Africana Studies Subject Guide

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Africana Studies

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Barnard Library Research Guide for Africana Studies

Untitled (det.), M.O. Bushara, 2008,
© October Gallery

Africana Studies Research Guide

For help with your research, visit the reference desk (hours) on the second floor of Barnard Library, or contact a Barnard reference librarian:
       Phone: 212-854-3953
       Chat: IM BarnardReference


Request a one-on-one consultation with a Barnard librarian if you have an in-depth research need.

Reference Resources | Country Overviews | CLIO | Databases | Barnard and Columbia | Other Libraries & Interlibrary Loan | RefWorks & EndNote

REFERENCE RESOURCES (books and databases)
Useful for:

  • an overview of a topic
  • background and factual information
  • bibliographies
Africa South of the Sahara DT351 .A35 2007
African American Biographical database  
African American Experience E184.65 .A37 2001
African American Music Reference  
African American Song  
African American Women: A Biographical Dictionary  
African Studies Companion online DT19.8 .Z45 2003
African Writers
PL8010 .A453 1997
Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African & African American Experience DT14 .A37435 2005
Alexander Street Literature (includes Black Short Fiction and Folklore, Black Women Writers, and Caribbean Literature)  
American Memory: African American history collection  
Black Drama: 1850 to present  
Black Thought and Culture: African Americans from Colonial times to the Present  
Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History E185 .E54 2006
Encyclopedia of African Literature PL8010 .E63 2002
Harvard Guide to African American History E185 .H326 2001
International directory of African studies scholars  
Oxford African American Studies Center  
Primary Sources in African American History  

Country Overviews

  • CountryWatch: Up-to-date news, data, background briefings, and analysis on every country of the world.
  • Country Profiles: From the Library of Congress.
  • Economic Intelligence Unit publications including Country Reports, Country Monitor, Country Commerce and Country Finance publications for 115 countries.
  • Europa World Plus: Online version of the Europa World Year Book and the nine-volume Europa Regional Surveys of the World series.
  • World Fact Book: From the CIA

CLIO (Columbia Libraries Information Online) is the on-line catalog for the Barnard and Columbia Libraries. CLIO can be searched by author, title, subject, keyword. etc. 

  • The holdings of the Health Sciences Library as well as Union Theological Seminary are included in CLIO
  • The Law Library's catalog is Pegasus, Teacher's College catalog is Educat and JTS' catalog is Aleph
  • To search CLIO, Pegasus and Educat simultaneously click on the "Search all CU catalogs" tab on the opening CLIO screen

Sample Searches:
*Title search
: type in as much of the title as you know, e.g.,
encyclopedia of african american
journal of african american history

*Author search:  last name,  first name, e.g.,
achebe, chinua

Finding a book about a person or a subject
: start with a Keyword search using the most distinctive words associated with the topic. Then look for useful ubject headings and do a Subject search.

*Keyword search: use: "  " for a phrase,  ? for truncation (to find variant endings of a word), e.g.,
ngo nigeria
infanticide literature africa?
"human rights" nigeria
gentrification and ("south africa" or johannesburg or harlem)

*Subject search: use Library of Congress (LC) subject headings, e.g.,
uganda -- history
urban renewal -- africa
isegawa moses
infanticide in literature
women nigeria

Limiting to books in Barnard Library : use the Pre-set Limits or Post Limits option

Note that although the Barnard Library is in Lehman Hall, CLIO location Lehman means the Social Sciences library at Columbia; Barnard books have the location Barnard.

DATABASES/INDEXES: For Finding Journal and Newspaper Articles
The following indexes and databases are recommended for researching Africana Studies topics:

Academic Search Premier

Access UN: United Nations website

Africa review of books.

Africa-wide: NiPAD: Index to publications and unpublished manuscripts about and from Africa in history, literature, music, arts, business and social sciences, 1981 to present.

African E-Journals Project

African Women's Bibliographic Database: English language database containing over 27,000 citations from 1986 to current.

Search across these three databases by entering words in the box below:
  • Africa-Wide NiPAD
  • Ethnic NewsWatch
  • Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience Essays

Aluka. Struggles for freedom in Southern Africa

Black Studies Center: Includes scholarly essays, recent periodicals, historical newspapers, articles and more. From the Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience, International Index to Black Periodicals and the Chicago Defender.

Caribbean Abstracts

CIAO: Columbia International Affairs Online

Ethnic NewsWatch: Full text, 1960 onwards.

Historical Black Newspapers

JSTOR: Full text articles from more than 350 scholarly journals in anthropology, African studies, education, history, philosophy, political science, population studies, sociology and others from each journal's first issue but excluding the most current, usually 3-5 years.

Lexis-Nexis Academic: Domestic, e.g. New York Times, as well as many foreign newspapers/resources in full-text including the Times, London, BBC Monitoring Middle East.

MLA Bibliography: Literature, language, linguistics and folklore. Citations for articles, dissertations, books, book chapters, etc. from 1963 to the present. 

PAIS: Public Affairs Information Services

Project Muse: Full text articles from  scholarly journals published by Johns Hopkins University Press in the humanities and social sciences. Included are Africa Today, Human Rights Quarterly and many more titles

ProQuest Direct: Online journal articles and citations, Interdisciplinary, multi-disciplinary.

ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988)

Slavery & anti-slavery: a transnational archive 



For managing your citations.

Return to Subject Guides 8/24/2009