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African Studies Library: Databases

Where to find...

Below is a selection of useful electronic databases for African Studies. Some may require your Raven login, especially if you are not on campus.

For a comprehensive list of online resources available to you searchable by subject and keyword, please see the eresources & ejournals LibGuide.

Africa Focus

  • Africabib.org - (open access) : This bibliographic database consists of approx. 225,000 African studies publications and is an amalgamation of the following 6 databases: Africana Periodical Literature; African Women; Women Travellers, Explorers and Missionaries to Africa; Islam in Africa; Kenya Coast; Water (Hosted by the African Studies Centre Leiden)

  • Africa Bibliography (Raven login) : Includes monographs, chapters, articles, and pamphlets.  Coverage: all regions of Africa, including North Africa.  Works are in English, Portuguese, French, Italian, German, Swahili, Spanish & Afrikaans. Subject coverage: social and environmental sciences, humanities and arts, and some items from the medical, biological and natural sciences

  • African Digital Research Repositories (open access) : The following list of known repositories within the African continent has been compiled by the International African Institute as a service to African studies research and scholarship in line with our remit to promote the dissemination of knowledge from and on Africa. It is unlikely to be comprehensive and will be regularly reviewed and updated.

  • African Studies Abstracts Online (open access) : ASA Online provides a quarterly overview of journal articles and edited works on Africa in the field of the social sciences and the humanities available in the ASC library (Leiden)

  • African Studies Companion Online (Raven login) : contains over 1800 entries covering guides and resources for African languages, Africa cartography and maps, African film, African studies journals, magazines and newsletters, media guides and news sources for Africa, the African press, African studies library collections worldwide, national archives in Africa, centers of African studies and African studies programs worldwide, awards and prizes in African studies, and a wealth of other subjects. 

  • African Writers Series (Raven login) : For over 40 years, Heinemann's African Writers Series published the key texts of modern African literature. It has a unique importance in the history of postcolonial writing. This online edition includes over 250 volumes of fiction, poetry, drama and non-fictional prose, including works by Chinua Achebe, Ama Ata Aidoo, Steve Biko, Buchi Emecheta, Nadine Gordimer, Bessie Head, Doris Lessing, Nelson Mandela, Dambudzo Marechera, Christopher Okigbo, Okot p'Bitek and Tayeb Salih.

  • Commonwealth iLibrary : an online searchable repository of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s publications. 

  • Commonwealth & Latin American Archives Project : an extensive collection of political ephemera.

  • Connecting-Africa (open access) : Connecting-Africa is a gateway to African research information and materials produced worldwide. It provides access to 59490 publications from 93 repositories as well as information on 1354 Africa experts (researchers, policymakers, development practioners) and on 890 organisations (research or development-related institutes with expertise on Africa).

  • Electronic Journals and Newspapers on Africa (open access) : Freely available and relevant journals and newspapers listed by Columbia University Library information services.

  • Empire Online (Raven login) : This resource brings together manuscript, printed and visual primary source materials for the study of 'Empire' and its theories, practices and consequences.

  • FOCUS: Sub-Saharan Africa (open access) The Open Knowledge Repository contains the World Bank’s premium research dealing with key aspects of development in Sub-Saharan Africa. This site contains thousands of published books, journal articles, economic and sector studies, working papers, and knowledge briefs.

  • ILISSAfrica (open access) : The internet library sub-Saharan Africa (ILISSAfrica) is a portal that offers an integrated access to relevant scientific conventional and digital information resources on the sub-Saharan Africa region. Information scattered on private or institutional websites, databases or library catalogues is brought together in order to facilitate research.

  • Open Data for Africa (open access)

By Subject

  • Anthropology Plus (Raven login) : Comprehensive, focused index covering publications in anthropology and related disciplines issued from the mid-19th century to the present. Social, cultural, physical, biological, and linguistic anthropology and archaeology (particularly prehistoric archaeology) are indexed comprehensively. Closely related fields such as folklore, material culture, human evolution, primatology, zooarchaeology, museum studies, and visual studies are all well represented. Unites two premier indexes produced in two hemispheres – Anthropological Literature (AL) at Harvard University and Anthropological Index Online (AIO) at the British Museum -- both indexing many of the core anthropology publications while individually covering many lesser-known and local publications, yielding in-depth coverage of a broad array of the world’s scholarship in anthropology.

  • ArtStor (Raven login) : Database of digital images & accompanying scholarly information for use in art history and other humanistic fields of learning including the related social sciences. Includes approx. 300,000 images covering art, architecture & archaeology.

  • ATLA Religion Database (Raven login) : ATLA Religion Database provides information on topics such as biblical studies, world religions, church history, and religion in social issues. This database is the definitive index for religious and theological literature.

  • Cambridge Histories Online (Raven login)

  • Encyclopaedia of Islam (Raven login) : The third edition of Brill’s Encyclopaedia of Islam is an entirely new work, with new articles reflecting the great diversity of current scholarship. The new scope includes comprehensive coverage of Islam in the twentieth century and of Muslim minorities all over the world.

  • Encyclopedia of Political Thought (Raven login) :  The entries range in size from shorter definitions and biographies to extended treatments of major topics and traditions. Tracing the evolution of political thinking from antiquity to the present.

  • Encyclopedia of the Qu'ran (Raven login) : The Encyclopaedia of the Qur’ān Online is an encyclopaedic dictionary of qur’ānic terms, concepts, personalities, place names, cultural history and exegesis extended with essays on the most important themes and subjects within qur’ānic studies.

  • Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) daily service reports (1974-1996) (Raven login) : An archive of 20th Century news from around the world. Global views on United States foreign and domestic policy after World War II

  • Historical Abstracts (Raven login) : Historical Abstracts is a reference guide to the history of the world from 1450 to the present (excluding the United States and Canada). This database offers annotated references to information on topics from the Renaissance to the present -over 1.5 million entries in all. 1800+ journals published throughout the world are covered in the database, including key historical journals from virtually every major country.

  • Oxford Bibliographies (Raven login) : Includes the following subject collections: Anthropology, Film & Media Studies, International Relations, Sociology 

  • Public Affairs Information Service (Raven login) : This resource covers issues in the public debate through selective coverage of a wide variety of international sources including journal articles, books, government documents, statistical directories, grey literature, research reports, conference papers, web content, and more.

  • Worldwide Political Science Abstracts (Raven login) : Worldwide Political Science Abstracts provides abstracts and indexing of the international literature of political science and international relations, along with complementary fields, including international law and public administration/policy.

General

  • Factiva (Raven login) : Factiva is a database of over 8,000 business and news publications, most in full text. Sources are in 22 languages, date back as far as 1969, and include trade journals, newswires (Dow Jones, Reuters, and others), media programs, and company and stock reports. Search publications by title, industry, geographic locations, type, and language.

  • International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS) (Raven login) : This database includes over 3 million bibliographic references to journal articles and to books, reviews and selected chapters dating back to 1951. It is unique in its broad coverage of international material and incorporates over 100 languages and countries. Over 2,800 journals are regularly indexed and some 7,000 books are included each year.

  • Scopus (Raven login) : Scopus is a navigation tool covering the world's largest collection of abstracts, references and indexes of scientific, technical and medical (STM) literature. Seamless links to full-text articles and other library resources make Scopus quick, easy and comprehensive. 

  • Web of Science (Raven login) : The Web of Science (citation indexes), published by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), is a multidisciplinary database, with searchable author abstracts, covering the journal literature of the sciences, social sciences and arts. It indexes major journals in these disciplines. Because the information stored about each article includes the article's cited reference list (often called its bibliography), you can also search the databases for articles that cite a known author or work.