .H543 1995 (2 vols.)

Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

Encyclopedia of African American Women Writers.
Shelf Location: REF PS 153 .N5 E49 2007 (2 vols)

Encyclopedia of African and African-American Religions.
Shelf Location: REF BL 2462.5 .E53 2001

Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History.
Shelf Location: REF E 185 .E54 2001 (6 vols.)

Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century. Restricted Resource Some full text available
The link takes you to an article-length entry discussing African Americans in the U.S. during the 19th century, and includes the following subentries:  Free Blacks Before the Civil War, Blacks in the West, Blacks in the Military, and African American Religions.
Historical Dictionary of the Civil Rights Movement.
Shelf Location: REF E 185.61 .L84 1997

Routledge History of African American History.
Shelf Location: REF E 185.E125 2000
Click here for Table of Contents

Online Book Collection

eBook Collection (EBSCO) Restricted Resource Some full text available
This EBSCOhost eBook collection provides access to over 138,000 titles covering a wide variety of subject areas. It is comprised of the following sub-collecctions:

      eBook Academic Collection
      eBook Clinical Collection
      eBook Community College Collection
      eBook High School Collection
      eBook K-8 Collection
      eBook Public Library Collection
ebrary Restricted Resource Some full text available
ebrary's Academic Complete is a growing ebook collection offering online, full-text access to over 70,000 titles in all academic subject areas.

Primary Sources

Black Economic Empowerment: the National Negro Business League Restricted Resource Some full text available
This collection comprises the National Negro Business League files in Part III of the Booker T. Washington Papers in the possession of the Library of Congress.
Date Range: 1901-1928
Content: 15,779 images

"'They Think You Ain't Much of Nothing': The Social Construction of the Welfare Mother." (published in Social Policy: Essential Primary Sources) Restricted Resource
After accessing the GVRL database type in social construction of the wlefare mother

Originally published in the Journal of Marriage and the Family. 60.4 (1998): 849–865.
A Love No Less: More Than Two Centuries of African American Love Letters.
Shelf Location: General PS 673 .L7 L68 2003

Abolition and Emancipation (microfilm collection)
Shelf Location: Microfilm HT 1025 .A26 1996
Microfilm collections are housed in the Microforms area of the library, first floor North (West side of the atrium).

Click here for the library's description of the collection.
Click here for a detailed listing of the contents of each reel.

African American Frontiers: Slave Narratives and Oral Histories.
Shelf Location: General E 444 .G68 2000

African American Newspapers, 1827-1998
Provides online access to approximately 270 U.S. newspapers chronicling a century and a half of the African American experience. This unique collection features papers from more than 35 states—including many rare and historically significant 19th century titles.

Beginning with Freedom's Journal (NY)—the first African American newspaper published in the United States—the titles in this resource include The Colored Citizen (KS), Arkansas State Press, Rights of All (NY), Wisconsin Afro-American, New York Age, L'Union (LA), Northern Star and Freeman's Advocate (NY), Richmond Planet, Cleveland Gazette, The Appeal (MN) and hundreds of others from every region of the U.S.   

Black Newspapers Collection (microfilm collection)
Shelf Location: Guides: Micro Reference AI 3 I46 and Micro Reference AI 3 I462
Microfilm collections are housed in the Microforms area of the library, first floor North (West side of the atrium).

Click here for the library's description of the collection.
Click here for our list of African-American newspapers on microfilm.

On the Altar of Freedom: A Black Soldier's Civil War Letters from the Front.
Shelf Location: General E 513.5 54th G66 1991

Ripples of Hope: Great American Civil Rights Speeches Restricted Resource Some full text available
Under the section EARLY AMERICA, EARLY DISSENT 1787–1865, you will find speeches by Abraham Lincoln, John Brown, Booker T. Washington, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, and others.

