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Writing Annotated Bibliographies

“An annotated bibliography includes a summary and/or evaluation of each of the sources. Depending on your project or the assignment, your annotations may do one or more of the following:
Summarize: Some annotations merely summarize the source. What are the main arguments? What is the point of this book or article? What topics are covered? If someone asked what this article/book is about, what would you say? The length of your annotations will determine how detailed your summary is.
Assess: After summarizing a source, it may be helpful to evaluate it. Is it a useful source? How does it compare with other sources in your bibliography? Is the information reliable? Is this source biased or objective? What is the goal of this source?
Reflect: Once you’ve summarized and assessed a source, you need to ask how it fits into your research. Was this source helpful to you? How does it help you shape your argument? How can you use this source in your research project? Has it changed how you think about your topic?
Your annotated bibliography may include some of these, all of these, or even others. If you’re doing this for a class, you should get specific guidelines from your instructor.”
FromPurdue Owl

1.  Bibliography according to the appropriate citation style (MLA, APA, CBE/CSE, etc.).
2. Explanation of main points and/or purpose of the work—basically, its thesis—which shows among other things that you have read and thoroughly understand the source.
3. Verification or critique of the authority or qualifications of the author.
4. Comments on the worth, effectiveness, and usefulness of the work in terms of both the topic being researched and/or your own research project.
5. The point of view or perspective from which the work was written. For instance, you may note whether the author seemed to have particular biases or was trying to reach a particular audience.
6. Relevant links to other work done in the area, like related sources, possibly including a comparison with some of those already on your list. You may want to establish connections to other aspects of the same argument or opposing views.

The first four elements above are usually a necessary part of the annotated bibliography. Points 5 and 6 may involve a little more analysis of the source, but you may include them in other kinds of annotations besides evaluative ones. Depending on the type of annotation you use, which this handout will address in the next section, there may be additional kinds of information that you will need to include.

Types of annotations
One annotation does not fit all purposes!  There are different kinds of annotations, depending on what might be most important for your reader to learn about a source. Your assignments will usually make it clear which citation format you need to use, but they may not always specify which type of annotation to employ. In that case, you’ll either need to pick your instructor’s brain a little to see what s/he wants or use clue words from the assignment itself to make a decision.

Summary annotations
There are two kinds of summarizing annotations, informative and indicative.
Summarizing annotations in general have a couple of defining features: They sum up the content of the source, as a book report might. They give an overview of the arguments and proofs/evidence addressed in the work and note the resulting conclusion.
They do not judge the work they are discussing. Leave that to the critical/evaluative annotations.
Informative annotation
Informative annotations sometimes read like straight summaries of the source material, but they often spend a little more time summarizing relevant information about the author or the work itself.
Indicative annotation
Indicative annotation is the second type of summary annotation, but it does not attempt to include actual information from the argument itself. Instead, it gives general information about what kinds of questions or issues are addressed by the work. This sometimes includes the use of chapter titles.

Evaluative annotations don’t just summarize. In addition to tackling the points addressed in summary annotations,
evaluative annotations:
evaluate the source or author critically (biases, lack of evidence, objective, etc.). show how the work may or may not be useful for a particular field of study or audience. explain how researching this material assisted your own project.
An annotated bibliography may combine elements of all the types.  In fact, most of them fall into this category: a little summarizing and describing, a little evaluation.
From: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


1. SEARCH TERMS : Identify Key Concepts

Identify key concepts and terms related to our topic area.
There may be just one concept or, much more likely, several concepts that will need to be considered.
Within each concept, you will need to determine appropriate words or phrases, including synonyms, broader terms, related terms and narrower terms.  Revise this list during the actual search process by noting and using subject headings that have been assigned to relevant books and articles.
For example if planning to do a research paper on “gun control” other terms you might use are firearms  and  law or legislation or
firearms  and ownership or  guns and violent crimes


Broadly speaking you can search three distinct places: library catalogs (for books), databases (for articles) and the freely available Internet (for rare needles in the haystack).

