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HIST 252: Africa in the Modern World

Finding Books ....

Look for resources by searching Omni to find books, journals, videos and other materials owned by the Library.  You may search by keywords, author, title or subject headings.   

Subject Headings vs Keyword Searching

Subject headings allow you to search for resources on a particular author or topic and are often more productive than keyword searches. 

Keyword searches work best if you have multiple concepts or topics and need only a few books. 

For a comprehensive subject search, search with subject headings as well as keywords.

Searching Omni

Start with a keyword search, but expect to revise it. 

Keyword Searching TIPS

Search Technique  

What It Does

quotation marks

Searches for exact phrase

Truncation *

Searches for all forms of a word

Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT)

Lets you broaden or narrow your search


For example:

"slave trade" AND africa

("slave trade" OR slavery) AND  africa*

When searching OMNI for books, use the facets located on the search results screen, to limit your search results to books & ebooks.

When you find relevant results, note the subject headings assigned. Refining your search using the same subject heading terminology may yield more precise results.

Subject Headings

They are many relevant subject headings. Some suggestions:

Africa, Central
Africa, Sub-Saharan
South Africa

These headings are further qualified by topical, geographic, or chronological subheadings.

Africa -- Colonial influence
Africa -- Colonization -- History
Africa -- History
Africa -- History -- Autonomy and independence movements
Africa, Central -- Discovery and exploration
Africa, Sub-Saharan -- Politics and Government
Decolonization -- Africa
Slave trade -- History
South Africa -- Anti-Apartheid Movements
South Africa -- Race relations
Women --  Africa -- History -- 20th century

Browsing the Shelves

QUL Libraries arranges books by Library of Congress call numbers. Though history is covered in every discipline (e.g., women's history may be located in the women's studies call numbers),  the major sections for African history are listed below.

For a more specific breakdown of the call numbers see the Library of Congress Classification for DT.


The Library subscribes to a number of e-book packages which can be accessed via Databases or searched in Omni. Packages that are of interest to history students are:
Provides full-text access to major works in American, European and Middle Eastern history. Topics covered include many aspects of history plus archaeology, area studies, art, folklore, literature, music, philosophy, political science, religion, and women's studies.

Cambridge Histories Online Collection contains over 300 volumes published since 1960, covering over 15 different academic subjects, e.g. 

Cambridge History of Africa
Cambridge History of South Africa

Blackwell publishes a series of books of historiographic essays on many topics in history. They are available online through the database, Blackwell Reference Online, e.g. A Companion to Postcolonial Studies
Oxford Scholarship Online                 
Full-text access to scholarly publishing in 20 subjects from around the world,
Provides access to about 600,000 electronic books (ebooks) from a wide variety of publishers.
UPSO includes titles from Oxford University Press and other partner presses.  QUL has access to selected titles, indicated by a green open lock icon on search results screens.

Other Digitized Book Collections

A collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world.
The Internet Archive and Open Library offers over 10,000,000 fully accessible books and texts.
Project Gutenberg
Over 54,000 free eBooks. Select free e-pub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online.