Under the section
MEASURED GAINS: TWO STEPS FORWARD, ONE STEP BACKWARD 1866–1949, you will find speeches by W.E.B. Du Bois, Mary Church Terrell, Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, Bayard Rustin, Marcus Garvey, and others.

THE CIVIL RIGHTS ERA: LIFT EVERY VOICE 1950–1969, speeches of Thurgood Marshall, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Stokely Carmichael are found.

THE CURRENT STRUGGLE: SLOW BUT STEADY PROGRESS 1970–1998, find speeches by Jesse Jackson, Sr., Louis Farrakhan, and Colin Powell.
Slaves' War: The Civil War in the Words of Former Slaves.
Shelf Location: General E 464 .W29 2008

Specialized Sources

Historical Dictionary of African American Cinema.
Shelf Location: REF PN 1995.9 .N4 B433 2007

Icons of R&B and Soul: An Encyclopedia of The Artists Who Revolutionized Rhythm.
Shelf Location: REF ML 3479 .G85 2008 (2 vols.)

Web Sites

African American Archaeology, History, and Cultures
 "Outstanding Title!"
While there is a plethora of sites covering important areas in African American Studies such as abolition, the undergournd railroad, Civil Rights Movement, and African American music, this site stands out as unique and valuable. according to its reviewer, R.B.M Ridinger, subject librarian for African American Studies, Anthropology, and Sociology at Northern Illinois University.  "Fennell provides links to online presentations about African American archaeology projects in a Web site that is part of a broader portal, African Diaspora Archaeology Network.  Framed within this larger field, his site offers links to resources about the African American past, and excavations done in Africa itself.  .  . Highly recommended."  Ridinger, R.B.M.  Choice Reviews Online.  Supp. 2005.  Web.  30 Aug. 2012.

African American Band Music & Recordings
"This 'presentation' with the Library of Congress's Performing Arts Encyclopedia is built around a collection of stock arrangements--i.e., band and salon orchestra versions of popular tunes made by publishing houses, usually by anonymous hands--of popular songs by African American composers.  The collection includes digitized sets of parts for about 200 of theses arrangements (scores were not typically published) along with pre-1923 recordings of about 100 of these songs, played by bands or orchestras though not always in the same arrangement as the digitized parts.  .  . Audio files are available in both MP3 and RealMedia formats.  .  . One can only be delighted to have these arrangements and performances available on the Web."  Jenkins II, M.D., Wright State University.  Choice Reviews Online.  Aug. 2009.  Web.  30 Aug. 2012.

African American Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide
"The African American Mosaic is a fascinating overview of materials in the Library of Congress about the African American experience.  Viewers should bear in mind that the Resource Guide is an "introductory text" only, featuring information on four topics.  These are colonization (efforts to resettle blacks in Liberia), abolition, migration after the Civil War, and materials from the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Federal Writers Project of the New Deal.  .  . The fourth section includes references to the 1930's WPA interviews with elderly former slaves. . .This section is probably the strongest of the four.  .  .A useful starting point for undergraduate researchers."  Glasker, W., Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey, Camden.  Choice Reviews Online.  Supp. 1999.  Web.  29 Aug. 2012.

African American Religion, Part I: To the Civil War
National Humanities Center, Research Triangle Park, NC
African American Religion, Part II: From the Civil War to the Great Migration
National Humanities Center, Research Triangle Park, NC
African American Women Writers of the 19th Century
"For more than 80 years, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture has served as the preeminent research facility for the preservation of materials from the African Diaspora.  .  . much of the collection is non-circulating.  .  . At this site, the Schomburg office offers free, full-text access to a rich digital collection:  52 works written by African American women during the 19th century.  .  .many of which are out of print.  Here one will find such canonical works as Narrative of Sojourner Truth, Phillis Wheatley's Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, and Ann Plato's Essays.  .  .Brief yet detailed biographies of each writer provide further contextualization of the works included.  .  . Essential."  Walsh, R., Three Rivers Community College.  Choice Reviews Online.  Aug. 2009  Web.  30 Aug. 2012.