Books,  searchable via library catalogs, are great sources of both general and highly specific information.
Databases provide access to high quality, up-to-date information from respected publishers and publications. They provide sophisticated search capabilities and access in many instances to online full-text articles.
Be very careful using the freely available web. You risk finding too much “junk,” with web pages that contain potentially biased information from unreliable and unverifiable sources. For finding accurate, useful information quickly, the web is generally no match for database and catalog searching.
Gear the databases you search to your topic. For Example: If your topic deals with psychology, search psychology databases such as Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection. For business topics, search Business Source Premier.
For interdisciplinary topics, search general databases such as Academic Search Premier, MasterFile Premier and EthnicNews. There are brief descriptions of each database on the library’s databases page. If you have any questions regarding which database(s) to search ask a librarian.

3 START THE SEARCH:  Start with a general search

If you start with a complicated search, you will probably retrieve a very small number of articles.
You are much better off to start with a general search and then refine your search from there.
For example, if you are researching various aspects of the subject of  obesity,  start with a simple search just on the term obesity.
Enter this one concept and analyze results.
Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much information is available on my topic?
  • Are there better terms that I could be using?
  • Will I need to narrow or expand my topic?


Nearly all databases have an advanced search option that lets you to do sophisticated searches by combining the various concepts you have already identified for your search.
The advanced search mode will also allow you specify which fields you want to search, including author name, article title, publication title, subject, etc.


Articles and books in library databases and catalogs are assigned subject headings by people who review each document.
Each article or book is looked at carefully and then assigned one or more subject headings.
These subject headings are selected from a specific list of possible subject headings.
If a subject heading is used for one article or book on the topic, the same heading will be used for other articles or books on the topic.
Most books and articles are assigned many subject headings.
You can determine relevant subject headings by finding an article or two that deals directly with your research topic.
Then do a search on the subject headings assigned to those articles.
You can use the advanced search mode to search for your terms in the subject field.


When you want to combine search terms, you will need to use what are called Boolean operators or connectors. This is best done using the advanced search mode.
For example:  if you are researching ways to combat obesity, you need to split your search into two concepts:  combat and obesity.
Next, you need to connect these two terms with a Boolean operator.
Using the operator AND will retrieve articles that mention both terms somewhere in the article.
Using the operator OR between the two terms will retrieve articles that mention either term.
In this case, AND is the appropriate connector because you want to retrieve articles that address both concepts, combat and obesity.
The use of AND generally will retrieve a smaller set of results.
Use of Boolean operators allows you considerable flexibility in your search.
As another example, if you wanted to retrieve articles that dealt with either obesity or over weight, then the appropriate Boolean operator is OR.
The search obesity OR overweight will retrieve articles that mention either term.
The use of OR generally will retrieve a larger set of results.
OR is especially useful when you are searching with terms that are synonyms or that deal with the same basic concept.
Using the OR in your search will retrieve articles that contain any of the synonyms that you use.
If you wanted to exclude terms, you would use the Boolean operator NOT.
For example, if you were interested in the subject obesity, but not interested in how fast-foods relate to obesity, you could exclude all items that have the term fast-foods by searching obesity NOT fast-foods.
Effective use of Boolean operators is essential to sophisticated research.


Truncate search terms to retrieve all variants of a term.
Truncation symbols vary from database to database. Examples include: *, ?, !, % and $.
For example:  If you search on the term plagiar* in ProQuest, you will retrieve articles that contain any words that begin with the letters plagiar, including: plagiarism, plagiarize, plagiarizing, plagiarized, plagiarizer, plagiarizers, plagiarist, etc.
Using the truncation symbol will allow you to broaden your search to include materials on any variant of a term.
Most database search interfaces are not sophisticated enough to search for all variants of a term automatically.


Most databases have limiting features that will let you focus the results of your search.
You may be able to limit your searches to retrieve only scholarly or peer-reviewed articles.
You can also limit to particular date ranges or particular journals.
Many databases provide their own unique limiters, which allow you to limit by intended audience, item type (peer reviewed, journal or newspaper article ), language, country of publication and more.
Limiting your searches will allow you to narrow your search, resulting in a smaller list of more relevant materials.


