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African History  

A guide to resources for researching African history
Last Updated: Feb 7, 2012 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Getting Started Print Page


The University of Iowa Libraries homepage is your gateway to library resources including the InfoHawk Catalog, journal article databases, electronic journals and books, reference materials, and many more web-based resources.

To access peer-reviewed journal literature, do keyword searches in the disciplinary databases listed below. These resources are especially appropriate for more focused searches, for which you will need for flexible and finely-grained parameters.

Google Scholar provides a less focused, but simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations. Click on the "UIowa InfoLink:FullText" link next to each citation in your results list for InfoLink services including full text (when available), links to the InfoHawk Catalog, Interlibrary Loan requests and more.

Note: Physically browsing in either Reference or the Main Stacks, such as in the DTs (African history) is another great search strategy. To see other call number ranges relevant to African Studies, see the Library of Congress Classification Outline.

Bibliographic Databases

  • Academic Search Elite
    This multi-disciplinary database offers full text for nearly 2,000 scholarly journals, including more than 1,500 peer-reviewed titles. Covering virtually every area of academic study, Academic Search Elite offers full text information dating as far back as 1985. This database is updated on a daily basis.
  • Africa Wide Information (Africa-Wide: NiPAD)
    Africa-Wide: NiPAD, produced by NISC South Africa, combines bibliographic databases from around the world to form a multidisciplinary aggregation offering unique and extensive coverage of all facets of Africa and African studies. This includes content from South African Studies, African Studies, and African HealthLine, which focuses on all aspects of health relating to Africa and other developing nations.
  • Anthropology Plus
    Describes articles and essays on anthropology and archaeology, including art history, demography, economics, psychology, and religious studies. Indexes articles two or more pages long in works published in English and other European languages. Internet version covers from the 19th century to the present.
  • ATLA Religion Database + ATLAS  
    ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials combines the premier index to journal articles, book reviews, and collections of essays in all fields of religion with ATLA's online collection of major religion and theology journals. The ATLA Religion Database includes more than 555,000 article citations from more than 1,656 journals (518 currently indexed), more than 232,000 essay citations from over 16,700 multi-author works, and more than 511,000 book review citations.
  • Black Studies Center
    Black Studies Center combines three invaluable resources for research and teaching in Black Studies: Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience, International Index of Black Periodicals (IIBP), and The Chicago Defender. This fully cross-searchable gateway to Black Studies includes scholarly essays, recent periodicals, and historical newspaper articles.
  • Historical Abstracts
    An exceptional resource that covers the history of the world (excluding the U.S. and Canada) from 1450 forward, including world history, military history, women’s history, history of education, and much more. This authoritative database provides selective indexing of historical articles from more than 1,800 journals in over 40 languages back to 1955. With over 800,000 records, Historical Abstracts is unmatched in its scope and breadth of historical and related social science literature.
  • Index Islamicus
    Index Islamicus, produced by Brill Academic Publishers, is an international bibliography of publications in European languages on all aspects of Islam and the Muslim world.
  • JSTOR (Journal Storage)
    Provides image and full-text online access to back issues of selected scholarly journals in history, economics, political science, philosophy, mathematics and other fields of the humanities and social sciences. Consult the online tables of contents for holdings, as coverage varies for each title. Note that this database contains ONLY back issues and not for the last 3-5 years of content. Journals may be searched across multiple titles as well as by the individual titles below.
  • Periodicals Archive Online
    Companion to: Periodicals index online. Archive of hundreds of digitized journals published in the arts, humanities and social sciences.
  • Project Muse
    With full text for well over 300 journal titles from university publishers, Project MUSE covers the fields of literature and criticism, history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, and many others. Coverage begins in 1995.
  • ProQuest Dissertations and Theses
    ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (Full Text) includes 2.4 million dissertation and theses citations from around the world from 1861 to the present day together with 1 million full text dissertations that are available for download in PDF format. The database offers full text for most of the dissertations added since 1997 and strong retrospective full text coverage for older graduate works. [Not compatible with Internet Explorer 9]
  • WorldCat
    A bibliographic database of over 62,000,000 records from over 2,000 libraries around the world. Search results will highlight University of Iowa holdings; titles not held can be borrowed by filling out a local ILL request.

Bibliographer for African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Studies


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