ProQuest Historical Newspapers

Ever wonder what happened on the day you were born?  Interested in reading old newspapers?  Need a primary source from an event in the past 150 years?

ProQuest Historical Newspapers lets you search fully digitized newspaper content from many national newspapers, most starting in the 19th century.  Looking for the New York Times?  Washington Post?  Wall Street Journal?  You’ll find these newspapers and others in this database.

1. Start with a simple search for an event or headline.






2. The database will return a list of newspaper articles matching your search term.



3. When you open an article, you can see a full scan of the original newspaper article, usually including images.  The header tells you the name of the newspaper (The Atlanta Constitution) and the publication date (Apr. 17, 1912).


4. Take advantage of the tools at the top of the screen when viewing a newspaper article.  You can save the article to your research folder, email it to yourself, see a suggested citation for the article, or export the citation to RefWorks.



5. The database sorts your search results by “Relevance.”  The more times your search term appears in an article, the higher that article is ranked.  You can also rank your results chronologically.  The database also provides a bar chart, showing the years in which the newspaper articles were published.  You can narrow the date range by dragging the arrows.



6. You can also explore specific newspapers.  Just click the “Publications” menu at the top of the screen to see the list of available newspapers.  Within the individual newspaper, you can browse by year or do a search.



ProQuest Historical Newspapers has many additional features to help you access more than a century of United States newspaper content.  Happy researching!

Access: ProQuest Historical Newspapers is available on- or off-campus to UA faculty, staff and current students, using your myBama login.  For any questions about accessing or using this resource, please ask a librarian.


Women’s Wear Daily

December 2012

Women’s Wear Daily

Often called the “Bible of Fashion”, Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) is a fashion-industry trade journal that provides information and intelligence on changing trends and breaking news in the fashion, beauty and retail industries with a readership composed largely of retailers, designers, manufacturers, marketers, financiers, media executives, advertising agencies, socialites and trend makers.

WWD began as an outgrowth of the menswear journal “Daily News Record”.  It’s reputation as a fashion forward publication was so low that at first the WWD reporters were given very low tier in the couture shows.  Changes were made however in the mission and emphasis of the magazine.  And now of course, WWD is the first word on the fashion scene.

Every issue of Women’s Wear Daily is posted online; and a PDF for that issue is found on that edition’s individual issue page.   To find today’s edition, click on the “Today’s Paper” link located on the top of every page of  to find a past issue, go to the “Publications” section.

Some of what one might see at are the following:

  • Top Stories – anything currently in the news regarding fashion
  • Comings and Goings with “Fashion Scoops”
  • The Markets which looks at the economic impact of the fashion industry
  • Beauty
  • EYE – gives an eclectic mix of fashion new  information, with various items such as design, lifestyle, food, featured stories, and fashion articles
  • “Just In” headlines feature prominently at the top for up to date news.
  • A “They are Wearing” feature gives an inside view of some of fashions most forward examples found in society.

WWD is an excellent way to stay abreast of all things fashion!

Proquest Legislative Insight

September 2012


Proquest Legislative Insight

ProQuest  Legislative Insight is a Federal legislative history service that makes available thoroughly researched compilations of digital full text publications created by Congress during the process leading up to the enactment of U.S. Public Laws.  Legislative Insight  is a work in progress, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2012.

With the focus on the public law,  ProQuest Legislative Insight will make available approximately 18,000 legislative histories covering laws from 1929 to the present.  Nine thousand of these are brand new and 4000 (from 1969-1983) include new research. There are PDF documents included with the public laws include bills (all versions), legislative reports, documents, CRS reports, committee prints, speeches in the CR and presidential signing statements.

One interesting feature that can be illustrated is the Legislative Process link along the top of the interface to see where the publications fit into how the law was made.

The home page allows for searching and browsing.

Neat ideas you might not have considered within searching!

Just under the search box is the explanation for What is a Legislative History?  And over to the right corner of the Search Box is a list of Popular Names of Laws.  There is also a helpful Citation Checker that shows, for example the public law or Statute at Large citation if you have an enacted bill. The middle of the home page shows more help – a law in the spotlight and FAQ, as well as the gold links to the right for Sessions of Congress and the subject terms list.

When searching, notice the interface shows you through a type-ahead feature that displays keywords, subjects, and laws that are in the database.

And you may not know…..