American Black Journal
"Outstanding Title!"
American Black Journal,
a program produced by Detroit Public Television "first aired in 1968 under the name Colored People Time."  The program was filmed in Detroit, its mission being "to increase the availability and accesibility of media relating to African American experiences in order to encourage greater involvement from Detroit citizens in working to resolve community problems."  Funding obtained from the National Endowment for the Humanities, "Detroit Public Television and Michigan State University  have digitized 36 years of ABJ shows, creating an invaluable archive of African American history.  .  . The list of guests who appeared on the program is impressive: Louis Farrakhan. . . Desmond Tutu. . .Isaiah Thomas. . Alex Haley. . . and dozens of others.  .  . Highly recommended."  Walsh, R., Trinity College.  Choice Reviews Online.  Mar 2011.  Web.  30 Aug. 2012.

American Slave Narratives: An Online Anthology
American Studies Hyperrtext at the University of Virginia-Charlottesville
Antislavery Literature

"The Antislavery Literature Project was established in 2003 as a collaborative electronic publishing venture in a major but under-studied area of American literature. The Project is based in the Arizona State University’s English department and works in cooperation with the EServer, located at Iowa State University.

As an educational non-profit, the Project provides public access to the literature and history of the antislavery movement in the United States. This project makes a corpus of antislavery literature available to the public for educational purposes, using non-proprietary publishing software.  Nearly all of the antislavery materials we publish have not been previously available freely online." - From "About the Project", Antislavery Literature web site


Black Abolitionist Archive
"Highly recommended."   Foreman, J.  Tarrant County College.  Choice Reviews Online.  Jan. 2013.  Web.  18 Jan. 2013.
Black Renaissance in Washington, D.C.
Funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and supported by the Art Division of the District of Columbia Public Library Remebered & Reclaimed
"Outstanding Title!"
"This wide-ranging exploration of African American history combines secondary source research and primary source evidence to give viewers well-researched and supported information.  .  .A large team of scholars.  .  . from longtime experts to budding specialists, combined their efforts to present this Web site through the sponsorship of Quintard Taylor at the University of Washington-Seattle.  .  . Feasibly, a student or researcher could receive a rather comprehensive education on African American history through the collection of material available. . .  In comparison to other online resources, this easily stands as one of the more comprehensive one-stop sites on African American history..  .  . Essential."  Kowtko, S., Spokane Community College.  Choice Reviews Online.  Mar 2008.  Web.  30 Aug. 2012.

Boston African Americana Project
The Boston African Americana Project presents roughly 500 visual and textual pieces relating to anti-slavery, abolition, emancipation, Civil War, reconstruction, urban and rural life, and advertising  that are held by the Boston Athenaeum, the Boston Historical Society, Historic New England, and the Massachusetts Historical Society.  The various presentations include broadsides, pamphlets, caricatures, political views, invitations, among other material.  The span of coverage is 1790 to 1950, most coming from around 1865.  There are transcriptions of items, most helpful when originals are difficult to read, but the site contains PDFs of the original pieces, with the ability to enlarge for even closer examination.

"Highly recommended."  Williams, C., Choice Reviews Online.  May 2010.  Web.  31 Aug. 2012.

