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African American Studies: Books & Media

Guide for conducting research related to African American studies in the collections of the University of North Texas Libraries

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Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison
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The Books & Media tab in the column to the right searches the UNT Libraries Catalog, which contains records for over 5 million items that are owned or subscribed to by the UNT Libraries. These materials include: books, CDs and other audio materials, DVDs and other video materials, journals, some e-books/e-journals/databases, maps, music scores, dissertations, government documents and other physical items owned by the Libraries.

(Be sure the Catalog or Books & Media tab is activated before conducting your search.)

Google Books Search

Not the most productive means to find scholarly materials (mainly due to overkill on retrieving records for which there is no real access), but if you have a hunch something perfectly suited to your topic might be hiding out there, try this. If you do find something that's not in the UNT Libraries Catalog, you can request it.

Google Book Search


Use the Search for Materials box below to find all types of materials. The results page will display matches that are in the library's catalog in a section labeled Books & More.

Search for Materials


UNT Libraries Catalog - African American Studies - Search Tips

Search Strategies - Keyword

A keyword search for African Americanwill find over ten thousand results in the UNT Libraries Catalog. Follow the suggestions below to narrow the field:

Enclosed these words in quotation marks to ensure that the records retrieved include the two words as a phrase. The singular "African American" is an adjectival phrase (an African American person, place or thing). The plural form "African Americans" indicates a group of people. Search these phrases separately, according to the characteristics of your topic.

Add more topic terms or phrases to focus your results. For example, if your topic covers a speech, or politics, or an event, include the term in your search ("African American" speeches or "African American" politics or "African Americans" "Civil War").

• If your topic is a specific person or group, search for the name (examples: Maya Angelou, Black Panthers, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, Toni, Morrisson, NAACP, Colin Powell, Sojourner Truth, Oprah Winfrey, Malcolm X).

Search Strategies - Subject

Consider conducting a subject headings search. In the catalog, toggle the search type to 'subject'. You may enter a subject or start with the following terms and phrases that commonly appear in the "official" (Library of Congress Subject Heading) subjects of resources related to African American Studies:

African Americans : citizens of the United States of black African descent.

African American studies : an interdisciplinary academic field devoted to the examination of the history, culture, and politics of Americans of African descent; often includes the cultures of the entire African diaspora.

Blacks -- United States : blacks who temporarily reside in the United States.

Minorities : racial, religious, ethnic, or other minority groups.

United States Civilization -- African American Influences : the impact of African Americans on human society in America.

United States Ethnic Relations : social, political, and economic relations between races and ethnicities in America.

Search Strategies - Synthesis

After running a basic keyword or subject search, review the results and view a record that matches your topic exactly, or at least very closely. Scroll down the record and look at the Subjects section. Each subject heading is hyperlinked to the set of materials that match that heading. You can click the 'See Also' link to see an alphabetical list of related subjects as well.

Finally, remember ...

UNT students, faculty and staff can simplify note-taking and save a lot of time creating citations by using RefWorks.

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