Search results show the legislative histories associated with the search term.  Just under the search box with your search term you will see an ability to search within your search results.  Filtering results by publication type allows you to see, for example, only hearings with the search term.  Or filter results by Congress or coverage dates.

Finally, underneath the date filters, there are subject term filters that include subject terms, area of practice, and source.  Click on the PDF icon on the right to create a PDF version of the legislative history document. Notice also you can save your search results to your profile.

Legislative History

If you go into Legislative History…this is what you might find.

The “Options” allow you to sort by publication type, or by date (forwards or backwards).  And the “Go To” allows you to jump to a specific publication type.

Note specifically the check box that allows you to search within the publications retrieved.  This allows you to search for particular phrase or clause in the law.

The dark blue type, under the blue menu bar includes options such as Add to (your) Profile, and to look at the results as part of the Legislative Process.  The data at the top of the legislative history document includes the PDF of the public law, the enacted bill number, and a durable URL you can add to bibliographies or just copy and paste to track your work.

Underneath the Summary and Subject Terms are the publications.  For bills, click on the date for  the bill text.  Click on the bill number for the document details (the metadata) about this bill.  The document detail always includes a durable URL>

Note:  If you think you’re going to be using the same searches or legislative histories several times, it is helpful to create a profile to save searches or individual documents.

State Papers Online, Part I: The Tudors 1509-1603: State Papers Domestic

State Papers Online, Part I:  The Tudors 1509-1603: State Papers Domestic

What is State Papers Online?

State Papers Online, Part I 1509-1603 [SPO] offers a completely novel working environment to researchers, teachers and students of Early Modern Britain.    Whether they are used for original research, for teaching, or for student project work, SPO offers original historical materials across the widest range of government concern, from high level international politics and diplomacy to the charges against a steward for poisoning a dozen or more people.  The correspondence, reports, memoranda, and parliamentary drafts from ambassadors, civil servants and provincial administrators, present a full picture of Tudor and Stuart Britain.  The Image Gallery allows the user to see various related artifact plates such as “The First Great Seal of King Henry VIII” or Tudor and Stuart portraits, vintage maps and more.

This major resource re-unites the Domestic, Foreign, Borders, Scotland, and Ireland State Papers of Britain with the Registers of the Privy Council and other State Papers now housed in the Cotton, Harley and Lansdowne collections in the British Library. Within the basic search results tabs are provided at the top of the page allowing the user to see the number of Calendar/Transcript Entries, Indexes, FrontMatter/BackMatter and whether an image exists for the search.  Also, search results within SPO can be narrowed within the specific collections…such as the Cotton Collection or the Lansdowne collection etc.

The Calendars within SPO are fully searchable, and each Calendar entry has been linked directly to its related State Paper.  With these links, the difficulty of locating individual manuscripts has been substantially overcome.  Among the Calendars included here are the HMC Calendars and the Haynes/Murdin transcriptions of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House.


What can you see in State Papers Online?

State Papers Online, Part I is the first part in a four-part series which in it’s entirety will ultimately form one  research resource covering two hundred years of British and European history.

The SPO Part I database includes helpful links to related online sites to provide a complete research environment.  The following is an example of what a user might find within those links:

  • Online palaeography courses
  • Online Latin courses
  • Biographical dictionary
  • Other sites of related primary sources
  • Online printed book texts
  • Catalogues and bibliographies



What should you know about State Papers Online?

Using SPO allows users to choose to start with the series of essays by leading historians on key themes covered by the materials.  Each essay has hyperlinks to the State Papers mentioned and provides an instructive way into study of the papers themselves.  Users may look at Calendar entries and manuscript documents side by side and compare two manuscript documents or two Calendar Entries side by side.  Database users may use a notepad for transcribing or making notes as well as create a Personal Archive in which to save Calendar entries, notes and links to manuscript documents from session to session.  Also, users may enlist such research tools as lists of abbreviations, glossary, chronology, details of dates, weights and measures, as well as holders of the main offices of government.


What are some items of interest in State Papers Online?

The Calendars are chronological catalogues prepared during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries which, until recent times, have only been available in print editions.  They provide abstracts or summaries of the documents and, despite huge variations in detail and consistency, are an invaluable basis for research on the documents.

