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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Africana Studies

Reference Materials: Encyclopedias, Handbooks, etc.

Reference materials are a good way to begin your research:








  • Helps to brainstorm for topic ideas
  • Provides a topic overview
  • Helps with formulating your topic (how to think about your topic)
  • Heading provide different ways to break down your topic (relevant issues)
  • Uses topic specific vocabulary/terms (use when searching for additional sources) 
  • Provides a bibliography leading to additional relevant books and/or articles

Online Encyclopedias

Our library has access to a wide variety of online specialized encyclopedias and other reference sources to offer a broad overview of your topic.  These types of sources are a good foundation to understand the scope and issues involved in your topic.

Enter your key words (s) or phrase(s) in the search box OR browse database's List of Entries or Subject Index to find topic information. 

Reference Databases:

Gale eBooks

  • Provides a multitude of encyclopedias related to Africana Studies
  • Type keyword/phrase into database search box
  • Click the Multicultural Studies link to view reference material coving a wide range of topics

International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavior Sciences

  • Authoritative interdisciplinary articles providing a foundation across the wide range of behavioral and social sciences fields
  • Type keyword/phrase into database search box

Oxford Bibliographies

  • Authoritative research guides by scholars and librarians worldwide
  • Annotated bibliographies with subject introductions
  • Type keyword/phrase into database search box
  • Hundreds of relevant bibliographies listed for these related broad subjects: African American StudiesAfrican Studies, Atlantic History

Oxford Reference

  • Online reference database bringing together dictionaries, handbooks and encyclopedias spanning 25 different subject areas
  • Browse through or search under their list of specialized subjects
  • Type keyword/phrase into database search box

Sage Knowledge--Reference 

  • Type keyword/phrase into database search box


Online Encyclopedia Titles:

This listing is but a small portion of our collection with a broad subject treatment.  To find additional encyclopedias or other reference materials, use OneSearch--select to search Books and type your keywords/phrases in the search box.

The African American Almanac (2011)

African American Religious Cultures (2009) 

The Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature (2001)

Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History: The Black Experience in the Americas, 2nd edition (2006)

Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora Origins, Experiences, and Culture (2008)

Encyclopedia of African American Education (2010)

Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619–1895: From the Colonial Period to the Age of Frederick Douglass (2006)

Encyclopedia of African American History: 1896 to the Present (2009)

Encyclopedia of African American Music (2011)

Encyclopedia of African American Society (2005)

Encyclopedia of African American Writing, 3rd edition (2018)

Encyclopedia of Black Studies (2005)

Encyclopedia of Race and Racism (2009)

Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, Society (2008)

Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America (2014)

Historical Dictionary of African American Cinema, 2nd edition (2015) 

Immigrants in American History: Arrival, Adaptation and Integration  (2013)

World of a Slave: Encyclopedia of the Material Culture of Slaves in the United States (2010)

Print Encyclopedias and Handbooks

The African American Encyclopedia 2nd edition (2001)

Reference  E 185 .A253 2001 v.1-10

Africana: the Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience (1999)

Reference DT 14 .A37435 1999

American Immigrant Cultures: Builders of a Nation (1997)  

Reference  E 184 .A1 A63448 1997 v.1-2

Encyclopedia of Minorities in American Politics (2000)

Reference E 184 .A1 E574 2000  v.1-2

Encyclopedia of Multicultural Psychology (2006)

GN502 .E63 2006

Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America (2000)  

Reference E 184 .A1 G14 2000

Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups (1980)

Reference E 184 .A1 H35 1980

Immigrants in American History: Arrival, Adaptation and Integration (2013)   

Reference Desk JV6450 .I5536 2013 v. 1-4

Reference Library of Black America (2003)

Reference E 185 .R455 2003 v. 1-5