  • NARROWING If you are retrieving too many articles, focus your search by adding terms, limiting terms to particular fields, or by limiting your searches.
  • EXPANDING If you are retrieving too few articles, expand your search by removing terms or searching for terms in keywords or full-text. Consider adding synonyms or similar terms to your search if the ones you are using aren’t very effective.
  • BE FLEXIBLE Above all, be flexible in your searching. If one term doesn’t work, try a different one. Approach your topic using as many search strategies as you can think of.

There will never be one perfect search for your topic. It may take dozens of searches to retrieve all the necessary information.
If you get stuck, don’t spend all day with a futile search. Instead, ask librarian for assistance. They are there to help.


No Subject Headings
Encountering useless web pages are only one problem in using the Internet for research. There are many other major issues.  One problem is that nearly all search engines lack the sophisticated search capabilities that both library catalogs and databases provide.  Because of this, searches will often return results of thousands and thousands of web pages.You will get better search results using subscription databases and library catalogs rather than Internet search engines.
Questionable Quality
Because anyone can create a web page, the quality of information on the web is always in question. There is also an inordinate amount of repetitive, superficial information, often of a promotional or persuasive nature. You must also be careful to avoid commercial web sites that are trying to sell a product or service. Above all, the bias or slant of web sites must be considered, although it can frequently be difficult to determine a site’s particular bias.
Questions To Consider
Searching the web is very time-consuming because you need to consider many issues before using a web page in your research.

  • Is the information from a respected and reliable source? If you can’t tell, the answer is probably no.
    Is the page trying to sell you something?
    What are the author’s credentials?
    Why was the web page created? It should be clear from viewing the page.
    Is the information accurate? Biased? Outdated?
    Are sources clearly cited?

Use Only When Appropriate
Only after answering all of these questions can you be sure that your resource is appropriate for a research paper. The “About Us” section of a web page, if available, will often provide this information.

Stick To Databases
However, by searching only subscription databases and limiting your search to scholarly or peer-reviewed sources, you can virtually guarantee that all materials retrieved will be appropriate for a research paper.

Creating an EBSCO account

How to create an account in the EBSCOhost databases

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Authors:     Leslie Mathews
Issue Date:     2010-10-29T18:36:39Z
Institution:     Fielding Graduate University
Faculty:     Leslie Mathews
Department:     Library Services

Distinguishing Scholarly Journals from Other Periodicals

Distinguishing Scholarly Journals from Other Periodicals

Journals, magazines, and newspapers are important sources for up-to-date information in all disciplines.  In this guide we have divided the criteria for evaluating periodical literature into five categories:

  • Scholarly
  • Substantive News/General
  • Popular
  • Sensational
  • Trade


Webster’s Third International Dictionary defines

Scholarly as:

  • concerned with academic study, especially research,
  • exhibiting the methods and attitudes of a scholar, and
  • having the manner and appearance of a scholar.

Substantive as having a solid base, being substantial.

Popular means fit for, or reflecting the taste and intelligence of, the people at large.

Sensational as arousing or intending to arouse strong curiosity, interest or reaction.

Trade as geared to people who work in a specific business (or trade).

Keeping these definitions in mind, and realizing that none of the lines drawn between types of journals can ever be totally clear cut, the general criteria are as follows.


Scholarly journals are also called academic, peer-reviewed, or refereed journals. (Strictly speaking, peer-reviewed (also called refereed) journals refer only to those journals that submit articles to several other scholars, experts, or academics (peers) in the field for review and comment. These reviewers must agree that the article represents properly conducted original research or writing before it can be published.)

What to look for:

  • Scholarly journal articles often have an abstract, a descriptive summary of the article contents, before the main text of the article.
  • Scholarly journals generally have a sober, serious look. They often contain many graphs and charts but few glossy pages or exciting pictures.
  • Scholarly journals always cite their sources in the form of footnotes or bibliographies. These bibliographies are generally lengthy and cite other scholarly writings.
  • Articles are written by a scholar in the field or by someone who has done research in the field. The affiliations of the authors are listed, usually at the bottom of the first page or at the end of the article–universities, research institutions, think tanks, and the like.
  • The language of scholarly journals is that of the discipline covered. It assumes some technical background on the part of the reader.
  • The main purpose of a scholarly journal is to report on original research or experimentation in order to make such information available to the rest of the scholarly world.
  • Many scholarly journals, though by no means all, are published by a specific professional organization.