All the Calendars are fully searchable, the page or Calendar entry references in the indexes are hyperlinked to the Calendar entries, and each Calendar entry is hyperlinked to its related manuscript document.  The user is now able to identify a reference in a Calendar index, from a search or browse, and link directly to the Calendar Entry and from there to the manuscript document.  The scholarship in the Calendar indexes is made accessible and given a central role in SPO

Camio Catalog of Art Museum Images Online

July 2012


Camio Catalog of Art Museum Images Online

What is Camio?

Camio is a growing online collection documenting works of art from around the world, representing the collections of prominent museums.  It highlights the creative output of cultures around the world, from prehistoric to contemporary times, and covering the complete range of expressive forms.

 What is informative to know about Camio?

Within CAMIO the following options for Browsing are given. These are categorized as “Types”.  Plus the actual museums are listed with clickable links allowing the user to view the following:

Architecture, Audio-video Installations, Books, Costume and Jewelry, Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects, Digital Arts, Drawings and Watercolors, Installations, Mixed Media, Paintings, Performance Arts, Photographs, Prints, Sculpture, Textiles.

All of these “Types” have a clickable link that allows you to view Images with the “Title”, “Creator”, “Date”, “Type”, and the “Museum” listed.  The image itself can be chosen  which then brings up a full screen high-resolution image with a detailed description of the item or work of art.

Some of the contributing museums are:

Carnegie Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art

Victoria and Albert Museum

Library of Congress

But, with 25 museums included in this database, you readily get an idea of the scope of what is available within this database.

Just to give a sampling of what one might find within a Camio browse of paintings:

Here is an example from the Cleveland Museum of Art.  It is a painting by Pierre Soulages, a French artist entitled “14 April, 1958”.   This particular painting is within the Katherine C. White collection.

Final notes:

You may Search or Browse CAMIO.  A help option that is listed at the top of the CAMIO toolbar gives hints on ease of use for this database.


Berg Fashion Library

June 2012


Berg Fashion Library

What is Berg Fashion Library?

It is a direct means of accessing the diverse range of literature on clothing and dress!

Berg Fashion Library is the only resource to provide integrated text and image content on world dress and fashion throughout history. With an Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion online containing 10 volumes and 3.6 million words that is updated twice a year, it is invaluable for history, scholars, students, professionals, and anyone interested in dress. Included in this database are the Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion, an extensive E-book collection, a vast image bank, and an extra reference resource.  

Note:  There is a Virtual tour which is helpful.

What is informative to know about Berg Fashion Library?

This database contains thousands of color images:  1600 images from the Victoria &Albert Museum plus 2000 images from the Berg Encyclopedia.  Berg has extra reference resources, such as an A-Z of Fashion and Valerie Cummings’ Dictionary of Fashion History, which when combined  includes 3250 terms covering the period from 900 A.D.  up to the present day.  Berg has a specially created taxonomy allowing searching and browsing by place, period, themes, textiles and much more.   Berg holds 600 images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s costume Institute and has links to e-journals which have  cross-searchable functionality with Berg Fashion e-journals Fashion Theory, and Fashion Practice.
This resource contains a regularly updated abstracting and indexing (A&I) database—covering journal articles, industry literature, books and images—enabling users to locate relevant content with ease, and to gain access to the full text via Open URLs wherever possible.   Also, it holds 200 position papers (1.7 million words) covering the state of the art in fashion research across all fields – from curation to business.

In Berg Fashion Library there is a “museum directory” allowing many vintage and antique costumes from various periods to be closely examined.


In the museum directory you may:

-Browse a visually-robust site

  • Perform sophisticated advanced searches based on the nuanced Berg taxonomy (you may specify content type, dress, people and organizations, periods, places textiles and materials.)
  • Save text content, images, and searches
  • Share content via social networking sites
  • Change the look of the site
  • Print and email content and export citations
  • Collection summary notes as well as strengths of the collection are given


-Browse by time period or geographic location

  • Easily browse by image
  • Change the look of the page by changing the contrast and text size
  • Refine the results with Berg’s taxonomy:   specify content type, dress, people and organizations, periods, places textiles and materials.
  • Expand the search by eliminating criteria
  • Hover over the images for a lightbox  display on the page
  • Zoom out and in to browse larger images or more at once
  • Navigate between pages or drag or click the slider bar to move to other pages
  • Details are provided on collection source, designer, manufacturer or place of manufacture
  • Export, save, share or print content..

