This guide provides a comprehensive list of databases, primary source collections, and other resources useful for American Studies research with a focus on research that examines African American culture, language, and experiences.
Journals and E-books
- Academic Search PremierA great place to start your research on any topic, search multidisciplinary, scholarly research articles. This database provides access to scholarly and peer reviewed journals, popular magazines and other resources. View this tutorial to learn how to go from a general idea to a very precise set of results of journal articles and scholarly materials.
- African American Music ReferenceFind articles on the blues, jazz, spirituals, civil rights songs, slave songs, minstrelsy, rhythm and blues, gospel, and other forms of black American musical expression from encyclopedias, biographies, chronologies, sheet music, images, lyrics, liner notes, and discographies.
- America: History and LifeAmerica: history and life provides historical coverage of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present with over 2,000 journals including all key English-language historical journals. Limited to 6 simultaneous users.
- Twentieth-Century African American PoetryA database of modern and contemporary African American poetry, featuring almost 9,000 poems by 62 of the most important African American poets of the last century, including Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer, Imamu Amiri Baraka, Audre Lorde and Rita Dove.
- Humanities & Social Sciences RetrospectiveUse Humanities & Social Sciences Retrospective to find journal articles for the humanities and social sciences.
- JSTORFind full text articles in academic journals or books on the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences. JSTOR provides articles from the journal's first issue. In some cases the most recent 2-5 years may not be available. View this tutorial to learn how to go from a general idea to a very precise set of results of journal articles and scholarly materials.
- Literature OnlineFind literary criticism and scholarly articles on literature included in the Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature and The MLA International Bibliography. It also includes an online full text library of literary reference resources and searchable full-text of over 300,000 works of English and American poetry, drama, and prose.
- MLA International BibliographyUse the MLA International Bibliography to find scholarly books and articles on modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics. This index has been compiled by the Modern Language Association of America since 1926.
- PAIS Index (Political Science and Public Policy)PAIS (Public Affairs Information Service) searches journals and other sources on issues of political science and public policy. This includes government, politics, international relations, human rights and more.
- Project MuseSearch for full-text journals in literary theory, classics, history and cultural studies, philosophy, film, theater and performing arts, political science, and mathematics.
- Sociological AbstractsThis core database for the field of sociology contains information on sociology and social policy worldwide. Sociological Abstracts includes citations from the 1952-present. It provides abstracting and indexing of articles and book reviews drawn from thousands of journal publications, plus books, book chapters, dissertations, conference papers, and working papers.
Newspapers, magazines, and general media
- Access World NewsFull-text news from over 9,000 news sources in the U.S. and international newspapers, major wire services, and hundreds of local broadcasting outlets and blogs. There are over 100 Minnesota sources. Mostly English language news coverage with some 200 titles in Spanish, French, Afrikaans and other languages.
- African American Newspapers (1800s)Search a collection of African-American newspapers dating from the 1800s. It contains large numbers of early biographies, vital statistics, essays and editorials, poetry and prose, and advertisements, which illustrate the African-American experiences.
- African American Newspapers (1827-1998)Use this database to find newspapers published by or for African Americans exploring such diverse disciplines as cultural, literary and social history, ethnic studies, political science, ethnic studies, diaspora studies, and womens studies.
- African American Periodicals, 1825-1995Features more than 170 wide-ranging magazines by and about African Americans.
- Afro-Americana Imprints (1535-1922)Search printed historic materials such as books, pamphlets and broadsides (early posters) which record African American history, literature and culture. Topics include descriptions of African American lifeslave and freethroughout the Americas, abolitionist movements and much more.
- Black Historical Newspapers This link opens in a new windowAfrican American newspapers that are included in the ProQuest Historical Newspaper collection: Atlanta Daily World (1931-2010), Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988), Chicago Defender (1909-2010), Cleveland Call and Post (1934-1991), Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005), Louisville Defender (1951-2010), Michigan Chronicle (1939-2010), New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993), Norfolk Journal and Guide (1916-2010), Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2010)
- Ethnic NewsWatchEthnic NewsWatch is a current resource of full-text newspapers, magazines, and journals of the ethnic and minority press from 1990, providing researchers access to essential, often overlooked perspectives.
- Black Studies Periodicals DatabaseFind articles from scholarly journals in the field of Black Studies from the United States, Africa and the Caribbean. Coverage is international in scope and multidisciplinary; spanning cultural, economic, historical, religious, social, and political issues of importance to the Black Studies discipline.
- U.S. Newsstream This link opens in a new windowSearch the most recent premium U.S. news content, as well as archives which stretch back into the 1980s featuring newspapers, newswires, blogs, and news sites in active full-text format.