  • American Economic Review
  • Applied Geography
  • Archives of Sexual Behavior
  • Journal of Comparative Family Studies
  • Journal of Theoretical Biology
  • Modern Fiction Studies


These periodicals may be quite attractive in appearance, although some are in newspaper format. Articles are often heavily illustrated, generally with photographs.

What to look for:

  • News and general interest periodicals sometimes cite sources, though more often do not.
  • Articles may be written by a member of the editorial staff, a scholar or a free lance writer.
  • The language of these publications is geared to any educated audience. There is no specialty assumed, only interest and a certain level of intelligence.
  • They are generally published by commercial enterprises although some come from specific professional organizations.
  • The main purpose of periodicals in this category is to provide information, in a general manner, to a broad audience of concerned citizens.


  • The Economist
  • National Geographic
  • The New York Times
  • The New Yorker
  • Scientific American
  • Vital Speeches of the Day


 Popular periodicals come in many formats, although often slick and attractive in appearance with lots of color graphics (photographs, drawings, etc.).

What to look for:

  • These publications do not cite sources in a bibliography. Information published in popular periodicals is often second or third hand and the original source is rarely mentioned.
  • Articles are usually very short and written in simple language.
  • The main purpose of popular periodicals is to entertain the reader, to sell products (their own or their advertisers), or to promote a viewpoint


  • Ebony
  • Newsweek
  • People Weekly
  • Readers Digest
  • Sports Illustrated
  • Time
  • Vogue


Sensational periodicals come in a variety of styles, but often use a newspaper format.

What to look for:

  • Their language is elementary and occasionally inflammatory or sensational. They assume a certain gullibility in their audience.
  • The main purpose of sensational magazines seems to be to arouse curiosity and to cater to popular superstitions. They often do so with flashy headlines designed to astonish (e.g., Half-man Half-woman Makes Self Pregnant).


  • Globe
  • National Examiner
  • Star
  • Weekly World News


A trade publication, unlike a consumer publication, covers a specific industry for people who work in that industry. Such publications cover an industry in more minute details than a consumer publication might.  Trade publications deliver information that’s of value to those who work in a certain field, but might not be of as much interest to the general public.


  • American Libraries Magazine
  • Hardwood Floors Magazine
  • Information Today
  • Variety.


There is no comprehensive source for identifying all peer-reviewed journals. To help determine if a particular journal is peer-reviewed, refer to the journal itself (either to an individual issue of the journal or to the publisher’s web site).

However, some online databases to which the Library subscribes have begun to flag the peer-reviewed journals so they can be searched in the database. Following is a list of databases offering peer-reviewed journal searching:

EBSCO DATABASES:  You can limit your search to peer reviewed journals when beginning your search by clicking on “Search Options” and selecting “Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals” or while running your search by selecting “Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals” on left hand side of the screen under “Refine your results

ETHNIC NEWSWATCH: You can limit your search to peer reviewed journals when beginning your search by clicking “Scholarly journals, including peer-reviewed”when beginning your search or by clicking on the “Scholarly Journals” tab once you have ran your query.


(*** Database listed below can only be accessed at the
BCC library or
remotely with passwords that are available
for current BCC students staff or faculty ***)

CREDO REFERENCE:  Provides Online access to over 300 reference books

ACADEMIC SEARCH PREMIER (EBSCO): provides full text for more than 4,500 journals, including full text for more than 3,700 peer-reviewed titles.

MAGILL ON LITERATURE PLUS (EBSCO): includes all the literary works, reviewed critical analyses and brief plot summaries that are included in MagillOnLiterature, as well as all the biographies and author essays included in MagillOnAuthors.




The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

English Literature Web Gateways and Search Engines :  “Broad, subject-related sites and subject-specific search engines available without restriction on the World Wide Web.”

The IPL Literary Criticism Collection “contains critical and biographical websites about authors and their works that can be browsed by author, by title, or by nationality and literary period.”