To explore ‘By time’

Drag the slider or click a point on the timeline for content from that era.

The territories relevant to the image shown will be highlighted on the map shown.

To explore ‘By place’

Any Continent chosen becomes illuminated when you hover over it.

Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion will give related choice options for the country selected.

Final Wrap-Up:

You may access saved content and searches via the “My content” and “My searches” link on every page.   All saved content are archived in “My Stuff” which makes for a handy reference resource.


America’s News

May 2012


America’s News

What is America’s News?

America’s News is the largest of its kind and is unmatched in content from the U.S. in local, regional, and national sources.   It includes sources from printed and online newspapers, blogs, journals, newswires, broadcast transcripts and videos.  The user can explore a specific issue or event through the detailed coverage provided by local reporting or compare a wide variety of viewpoints from across the country on topics such as politics, business, health, sports, cultural activities and people.

News happens everywhere, from small towns to big cities across the United States.  America’s News enables library patrons to pinpoint information on people, issues and events in the local area or around the country.  This comprehensive resource offers tens of millions of current and archived full-text articles from news sources nationwide in a single, fully searchable online database.  It includes the complete electronic editions of more than 1890 U.S. news sources and news video clips – with 85% of these sources not available in any other library database.

Why is America’s News an ideal resource for many types of research?

Newspaper collections are a valuable and widely used resource for research.   America’s News provides users with authoritative, staff-written coverage of local and national topics, along with specific articles, obituaries, statistics, video clips, quotations, facts, analysis and much more.  One might ask the question “What was the local reaction to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous speech when it was first given?” or “How many days or weeks was Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon a headline?”

With “One-click” access to valuable local perspectives….

America’s News features an intuitive interface that lets the user use a U.S. map to quickly select and search one or more local news sources, a group of titles across a state or region, specific papers nationwide or the entire collection.  This interface can be customized to reflect the demographics the used ensuring that users of this database can easily access specific news sources that are desired.   Also, patrons can search articles by headline, name, topic, date, author and section, with the option to view results by date or relevance ranking.  One may retrieve hundreds or even thousands of articles on a particular subject in seconds.

Handy “Search Shortcuts” are provided for the following newspapers on the homepage:

Birmingham News


  • Montgomery Examiner
  • Press-Register
  • Alabama Newspapers
  • Major Metro Titles
  • America’s News Magazines
  • United States


Helpful Hint:  Creating a personal  account allows the user to customize the experience by saving data such as search terms and articles.

And a final note:

(A few things you might not mind NOT finding in America’s News:

Pictures, charts, graphs, syndicated columns, articles by freelance writers, stock quotes , sports box scores, advertisements, classifieds as well as SOME newswire stories.)


British Periodicals I/II

April 2012

British Periodicals I and II

What is British Periodicals I and II?

British Periodicals is a database that provides access to the searchable full text of hundreds of periodicals from the late seventeenth century to the early twentieth, comprising millions of high-resolution facsimile page images.

What should the user know about BP?

Among the periodicals included in BP are titles which are founded, edited, or regularly contributed to by a host of important figures…Walter Baehot, Aubrey Beardsley, Annie Besant, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Frances Power cobbe, William Cobbett, Daniel Defoe, Charles Dickens, and many others, just ot name a few.  In addition to providing access to the original periodical versions of landmark texts like De Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, Carlyle’s Sartor Resartus, Cobbett’s Rural Rides, Bagehot’s The English Constitution, Gaskell’s North and South and Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, the collection offers new ways of exploring the inaccessible, neglected or forgotten writings that formed their original contexts.  A wide array of different types of periodical are represented, from magisterial quarterlies and scholarly and professional organs through to coterie art periodicals, penny weeklies and illustrated family magazines.

Digitisation standards:

For ease of on-screen reading and rapid downloading, each page in BP is available by default as a high-resolution “bitonal” facsimile image.  Scholars requiring a more realistic and nuanced rendering of the original printed source also have the option of downloading a high-resolution grayscale facsimile of each page.  Both types of facsimile image will be available whether users access BP titles through the dedicated BP standalone interface or through the generic Periodicals Archive Online interface.  All illustrations and advertisements present in the printed source are scanned, indexed and made searchable in the electronic edition.

