Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Oxford African American Studies Center

Online Reference Books, Primary Sources, Biographies, Essays, and Special Features

I'm thrilled to announce that the UF Libraries now have access to the Oxford African American Studies Center, an online multidiscliplinary reference database edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. of Harvard University.

Wander through the database. You can find biographies, primary sources, information about music and art, life and culture, history, business, just about anything. It's especially good for finding topics for papers and getting started with good background information for papers and presentations.

For example, browsing through the maps, I found a map of "Post-War Black Schools," along with a description of the Freedman's Bureau and its relationship to education. A list of related links (within the database) would led me to the following articles
Navigation is easy and fluid. A timeline guides the user through all aspects of the African Diaspora at once or specific aspects of it, including links to articles in the database. You can highlight any word or phrase in an article, click on "Look it up" at the top of the page. The phrase will move into the search box and it will be automatically searched.

Under "Links" on the black stripe at the top of the page, are excellent links to websites on other topics: dance in Africa and the African Diaspora, Black women writers, the Greensboro sit-ins, African Americans in the military, among others.

You can print out or email articles to yourself.

As usual, let me know what you think about this database -- positive and negative. If you're having problems finding something you feel must be in it, but is elusive, we might be able to find it together. There's another similar (but even more exciting) database in our near future. So keep your eyes here!

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