Literary Glossary from EDSite

Luminarium: An Anthology of English Literature: “This site combines several sites first created in 1996 to provide a starting point for students and enthusiasts of English Literature. Nothing replaces a quality library, but hopefully this site will help fill the needs of those who have not access to one.”

MIT Literature Resources

Norton Anthology Of English Literature: Prepared by the Norton Anthology editors, this extensive, freely accessible Web resource for The Norton Anthology of English Literature offers twenty-seven topics for study and discussion.



  •  Anthology of Middle English Literature (1350-1485)
  •  Index of internet sites on Middle English Literature
  •  Middle English Essays and Articles : “These essays are not intended to replace library research. They are here to show you what others think about a given subject, and to perhaps spark an interest or an idea in you. To take one of these essays, copy it, and to pass it off as your own is known as plagiarism—academic dishonesty which will result (in every university I’ve heard tell of) in suspension or dismissal from the university. Not only are your professors as technology savvy as you are, they will not tolerate theft of another’s intellectual efforts.





  • Essays and Articles on Chaucer [includes student essays, essays from journals and theses]: “These essays are not intended to replace library research. They are here to show you what others think about a given subject, and to perhaps spark an interest or an idea in you. To take one of these essays, copy it, and to pass it off as your own is known as plagiarism—academic dishonesty which will result (in every university I’ve heard tell of) in suspension or dismissal from the university. Not only are your professors as technology savvy as you are, they will not tolerate theft of another’s intellectual efforts.”
  • Canterbury Tales







  • Essays and Articles on Spenser [includes student essays, essays from journals and theses]: “These essays are not intended to replace library research. They are here to show you what others think about a given subject, and to perhaps spark an interest or an idea in you. To take one of these essays, copy it, and to pass it off as your own is known as plagiarism—academic dishonesty which will result (in every university I’ve heard tell of) in suspension or dismissal from the university. Not only are your professors as technology-savvy as you are, they will not tolerate theft of another’s intellectual efforts.”
  • IPL List of Essays







  • Essays and Articles on Milton [includes student essays, essays from journals and theses]: “These essays are not intended to replace library research. They are here to show you what others think about a given subject, and to perhaps spark an interest or an idea in you. To take one of these essays, copy it, and to pass it off as your own is known as plagiarism—academic dishonesty which will result (in every university I’ve heard tell of) in suspension or dismissal from the university. Not only are your professors as technology-savvy as you are, they will not tolerate theft of another’s intellectual efforts.”
  • IPL List of Essays




The English literature section is arranged chronologically and thematically. Books about authors are shelved with their works.  All books are sorted by Library of Congress call numbers. Since call numbers are directly related to the primary subject of the book, you can browse the collection on the period you are interested in by browsing the following call numbers:

  • For Medieval literature browse PR 1490 through PR 2165
  • For Renaissance prose and poetry (1500 – 1640) browse PR 2200 through PR 2405
  • For Renaissance drama (1500 – 1640) browse PR 2417 through PR 3195
  • For Authors writing 1640 – 1770 browse PR 3300 through PR 3785
  • For Authors writing 1770 – 1900 browse PR 4000 through PR 5925

When looking for a specific work or author it may be more efficient to begin by searching the Library Catalog in order to get a call number range to start browsing in.


Subject headings are a type of controlled vocabulary that  is used to take the guesswork out of searching by using a single term or phrase to describe a subject.  Using a standardized controlled vocabulary allows searches to be done quickly and with more accuracy.  While used for the library catalog, they may also be useful search terms when searching databases or the internet.

Sample Subject Headings Use the following Library of Congress Subject Headings to search in the catalog  

  •  Anglo-Saxons — Intellectual life
  • Civilization, Anglo-Saxon, in literature
  • Civilization, Medieval, in literature
  • Drama, medieval
  • Epic poetry, English (Old) — History and criticism
  • English literature — Old English, ca. 450-1100 — History and criticism
  • Literature, medeival
  • Middle Ages–Literary collections
  • Dramatists, English — Early modern, 1500-1700
  • English Drama –17th Century
  • English literature — Early modern, 1500-1700
  • English poetry — Early modern, 1500-1700
  • Great Britain — Intellectual life — 17th century
  • Humanism
  • Renaissance — England
  • Theater–England–History