My Archive:

My Archive is an area where users can save their records and searches for future reference.  Records can also be emailed or exported to citation management software from within My Archive.  Users can add records to My Archive from the marked List.   You will need to login for this feature.

A  Modular collection:

BP consists of two separate collections, BP collection I and BP Collection II.

BP Collection I consists of more than 160 journals that comprise the UMI microfilm collection Early British Periodicals, the equivalent of 5238 printed volumes containing approximately 3.1 million pages.  Topics covered include literature, philosophy, history, science, the fine arts and the social sciences.

BP II consists of more than 300 journals from the UMI microfilm collections English Literary Periodicals and BP in the Creative Arts together with additional titles, amounting to almost 3 million pages.  Topics covered include literature, music, art, drama, archaeology and “architecture.


Also to note: listings of newest additions to the collections are featured in the “What’s New in British Periodicals Collection I/II”.

Other things to know about BP

On completion this unique digital archive will consist of more than 460 periodical runs published from the 1680’s to the 1930’s, comprising six million keyword-searchable pages and forming an unrivalled record of more than two centuries of British history and culture.

There is also the availability of downloading a Microsoft Excel-formatted spreadsheet containing bibliographic information on journals, including durable links through to the content in BP.  These links are guaranteed to work correctly, even it the URLS used in BP change.  Authentication for these is automatically provided by IP address.  Currently, password users are not able to link directly to the journals but are taken to the BP information site and requested to login.

Title Lists

BP’s Title Lists are useful to Librarians in that these links offer browseable lists of the journals in BP Collection I/II.  These lists are not sensitive to individual institution accounts and may include journals to which you do not have access.  They are appropriate for quick reference purposes.

You can also download a full, detailed list of the titles in BP in Microsoft Excel  or tab delimited formats.  This list can then be filtered and sorted on various attributes to provide the information you wish to see.

Note:  To download the file correctly, set up a destination folder on your computer, then right click on the file and choose save.


Technical support is available if you need assistance with BP.   In the first instance you should contact your institution’s ICT co-ordinator who, if unable to resolve any technical problems you are having, will be able to contact our technical support team.

Please state your domain name or IP address and that of your web proxy server is used.

There is an excellent Help menu is available for the BP database that gives assistance in all the major areas of BP Collections I/II…..such as help in Quick Search, Article Search, Boolean, Article Image, Journals, and “My Archive” assistance.

Who is the audience for BP I/II?

Faculty, students and researchers in the field of Arts and Sciences, the Social Sciences ,  and Arts and  Sciences Librarians.

Vogue Archive

March 2012

Vogue Archive

What is Vogue Archive?

Vogue Archive contains the entire run of “Vogue” magazine (US edition), from the first issue in 1892 to the current month, reproduced in high-resolution color page images. Every page, advertisement, cover, and fold-out has been included, with rich indexing enabling you to find images by garment type, designer and brand names.

The Vogue Archive preserves the work of the world’s greatest fashion designers, stylists and photographers and is a unique record of American and international fashion, culture and society from the dawn of the modern era to the present day.

Also, in addition to the editorial content, all covers, advertisements and pictorial features have been captured as separate documents to allow for searching and discovery. For advertisements, the featured company and brand names have been assigned to the document records, and all image captions are captured to a high accuracy, allowing accurate retrieval of photographs and illustrations. Contributor names that appear in image credits, such as photographers, stylists and illustrators, are also indexed.

You can also limit your search by journal editor, to find items published during the editorship of, say, Diana Vreeland (1963-71) or Anna Wintour (1988-present).

Interesting fact: Vogue Archive began as a society paper for the Manhattan social elite. Over time, it changed dramatically as quality improved and the frequency changed from weekly to fortnightly. The focus gave way to fashion and was rapidly approved by the majority of women who found themselves going from old-fashioned corsets to the new-found freedoms of the 1920’s. Eye-catching cover art helped spawn a wave of innovation in the publishing world and “Vogue” was one of the front runners in this new marketing campaign.

Whether you wish to know about “Beyonce” or “The Mary Quant years”…..or to read articles that examine fashion issues such as “The Real Cost of Looking Good”…it is to be found within the pages of Vogue within the “Vogue Archive”.

Subjects covered within the Vogue Archive:

• Fashion history, Gender studies, Marketing and advertising, photography and graphic design, popular culture, textiles and dress.

How is Vogue Archive valuable?

