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African American Studies

Databases for Biographical Research

Search Tips for African American Biographical Research

  • To obtain book-length autobiographies and biographies, search DELCAT Discovery using the individual's name as a subject. For example, to locate books about Tupac Shakur,  type su:tupac shakur

  • DELCAT Discovery uses the term African Americans when referring to Black citizens of the United States and Blacks when discussing black people internationally.

  • To find biographical information on African Americans in a particular career, use terms that refer to that career/subject area. For example, African American musicians AND biograph*.  Try many options such as: African American* AND (musicians OR rappers) AND biography.

    NOTE: The " * " in the above search retrieves words with different endings. For example, biograph* would retrieve the terms biographical, biographies and biography.

If you are interested in a certain career and/or subject area, search using subject headings that refer to that career. For assistance in selecting terms to locate books, refer to the Library of Congress Subject Headings or Ask a Librarian. Below is a sample list of subject headings you might use:

African American athletes
African American authors
African American inventors
African American musicians
African American physicians
African American scientists
African American women--Biography
African Americans--Biography
African Americans--Civil rights
African Americans--Education
African Americans--Social conditions
Authors, American--20th century
Jazz musicians
Novelists, American--20th Century
Racially mixed people
Slavery in the United States
Slaves--United States--Biography
Underground railroad
Women slaves