Other keywords that may be useful for searching in the catalog and other sources include:

Carolinean, Jacobean, Tudor(s), Elizabethan, Shakespearean, English Renaissance, Restoration

Recommended Internet Subject Directories

  • AcademicInfo : an online education resource center with extensive subject guides. “Our mission is to provide free, independent and accurate information and resources for prospective and current students (and other researchers).”
  • BUBL LINK Catalogue of Internet Resources : Selected Internet resources covering all academic subject areas
  • Infomine : A virtual library of Internet resources relevant to faculty, students, and research staff at the university level. It contains useful Internet resources such as databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, mailing lists, online library card catalogs, articles, directories of researchers, and many other types of information.
  • Intute  :  a free online service that helps you to find web resources for your studies and research. With millions of resources available on the Internet, it can be difficult to find useful material. We have reviewed and evaluated thousands of resources to help you choose key websites in your subject.
  • ipl2  : The website “ipl2: information you can trust” was launched, merging the collections of resources from the Internet Public Library (IPL) and the Librarians’ Internet Index (LII) websites.
  • SweetSearch A Search Engine For Students : SweetSearch searches only the 35,000 Web sites that the staff of research experts and librarians and teachers have evaluated and approved when creating the content onfindingDulcinea. Search results are constantly evaluated and fine-tuned them, by increasing the ranking of Web sites from organizations such as the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian, PBS and university Web sites.

Internet Resources for Finance

Annual Reports and Stock Information, including Stock Quotes & Market Data

  • EDGAR Database of Corporate Information EDGAR, the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system, performs automated collection, validation, indexing, acceptance, and forwarding of submissions by companies and others who are required by law to file forms with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
  • BigChart Historical Quotes Click on “Historical Quotes,” then enter symbol and date. Big Charts has the ability to retrieve exact and split-adjusted stock price information and split adjustment factors as far back as January 1985. A split-adjusted, 2-month daily stock chart marks the specific closing price the user requested.
  • Yahoo Historical Quotes Select “Research Tools.” Provides access to stock quotes since 1970. Data includes open, high, low, and closing prices and trading volume.
  • Annual Report Gallery Corporate annual reports for several hundred U.S. companies are available for downloading. Includes links to company home pages as well.
  • PRARS Annual Report Service PRARS is America’s largest annual report service. Company financials, including annual reports, prospectuses or 10k’s on over 3,200 public companies, are available without charge to the investing public.
  • The Corporate Information Site

Stocks, Options, and Commodities Exchanges

Government Agency Resources

Produce Crate Art


Sample Articles:

Evans, Arlene. “A CRATEFUL OF AMERICAN FOLK ART.” Antiques & Collecting Magazine 106.12 (2002): 35. MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web. 1 Mar. 2010.
Abstract:Presents the history of fruit crate labels in the United States which is a symbol of folk art in the country.
must be logged on to Ebsco to access above article

PBS Anti ques Roadshow Article on Crate Art:


California Historical Society’s Big Orange Online:  three periods of label design

Online Archive of California: includes labels from various library collections

395 Vintage Orange Crate Labels, 1900 – 1945:

Citrus Label Society:

All About Apples:

Box of Apples: An online museum (and gift shop) of fruit crate labels from the early 1900s to 1950s.


Antique Label Company:

Crate Art:

Crate Lables Online:

Fruit Crate Art:

Label Scout:  “Fruit Crate Labels, Vintage Advertisements, & More”

The History of Fruit Crate Labels and Can Labels: Origonal Fruit Crate Labels 1880-1970

Vintage Fruit Labels “All about Vintage Fruit Label history, information and gifts”


Sunkist Crate Label Gallery

Cal Citrus Packing:

If you have trouble finding the resources for your research, please don’t hesitate to come see a librarian in the library who is there to assist you in identifying and finding the resources you need or feel free to email Josh Boatright, , if you wish assistance via email.