It helps categorize the changing tastes and dynamics in the field of fashion as well as the broader context in culture at large. Literary works are also offered with an upbeat take on progressive current events.

What do I find entertaining about Vogue Archive?

• It is easy to cite a source, with a single click.
• You can save to “My Research”,file or export to “RefWorks”, “ProCite”, “EndNotes”, or “Reference Manager”.
• It also allows sharing to Social Media…which might be a great idea for group study online.

What did I observe from using Vogue Archive?

*The highlighted “features” box illustrates an easy to access “Latest Issue” as well as “Featured Content” . (An example of the Featured Content is a look at the January 1950 issue which presents “The Doe Eye” a portrait of Jean Patchett by Erwin Blumenfeld. This look became a staple of the American cosmetics industry, thus showing just how influential “Vogue” actually was and still is in the world of fashion.)

*The “browse each issue” feature makes the magazine readily accessed. And the “cite as a source” single click button makes for an almost effortless academic discovery. Vogue Archive compiles it all for you as you find your target pages.

*A “My Research” file allows you to add items of interest to your online folder.

Note: Vogue Archive will ask you to create a Research File first which is just a few easy steps and then you are set to proceed!

One item I would like to extrapolate on:

Full -Text vs Full Text-Flash

Vogue Archive gives these two options at the top of the page and I wasn’t sure what they were for precisely. On closer examination, this is what I found:

“Full text” allows for easy flipping through the pages where they are simply presented as any full text file would be….while “Full -Text flash” gives each individual page with bibliographic information at the bottom of the page and options for cropping and exploring the page in depth with zooming and rotating. In the FT Flash format, the navigator panel displays a full image of your current position on the page which then updates as you move it around.

Final thoughts:
Anyone wanting to get the full impact of fashion history and the changing times that accompanied that change can easily flip through the entire run offered in this database in a relatively short period of time. It is very user friendly and of course visually appealing.

For more information, please contact your subject librarianor refer to Ask-a-Librarian for assistance.

Black Studies Center

February 2012

Black Studies Center

What is Black Studies Center?

It is a full retinue of opportunities to research the African-American experience!

Black Studies Center is a fully cross-searchable gateway to Black Studies including scholarly essays, recent periodicals, historical newspaper articles, and much more. It combines several resources for research and teaching in Black Studies: Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience, International Index to Black Periodicals, historical black newspapers, and the Black Literature Index.

Black Studies Center brings together essential historical and current material for researching the past, present and future of African-Americans, the wider African Diaspora, and Africa itself. It is comprised of several cross-searchable component databases.

How might I use Black Studies Center?

Black Studies Center can be used to encourage the exploration of topics relevant to the study of the Black Experience!

An example of one resource within BSC that might illustrate a few ideas pertaining to the above:

“The Harriet Powers Pictorial Quilts.” Black Art 3.4 (1979): 12-28.

In this example, it is possible to research Harriet Powers, a black American woman who while making only two quilts managed to have her work wind up in a museum. Both of these quilts are ‘pictorials’ and were created at a time in the late nineteenth century when traditional quilt-making was unimaginative. Her work has stood the test of time and is an indicator of her cutting edge artistry within this medium. Folk art experts have considered her work to be one that projects a grand spiritual vision that breaks the mold of convention.

I enjoyed this look at someone who lived a very simple life… but who managed to create timeless works of art.

[Harriet Adams Quilt, depicting Biblical Imagery]
Another question that one might research is “What is the African Diaspora?”

It might surprise you that there are so many answers to this question. BSC discusses this from many angles as the bulk of black culture and citizenry expanded out from West and Central Africa over into the Americas.

What are the key research resources used in Black Studies Center?

Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience – this is at the heart of Black Studies Center. This database examines interdisciplinary topics on the African experience throughout the Americas via in-depth essays accompanied by detailed timelines along with important research articles, images, film clips and more. The essays are contributed by leading academic experts who have surveyed and analysed the most important existing research literature in their respective fields.

International Index to Black Periodicals – IIBP includes current and retrospective bibliographic citations and abstracts from scholarly journals and newsletters from the United States, Africa and the Caribbean, and full-text coverage of core Black Studies periodicals. Most IIBP records in the current coverage contain an abstract, and additionally many IIBP records contain the corresponding full text of the original article. Coverage is international in scope and multidisciplinary, spanning cultural, economic, historical, religious, social, and political issues or vital importance to the Black Studies discipline. Most journals are indexed cover-to-cover.

