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Africana Studies

This guide provides research tips for Africana Studies students at University of Northern Colorado.

UNC's Catalog--Local

You may search for books, videotapes and DVDs, music recordings, and other materials from the Libraries' collections by keyword in the UNC Libraries' catalog, the Source.

Checked Out?

If the book you need is checked out, or otherwise not available here, try Prospector

Examples of Subjects

Here are some examples of subject headings to use for African American Studies topics:

  • African American leadership
  • African Americans--Education
  • African Americans--Intellectual Life
  • African Americans in Literature
  • African Americans--Race Identity
  • African Americans--Religion
  • X, Malcolm, 1925-1965

More Examples

Here are some examples of subject headings to use for African Studies topics:

  • Africa -- Religion
  • Mandingo (African people)--kinship
  • Africa--Social life and customs
  • Africa, North--Politics and government
  • Islam and politics--Africa, North
  • Marriage customs and rites--Africa
  • Women in development--Ghana
  • Democratization--Africa

Using Subject Headings

Scholars share a common language. Subject headings (or descriptors) make up the controlled vocabulary used in library catalogs and databases. Ask a librarian for help with finding Library of Congress subject headings that fit your topic.

You don't need subject headings when you have a particular book title or book author in mind. 

A simple keyword search is fine for casual searching.  But to conduct a precise search for books on your topic at Michener Library, do a subject search in our online catalog using subject headings. 

Advanced Searching

Use the Advanced Keyword search tab to combine subjects and create a precise search; change the drop-down default "Any Field" to "Subject."  For example:




More Tips

Use the asterisk truncation character to pull up all root words; for example the keyword search Africa* retrieves all records containing the words Africa, African, Africana, and Africans.

If you already have one book that is perfect for your topic, look up the subject headings for that book in the library catalog, and follow the links to others on the same topic. 

Combine a subject search with chronological subdivisions for more precise results; for example:

  -- History -- to 1863
  -- Civil War -- 1861-1865
  -- 19th century
  -- 1775-1865
  -- Reconstruction (U.S. History, 1865-1877)

Book Reviews

Visit QBR: The Black Book Review for online discussion of books about the African experience.

Harlem Book Fair

Podcasts of the Harlem Book Fair are available on Book TV.

Author Interviews

See the C-SPAN2 Book TV interview with Alice Walker.  For more interviews and book-related events (readings, panels, etc.) with a variety of African-American authors, search the Book TV site.