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Africana Studies Subject Guide — Finding Books

Interdisciplinary guide for Africana/African American Studies

Finding Books on a Particular Topic:

Start with a keyword search. When starting your keywords search try to do a balanced search—not too broad but not too narrow either. Something too broad will bring 10,000 hits, while something too narrow can bring 0 results. Combine two or more keywords or phrases to generate a more specific search (example: "Black resistance" + "Vietnam War").  Also, try synonyms or alternative keywords to describe your topic (example: "African Americans" + "protest" + "Vietnam"). 

When you find a book(s) related to your topic, view the book's record in the library catalog (view an example record). Scroll down to "Subjects." There you will find a list of subjects related to this title, which can be used to find more books on your topic. For example, by selecting the subject "Vietnam War, 1961-1975  -- African Americans," you will then be able to see all of the books in the UConn Library that are also tagged with that subject. 

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

If you are new to the field of Africana Studies, one way to learn more about your topic and to find useful keywords for your searches, is to consult encyclopedias and handbooks. These type of books offer the background information that will help you formulate your research question.