For some journals not directly focused on African-American, Africa or the African diaspora, only selected articles relevant to the discipline of Black Studies are indexed. The journal list was prepared with the guidance of an advisory board including librarians specializing in Black Studies: Carol A. Rudisell, Associate Librarian, University of Delaware Library and Dorothy Ann Washington, Librarian, Black Cultural Center, Purdue University.

The Marshall Index was compiled by Albert P. Marshall, an African-American librarian at the State Teachers College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and first published as a quarterly magazine, A Guide to Negro Periodical Literature, from 1941 to 1946. It was the first index to black serials ever compiled and covers 42 of the leading African-American periodicals between 1940 and 1946.

The Chicago Defender – BSC provides the full text backfile, from 1910 to 1975, of the influential black newspaper The Chicago Defender. By the outbreak of the First World War this newspaper had become the most widely-read black newspaper in the country, with more than two thirds of its readership based outside Chicago.

Black Literature Index – this resource includes the electronic index to the Black Literature microfiche collection. This index allows users to search over 70,000 bibliographic citations for fiction, poetry and literary reviews published in 110 black periodicals and newspapers between 1827-1940. For citations “all the way to content” from the Chicago Defender, full text is available and a link is included directly to the relevant article.

Additional Modules offered:

The HistoryMakers – is an archive of filmed oral history interviews of 20th century African Americans who have shaped modern history. The archive represents the direct voices of a diverse group of African American who have made significant contributions to history and politics, education, law, the creative arts, science and medicine, business, the military, and sports. It represents the largest African American archival video collection in the world. The purpose or the organization is to educate and demonstrate the breadth and depth of the African American experience through first person narratives of both well-known and unsung African Americans. This collection includes 100 videos and contains a corresponding transcript that is subject-indexed and segmented. The transcripts are fully searchable.

ProQuest Dissertations for Black Studies – this module contains a thousand doctoral dissertations and Masters’ theses examining a wide variety of topics and subject areas relating to Black Studies. Included are dissertations written between 1970 and 2004 at over 200 universities and colleges across the United States. These dissertations were selected for their relevance to Black Studies scholars from the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database. ProQuest Dissertations for Black Studies is available as an optional add-on module for Black Studies Center.

ProQuest Black Newspapers:
Seven additional historical Black newspapers are available:
• New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993)
• Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002)
• Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005)
• Atlanta Daily World (1932-2003)
• Philadelphia Tribune (1912-2001)
• Norfolk New Journal and Guide (1921-2003)
• Afro-American (1893-1933, incomplete)

Records from Black Literature Index are directly linked to the full-text articles appearing in New York Amsterdam News, Norfolk New Journal and Guide and the Pittsburgh Courier. These additional newspapers greatly expand the breadth of primary source material in Black Studies Center. Important perspectives on local, regional, and international events throughout the twentieth century are now available from these influential black publications.

Black Abolitionist Papers

This is an excellent primary source that comprehensively details the extensive work of African Americans to abolish slavery in the United States prior to the Civil War. Covering the period 1830-1865, the collection presents the massive, international impact of African American activism against slavery, in the writings and publications of the activists themselves. The approximately 15,000 articles, documents, correspondence, proceedings, manuscripts, and literary works of almost 300 black abolitionists show the full range of their activities in the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, France and Germany. This collection literally transformed scholarly understanding of Black activism during this period.

Primary sources – this collection reproduces, in full, the 17 reels of microfilmed content from the original collection. Unique, hand-written correspondence and documents comprise around 30% of this collection. Included in the collection are such types of primary documents as:
• correspondence of major African American leaders
• speeches, sermons, and lectures
• articles, essays, editorials, and other major writings from more than 200 newspapers: African American, abolitionist, and reform newspapers
• receipts, poems, and other miscellaneous documents

So you can see at a glance that the possibilities are endless when one considers the materials in this database and how wide-ranging in scope they are.

Helpful Hint:

“My Archive” helps you with your research. It is a way to create a personalized area where you will be able to store selected records and saved searches for future reference. It is username and password protected. One convenient item to note is that you can save searches and go back to them at a later time. The “My Archive” tab is conveniently located at the top of the page on the right.