Skip to Main Content

Africana Studies


This guide will help you find published scholarship (essays, books, chapters, journal articles, etc.) and primary sources on a topic.

  • Choose a topic that interests you and fits within your assignment's parameters.
  • Read good summaries of the topic in subject encyclopedias, like those listed below, to gain a basic overview of your topic.
  • Search for published scholarship in library discovery systems, catalogs, databases, research organization websites, etc.
  • Identify primary source material (e. g. documents, records, artifacts, surveys, data, etc.) through your scholarly readings, and by searching or browsing the digital collections of libraries, archives, museums, and other scholarly organizations.

Remember to evaluate the accuracy of your sources, and think critically about their content and arguments.

For remote login to the Library's electronic resources, see our instructions for Off-Campus Access.

Remember to consult with your instructor in the History Department about your project!

Reference Essays (from Encyclopedias & Dictionaries)

Subject encyclopedias and other reference guides can provide good background information on a topic. Many reference books are in printed format, while others are available in electronic resource collections such as:

Gale eBooks (formerly Gale Virtual Reference Library)

Oxford Reference

Scholarly Books

Search for printed and electronic scholarly books at QC and other CUNY libraries.
Search for scholarly books in the national catalog for the United States and Canada. Includes holdings from libraries in other parts of the world, primarily European or English-speaking

Scholarly Journal Articles (Search Databases)

What is a scholarly journal article?

A scholarly journal article is written by a scholar or an expert, and provides a detailed analysis of a topic. It is written in the specialized language of a scholarly discipline (such as Philosophy). It documents the resources the writer used by providing bibliographic citations such as footnotes, endnotes, and bibliography so a reader can check or repeat the research the scholar has completed.

A scholarly journal is edited by scholars, and any article published in the journal has usually been approved by the author's peers or by referees (other scholars expert in the subject who serve as editors or readers and critique the article before it is accepted for publication). This is why most scholarly journals are referred to as a Peer-Reviewed or Refereed journals. Here is a comparison between popular and scholarly periodicals. There are usually several databases that can be used to search for journal articles on a topic.

Primary Source Database Collections at QC

Primary Sources: U. S. Civil Rights History