Civil Rights History Project
From the Library of Congress, "this collection contains some 400 items, 58 of which are currently available online, including videos, digital photographs, and interview transcripts.  Each interview record has a brief biographical profile of the interviewee. . .It guides users to additional Library of Congress collections that specifically focus on the civil rights movement and African American history and culture."  Collins, G.A. Choice. December, 2014. 13 Jan. 2015. Print. 
Digital Library on American Slavery, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
"The Digital Library on AMerican Slavery is distinctive; rather than being simply a broad-based survey of slavery via digitized documents and books, it offers abstracted data on individual slaves, slaveholders, and free people of color.  The entries come from petitions, wills, and other official documents filed at county courts and legislatures in 15 slaveholding states, over a period of nearly 100 years, ending just after the Civil War."  The reviewer points out the site's main weakness: "readers are unable to see the comlete original document.  .  they have access only to abstracts with names and some context from the original documents.  Nonetheless, this database offers material that otherwise would be buried in archives and virtually inaccessible to the general public.  .  . This free database will be invaluable to genealogists and researchers alike.  .  . Highly recommended."  Singleton, B.D., California State University-San Bernardino.  Choice Reviews Online.  May 2010.  Web.  31 Aug. 2012.

Documenting the American South-Primary Resources for the Study of Southern History, Literature, and Culture
From the University Library of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill,  "'Documenting the American South' (DocSouth) is a digital publishing initiative that provides Internet access to texts, images, and audio files related to southern history, literature, and culture. Currently DocSouth includes fourteen thematic collections of books, diaries, posters, artifacts, letters, oral history interviews, and songs." 
Faces of Science: African Americans in the Sciences
Mitchell C. Brown, Mathematics and Physics Librarian, Princeton University
Malcolm X Project at Columbia University
The reviewer notes that "the project's purpose is to promote the study of Malcolm X and generate ongoing discussion of his impact on U.S. society."  One very helpful item on this site is an index to the FBI files on Malcolm X:  "The index to 4,000 pages of FBI files is extremely useful, since the files at the FBI Web site are not indexed.  The index is briefly annotated and arranged chronologically, and also provides a search box."  Another inclusion on the site is the Project Journal.  This provides "access to several  full-text research articles from the journal, Souls, as well as abundant multimedia sources including film from the early 1960s, contemporary interviews with scholars and Malcolm's associates, and audio from his speeches.  .  . An important scholarly research tool for the study of Malcolm X.  .  . Highly recommended."  Singleton, B.D., California State University-San Bernardino.  Choice Reviews Online.  May 2006.  Web.  Aug. 31  2012.

Note:  The Autobiography of Malcolm X Multimedia Study Environment (MSE) is only accessible to users affiliated with Columbia University (students, faculty, staff).

National Urban League

"A valuable resource for high school and college students as well as general citizens interested in civil rights, public policy advocacy, economic equality, and current affairs. . .Highly recommended."  Collins, G.A. Choice Online Reviews.  Feb 2013.  5 Mar 2013.  Web.

Remembering Jim Crow
Presented by American Radioworks, a documentary about the Jim Crow era of America's South (1890'2-1960's).
The Archive, from the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change
".  .  . The aim is to give viewers a starting point from which to view online materials from the collection of the King Library and Archives, located in Atlanta.  The Archive consists of King's papers and those of the organization he cofounded, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.  It also holds 'the records of 8 major civil rights organizations and the records of several individuals active in the civil rights movement.'  .  . The Archive's documents are well presented, featuring transcriptions of the note cards that King used when preparing his sermons" along with images of the note cards themselves.   ". . . indepth cross-referencing to subjects and objects. . . The section titled Dr. King Today features Events, News, and a Blog.  .  . Summing up:  Essential."  Williams, C., CUNY Hunter College.  Choice Reviews Online.  Aug. 2012.  Web.  30 Aug. 2012.

Cllick here to go to The King Center.

Subject Specialist
Picture: Lisa Glaubitz

Lisa Glaubitz
Tel: (660) 785-7412

Research Assistance Program
  • Provides one-on-one assistance for research assignments with a subject reference librarian.
  • Helps you find appropriate sources of information (databases, electronic sources, etc.) based on the requirements of your assignment.
  • Shows you search techniques.Helps you find valuable resources outside of Pickler through our MOBIUS and Interlibrary Loan service.

    To schedule a RAP consultation, you can:
  • Send an email to: RAP session
  • Call 660-785-4051
  • Come to the Library Service Desk
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