African American History Resources

Black (African-American) History Month: February 2010

To commemorate and celebrate the contributions to our nation made by people of African descent, American historian Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week. The first celebration occurred on Feb. 12, 1926. For many years, the second week of February was set aside for this celebration to coincide with the birthdays of abolitionist/editor Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, as part of the nation’s bicentennial, the week was expanded into Black History Month. Each year, U.S. presidents proclaim February as National African-American History Month.
[ from ]




Browse book titles in the Berkeley City College circulating collection with the subject heading African American  by clicking HERE



Videos may be viewed in the library only



  • Africans in America VHS 7147
  • The Black American history series VHS 43-47
  • Black is– black ain’t : a personal journey through black identity VHS 59
  • The Black press: soldiers without swords VHS 50
  • Civil War VHS 7150
  • The divided union: the story of the American Civil War 1861-1865 VHS 3504-3508
  • Ethnic notions DVD 5957
  • Eyes on the prize VHS 7148
  • Jazz VHS 7128
  • Massachuserrs 54th colored infantry VHS 7136
  • Religions of the world: African and African American Religions VHS 7262
  • Unchained memories  : readings from the slave narratives DVD 5975
  • Wattstax DVD 3761


  • Frederick Douglass : an American life VHS 5
  • Marcus Garvey: look for me in the whirlwind VHS 5948
  • Voices and visions : Langston Hughes VHS 2133
  • Zora Neale Hurston: a heart with room for every joy DVD 5969
  • Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement VHS 5310
  • Citizen King (MLK) DVD 3766
  • Legacy of a dream (MLK) VHS 4
  • Toni Morrison profile of a writer VHS 48
  • For my people: the life and writing of Margaret Walker VHS 60




Berkeley Public Library (BPL) ( )also has a collection of books and videos dealing with African American subjects.  The main library is just two blocks away from BCC and any California resident is entitled to a free a BPL card.

African American Museum and Library :
The African American Museum and Library at Oakland is dedicated to discover, preserve, interpret and share the historical and cultural experiences of African Americans in California and the West for present and future generations.

KQED proudly celebrates the richness and diversity of the greater San Francisco Bay Area by commemorating February, Black History Month. The guide highlights KQED Public TV 9 and Public Radio 88.5 FM programs focused on African-American themes and issues, along with listings of community resources

Black History Month Events in Oakland

City of Oakland Events

City of Berkeley Events





GALE’s Black History Month Free Resources

The Internet African American History Challenge
The Internet African American History Challenge© is an interactive quiz that helps you sharpen your knowledge of African American History. It’s an “open book” test. So if you’re not sure of an answer, you can check our reference material for help. Level I is the easiest and has 7 questions while levels II & III have 10 questions each and are a bit more challenging.

African American World
A guide to African American history and culture from

Library of Congress African American History Month Site:
The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.

FREE Federal Resources for Educational Excellence:
More than 1,500 federally supported teaching and learning resources are included from dozens of federal agencies. New sites are added regularly including African American history Resources

Census data regarding African Americans:

Association for the Study of African American Life and History:
The mission of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) is to promote, research, preserve, interpret and disseminate information about Black life, history and culture to the global community.

Digital Historical Texts–Africana Library, Cornell University:
Cornell University Library links to digital historical texts

Documenting the American South:
collection of sources on Southern history, literature and culture from the colonial period through the first decades of the 20th century.
In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience:;jsessionid=f8301821611248398824376?bhcp=1
“In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience presents a new interpretation of African-American history, one that focuses on the self-motivated activities of peoples of African descent to remake themselves and their worlds.”

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture:
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a research unit of The New York Public Library, is generally recognized as one of the leading institutions of its kind in the world. For over 80 years the Center has collected, preserved, and provided access to materials documenting black life, and promoted the study and interpretation of the history and culture of peoples of African descent.

Making of America:
Digital library of primary resources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction including sociology as well as education, psychology, American history, religion, science and technology. Try using the advanced search with colored or negro as search terms. Note: These are primary source materials so the search terms reflect the language used in the time period.

Milestones in Black History :
“a chronological list of many events that shaped black history and some information about the brave men and women who led the way for today’s generation.”

Race & Place: An African American Community:
Race and Place is an archive about the racial segregation laws, or the ‘Jim Crow’ laws from the late 1880s until the mid-twentieth century from the University of Virginia.