Digital Collections and Projects
- Black Gospel Music Restoration ProjectCollection of "at risk" black gospel music from 1940's through the 1980's. Click "View the Collection" to actually access recorded songs, but be sure to check out the interviews on this homepage to understand the collection's context.
- Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) - African AmericansA subject specific search link into the DPLA. Includes images, texts, and sound/video clips.
- Hiphop ArchiveThe Hiphop Archive focuses on the knowledge, art, culture, materials, organizations, movements and institutions developed by those who support and follow Hiphop. Located at W.E.B. Dubois Institute for Afro-American Research.
- Historical Publications of the United States Commission on Civil RightsSince its inception in 1957 the United States Commission on Civil Rights has been at the forefront of efforts by the Federal government and state governments to examine and resolve issues related to race, ethnicity, religion and, more recently, sexual orientation. The Thurgood Marshall Law Library offers access to the historical record of this important federal agency by archiving and/or digitizing many of its publications.
- In Motion - African American Migration ExperienceIncludes images, texts and maps that explore "thirteen defining migrations that formed and transformed African America" from 1450 to the present.
- Mapping PrejudiceVisualizing the hidden histories of race and privilege in Minneapolis. This map shows how racial restrictions were embedded in the physical landscape of our community. Using racial covenants in Hennepin County property deeds, this site illuminates how much land was reserved for the exclusive use of white people for most of the twentieth century.
- New York Public Library Digital Collections - African AmericanNew York Public Library digital collections keyword search for African American. Includes images, recordings, text, and notated music.
- Umbra Search African American HistoryA freely available search tool and widget that brings together over 400,000 digitized materials documenting African American culture and history from over 1,000 libraries, archives, and cultural heritage institutions.
Video and Music
- Filmakers Library OnlineProvides award-winning documentaries on race and gender studies, human rights, globalization and global studies, multiculturalism, international relations, criminal justice, the environment, bioethics, health, political science and current events, psychology, arts, literature, and more.
- Kanopy StreamingVideo streaming platform hosting a wide variety of award-winning films and documentaries.
- American Archive of Public BroadcastingDiscover, watch, and listen to historic programs of publicly funded radio and television across America.
- AP News ArchivesA historical archive of video and sound recordings from the Associated Press and their partners that include newsreels from the 20th century.
- Civil Rights Digital LibraryProvides access to online films, texts, images, and audio recordings related to the Civil Rights movement in the United States in the 1950's and 1960's. CRDL is a partnership among librarians, technologists, archivists, educators, scholars, academic publishers, and public broadcasters.
- FolkstreamsProvides streaming access to a large collection of documentary films about American folk, or roots, cultures. Includes essays about the traditions and filmmakes, transcriptions, study and teaching guides, suggested readings, and links to related websites. Site provides simple keyword and advanced searching, as well as ability to brose by subjects, regions, titles, filmmakers, and other categories. Video displays include links to additional, related films.
Archival Collections of Interest at UMN
- Givens Collection of African American LiteratureThe Givens Collection consists of over 10,000 books, magazines, and pamphlets by or about African Americans. Included are novels, poetry, plays, short stories, essays, literary criticism, periodicals, and biographies that span nearly 250 years of American culture, with particular strength in the areas of the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts Movement.
- Kautz Family YMCA ArchivesThe Kautz Family YMCA Archives collects the historical records of the Y's national resource office, records of the Greater Twin Cities and Greater New York YMCAs, and those of Y's Men International, a service club in partnership with the Y. The YMCA Archives documents one of the nation’s largest and oldest nonprofits and its programs to support social welfare, spiritual and mental development, and physical education.
- Social Welfare History ArchivesThe Archives documents the history of social service programs, policies, and organizations; the evolution of the social work profession; and social reform movements.
Methods and skill development
- Sage Research MethodsSAGE Research Methods is a tool designed to help scholars of all levels create research projects in their specific discipline and understand the methods behind them.
- Software CapentrySoftware Carpentry offers free, hands-on workshops that cover the core computational research skills needed to be productive as an individual scientist or in small research teams. No previous experience is needed and each workshop is taught by experienced researchers who use these tools in their own work. Participants will learn how to automate tasks using the Unix shell, will be introduced to a structured programming language like Python or R, and will gain experience using Git and Github for version control.
- LATIS workshopsA series of workshops created by LATIS (Liberal Arts Technology and Innovation Services) that are free and open to all faculty and graduate students.
- Library workshopsLearn something new at a library workshop! Register for everything from using citation managers to finding grant funding.
- U-SpatialU-Spatial offers instructor-led workshops focusing on different geospatial tools/technologies and other resources.
Last Updated: Mar 30, 2023 1:34 PM