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*African-American Studies: Welcome

Summer 2020

The GSU Library buildings are closed until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic.

**NEW!!** Access to our print books is currently available through curbside pickup (on the Atlanta and Dunwoody campuses).
Click here for information on arranging for curbside pickup.

Special Collections & Archives continues to be closed to researchers; please contact them at archives@gsu.edu for assistance.

We current cannot provide physical materials (i.e. books) via GIL Express or Interlibrary Loan.

But all of our electronic resources remain open!

  • For a list of our online databases, see the Databases by Name list on the library's homepage.
  • You can also sort our databases by subject area using the Databases by Subject dropdown on the library's home page.
  • You can search for electronic books in the library's catalog. The Books tab on this guide has information on how to search for ebooks, and on other electronic-book collections being made available.
  • You can place Interlibrary Loan requests for articles and for book chapters/sections ONLY (which can be requested and delivered electronically). Expect a lag on these requests, and be aware that we may not be able to fulfill book chapter/section requests due to other libraries not being able to provide access to print books. This includes articles and chapters held in GSU's print collections.
  • You can view films through our three streaming services: Kanopy, Films on Demand, and SWANK.

And you can still get help!

  • You're here! Check out the resources on this research guide.
  • The blue "Ask Us" button on the right-hand side of this page will take you to our chat reference service, staffed by reference librarians from 9am - 9pm Monday-Thursday and 9am - 5pm Fridays.
  • We have an extensive list of library FAQs which is available for research assistance 24/7. FAQs related to using the library during social distancing are collected here.
  • You can contact me directly via email -- cilck the Email link in the box with my photo in it or email me directly at janderson73@gsu.edu. As always, email is the best way to start with me, but we can also make an appointment to meet via WebEx (rather than in person as previously)

Featured Resource

 

History Vault: Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century

Primary source materials from personal papers, organizational records, and federal agencies.

Biographical Information

Getting Started: Reference Materials

Condense information into a general overview.
May be written by scholars in the field.
Contain suggestions for further reading.

Research Tips

Brainstorm possible search terms for your topic. You may need to simplify long phrases by breaking them up into separate search terms or smaller phrases.

Consult background information. Specialized encyclopedias, dictionaries and guides are a great time saving tool. Many of these are located in the Reference Collection on Library North 2.

These sources provide topical overviews, summarize basic concepts, and are filled with names and events you can use as keywords in your searching. Many encyclopedia articles also include carefully selected bibliographies that will lead you to additional resources.

ANDs, ORs and NOTs. You will need to combine your search terms with connecting terms (called "Boolean operators"), such as AND and OR. Use AND between terms to narrow a search and OR between terms to broaden a search. See the online video →  →  →  → to learn more about how to use Boolean operators.

Remember that African American studies is interdisciplinary. Check out the research guides for related topics, such as

Be flexible as you settle on a final topic. Do a few preliminary searches in the library catalog or article databases before commiting to a topic. Make sure you can locate primary sources. You may find you need to narrow or broaden your focus.

Cite as you go. Even if you're not sure whether you will use a source, it's much easier to note the citation information up front than to decide you need it later! Citation management tools like Zotero or EndNote can help by giving you a place to store citations as you go.

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