American Slave Narratives: An Online Anthology
First hand accounts transcribed from interviews done from 1936 to 1938 of former slaves in the American South.


Library of Congress American Memory:

American Social History online:

Library Guide for Torres’ His 33




Reference resources are a good place to start research. They can help you find background information, choose topics, and understand concepts and terminology. To access online resources from off campus you will need to obtain passwords from the library with your current student i.d.

CREDO : an online database that provides online access to over 300 reference books including:

  • Encyclopedia of North American Indians
  • Mexico: An Encyclopedia of Contemporary Culture and History
  • Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century

HISTORY REFERENCE CENTER available via EBSCO offers full text from more than 1,620 reference books, encyclopedias and non-fiction books.


NETLIBRARY provides online access to over 10,000 books. To access these books from off campus you will need to create a username and password using a computer on-campus or you can email Josh Boatright at and request that he create an account for you.
Some of the  books on Native Americans and Mayans available via NetLibrary include:

  • The Voice in the Margin: Native American Literature and the Canon
  • Historical Dictionary of Native American Movements
  • Tribal Theory in Native American Literature: Dakota and Haudenosaunee Writing and Indigenous Worldviews
  • Daughters of Mother Earth: The Wisdom of Native American Women
  • Native American Issues: A Reference Handbook
  • The Tutor’d Mind: Indian Missionary-writers in Antebellum America
  • Reading the Voice: Native American Oral Poetry On the Page
  • Dictionary of Native American Literature
  • A to Z of American Indian Women
  • American Indian Reference and Resource Books for Children and Young Adults
  • The Massacre At Sand Creek: Narrative Voices
  • Heart of Heaven, Heart of Earth, and Other Mayan Folktales
  • Voices From Exile: Violence and Survival in Modern Maya History
  • Chocolate Tree: a Mayan Folktale
  • The Maya World: Yucatec Culture and Society, 1550-1850


For articles on Native American or Mayan subjects there are a number of EBSCO databases that may be useful for your research:

ACADEMIC SEARCH PREMIER provides full-text access to more than 4,600 interdisciplinary journals.

NEWSPAPER SOURCE provides cover-to-cover full text for 35 national & international newspapers. The database also contains selective full text for 375 regional (U.S.) newspapers. In addition, full text television & radio news transcripts are also provided.

ETNIC NEWSWATCH: Covers current issues and events discussed from the viewpoints and perspectives of various ethnic groups and races. Includes full text access to magazines, newspapers, and research journals not in other databases.

Magill On Literature Plus (Ebsco): includes all the literary works, reviewed critical analyses and brief plot summaries that are included in MagillOnLiterature, as well as all the biographies and author essays included in MagillOnAuthors.

Points of View Reference Center (Ebsco): designed to assist researchers in understanding the full scope of controversial subjects. Students can use Points of View as a guide to debate, developing arguments, writing position papers, and for development of critical thinking skills. Each Points of View Essay includes a series of questions and additional material to generate further thought. Also included are thousands of supporting articles from the world’s top political and societal publications.


ARTSTOR is a digital library of nearly one million images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences. To access ARTstor from off campus you will need to create a username and password using a computer on-campus or you can email Josh Boatright at and request that he create an account for you.


To search the library’s holdings use the library catalog.  If you wish to browse the collection, Browsing the stacks can help you evaluate a library’s collection in a given field of study. For public libraries using the Dewey Decimal System, books whose primary subject is business is found in the 650 call number range.  The BCC Library along with most academic libraries in the united states use Library of Congress call numbers to arrange its collection.  The  Library of Congress call numbers beginning with E-F contain works relevant to History of the Americas.  For a break down of the subjects that are covered in these call number ranges please use the following link:

Sample Interent Resources

FAMSI The Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies created to foster increased understanding of ancient Mesoamerican cultures.  Includes links to books, videos, photographs, etc.

General Websites

Specific Aspects

If you have trouble finding the resources for your research, please don’t hesitate to come see a librarian in the library who is there to assist you in identifying and finding the resources you need or feel free to email Josh Boatright, , if you wish assistance via email.