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A Guide to...African History

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History Databases

Recommended General Databases


In addition to the research databases, you can use the Libraries' E-Journals Search to look for articles in specific journals. 

This can be a useful strategy when: 

  • Your professor has recommended specific journals that address your topic; 
  • You notice that the same journals come up frequently while doing your research;
  • You have a citation for a specific article that you would like to read (see the Finding Full Text tab for more).  

Just make sure not to rely too much on one or two specific journals. To get the broadest perspective possible on your topic, it's best practice to use multiple sources. 

Here are some journals you may want to use as a starting point: 

Special Search Tools 
Databases focused on a particular subject area (often called subject or subject-specific databases) often come with special features geared towards the needs of that subject area. 
Historical Period Searches

One such tool can be found in the Historical Abstracts and America History & Life databases. Most databases will allow you to search for articles published within a certain time-frame, but this is not as useful if you are trying to locate information on a specific historical era -- you won't be looking for (secondary) sources published in the 1800s! 

These databases include Historical Period information for each article, allowing you to search for articles about a specific time period.  

Geographic Searches

The database Africa Bibliography allows you to look for research articles based on the region and/or country to which they pertain. These characteristics are selected from 'controlled' drop-down lists, meaning that you know there will be an exact match.