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History 291: Modern Africa: Home

Tips for Using Subject Encyclopedias

Subject encyclopedias are excellent starting points for your research.  The entries are written by scholars and the bibliographies found at the end of the entries identify additional scholarly sources.  Sometimes, however, it may be difficult to locate an entry specifically on your topic.  When that happens, try these strategies:

  • Look for instances where your specific topic is embedded in a larger discussion, as this often will help you establish the paramenters of the larger scholarly context.
  • Browse through entries that focus on problematic areas in historiography, whether or not they actually discuss your specific topic.  Here are some examples:
    • In The New Encyclopedia of Africa, browse "Economics and the Study of Africa," "Historiography," "Art History and the Study of Africa" or "Heritage, Cultural."
    • In The Encyclopedia of Africa, browse  "Commodification of African Art," or "Structural adjustment in Africa"

Subject Encyclopedias for African History, Society and Culture

Online Reference Collections

Not finding what you need?  Each of these online collections will introduce you to a wealth of dictionaries and encyclopedias.

Subject Guide

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Peggy Burge
Collins Library 119

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