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Research Guide to African American Studies: Library Resources

A list of resources available through Truxal Library for researching African American history and culture

Circulating Materials

To find books, audio/visual materials, or print periodicals on your topic, conduct a keyword or subject search in the Library Catalog.

Try synonyms and related terms:

black   OR  African American
racism   OR   discrimination
rap  OR  hip-hop

From the information you find in the Catalog, be sure to note:

  • the Location of the item in the Library Building 
  • the item's Call Number 
  • whether the item is available or has been checked out

To become more familiar with finding materials in the Library's print collection, here's a guide to using Library of Congress call numbers:

Research by Discipline

Research Guides describe and provide access to the most useful resources available through Truxal Library for particular fields of study, including the best databases to use. Use Research Guides to discover and develop research topics within a particular discipline:

Library Databases

Click on the links below to search for articles from periodicals (magazines, journals, newspapers, etc.) and for information from electronic books and multimedia resources. From off-campus, you will need to enter the barcode number from the back of your AACC photo ID or Truxal Library card.

Oxford African American Studies Center
Comprehensive collection of scholarship focusing on the lives and events which have shaped African American and African history and culture

Academic OneFile
Articles from newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals, including full text from periodicals like Journal of African American History, Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy, Black Scholar, and more

Academic Search Premier
Articles from newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals, including full text from periodicals like African American Review, Journal of African American Men, Black Collegian, and more

Project MUSE
Current full text of scholarly literary journals like Black Music Research Journal, Callaloo, Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Transitions, and more

JSTOR Arts & Sciences Collections
Full text of older issues of periodicals like The Black Scholar, The Journal of Black Studies, The Journal of African American History
and more

Opposing Viewpoints in Context
Position papers, reference materials,
periodical articles, statistics, and more about controversial topics and current events

VAST: Academic Video Online
Streaming video, including commercial and governmental newsreels, archival footage, public affairs footage, and important documentaries in American history, world history, ethnic studies, ethnography, and more

Music Online
Huge collection of reference information, scores, and streaming audio and video from multiple music databases, including African American Music Reference, African American Song, American Song, and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Ebook Central
Over 20,000 electronic books covering many subjects, including numerous titles related to African American studies 

EBSCO eBook Collection
Nearly 50,000 electronic books, covering all academic disciplines

ABC-CLIO eBook Collection
Book titles like Greenwood Milestones in African American History,
Encyclopedia of African American Business History, African American Authors: 1745-1945, and more

Credo Reference
Reference book titles like Black Firsts, African American Writers: A Dictionary, Africa and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History, and more

Gale Virtual Reference Library
Reference book titles like Race Relations in the United States, Slavery in the United States, Encyclopedia of Race and Crime, and more


To further research historical context, use:

Daily Life through History
Historical information about different cultures throughout history

Academic Video Online
Commercial and governmental newsreels, archival footage, public affairs footage, and important documentaries

National Newspapers & The Sun
Articles from the archives of the New York Times (from 1851), Washington Post (from 1877), and Baltimore Sun (from 1837)

Searching for Full Text

No full text available?
Have only an article's abstract or just a citation?

Use the library's Finding Articles from Citations page, which is part of the Finding Materials from Citations Guide.

For assistance, contact the reference desk at 410-777-2456 or

Research Assistance

More ways to get help:


MLA-style and APA-style guidelines change over time, especially for citing sources accessed electronically.  For the most up-to-date information about how to cite sources correctly, visit these pages:

Using a citation generator from a database or website?
Doublecheck to be sure the generator has used the newest rules.


Library photo courtesy of Barry Halkin Photography