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AAS 2010: Origins of Africana Studies as a Discipline in the University (Fall 2017): Home

Department of African-American Studies at GSU

Possible resources for information on the Department of African-American Studies at GSU include:

  • GSU Department of African-American Studies Department: The Department itself may have materials relating to its history. Contact the Department directly here.
  • GSU Special Collections & Archives: The GSU Library's Special Collections & Archives Department is the official location for records from GSU's departments and schools. Special Collections & Archives also has student handbooks and, possibly, course catalogs, both of which might show the development of the Department (courses taught, faculty information, and so on) over time. Some, but not all, of Special Collections's GSU Archives are available digitally; click here to search/browse those materials. Contact Special Collections & Archives directly to get information about their holdings, hours of access, and so on. Contact Special Collections.
  • GSU Signal and GSU Yearbooks. Both the GSU Signal (student newspaper) and the GSU Yearbooks have been digitized and are searchable.

Local newspapers may also have articles about the emergence of African-American Studies on campus. These three local newspapers may be worth searching:

Strategies for Other Departments, Other Universities/Colleges

If you have chosen a department from another university or college, try to look for the same KINDS of sources discussed in the "Department of African-American Studies at GSU" box above.

  • Consider contacting the department directly: Google the university or college's name to find their general website, and use that site to find the homepage/related information about the appropriate department. Remember that titles vary: our department is the Department of African-American Studies; others may include terms like Africana Studies, Black Studies, African Diaspora Studies, and so on. Individual departments may have kept things like newsletters and other helpful resources. OR, the individual department may have deposited those materials in the school's archives
  • Find the university/college's library page and look for information about that school's archives. A university/college's archives is usually the official repository for school and department records. The archives may also have collections of papers of key individuals who taught at that university/college: if a noted Africana Studies scholar taught there, the archives may well have that person's papers. The school's archives will typically be a separate department, and you can contact them directly. The archivists will know their collections best, and they are there to help with exactly this kind of question.
  • The archives may also have student newspapers, handbooks, course catalogs, and/or yearbooks. Our student newspaper and yearbooks happen to be digitized and freely available. Some schools have these collections digitized (for example, Clark College/Clark Atlanta University has its yearbooks and course catalogs available online). A university/college's archives department can point you towards digitized copies if they exist.
  • Local newspapers may also be helpful. However, most historical newspapers are not freely available, so it may be difficult to access local newspapers. African-American newspapers, however, historically covered issues of interest to the national African-American community, not just to their local community. The GSU Library provides access to these two historical African-American newspapers:

Using JSTOR

JSTOR is a database including scholarlyjournal articles from many different disciplines,
including African American Studies.

JSTOR includes a journal's holdings back to its founding. For this assignment, you may find it useful to search in African-American Studies journals to see if there are articles

  • describing the founding of your chosen department
  • about the rise of Africana Studies (or Black Studies, or African-American Studies) in general written by members of your chosen department

You can limit your searching to the African American Studies journals including in JSTOR by following these steps:

  • Enter JSTOR (if you are off campus, you will be asked for your Campus ID and password)
  • Click on "Advanced Search"
  • Scroll down to "Journal Filter / Narrow by Discipline and/or Journal"
  • Click the box next to "African American Studies"
  • Scroll back up to the search boxes and enter your search terms (name of your chosen department's university or college is a good starting point)
  • Click "Search" to search!

If you want to see what the 25 African American Studies journals included (plus their dates of publication!) click on the blue arrow next to "African American Studies". Checking a box next to a particular journal title means you are limiting your search to include just that journal. (You can check more than one box, so, if you wanted to search in only the Journal of African American History AND the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, you could check both boxes). 

You can also try searching for the title of your department (or for any notable professors involved) by typing the title or name of professor into the search box.

"Full-Text" (JSTOR's default search) means that you are searching the FULL TEXT of articles, so, if your department or professor is mentioned anywhere in an article, that result will turn up. Which might be overwhelming... or might be super-helpful, if you're having trouble finding information about your department or professor. 

History, African-American Studies, and Women's Studies Librarian