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HIST 252: Africa in the Modern World

Selected Library Databases

Black Studies Center

African Diaspora, 1860 - present
Primary source documents covering migrations, communities, and ideologies of the African Diaspora through the voices of people of African descent, with a focus on communities in the Caribbean, Brazil, India, United Kingdom, and France.

Empire Online  
Find primary source documents on colonial history, politics, and culture from 1492 to 2007, primarily about the British Empire, especially Africa, the Americas, Australia, Oceania, and South Asia.

Slavery, Abolition and Social Justice  
Archives primary source documents for the study of slavery and abolition with materials from Africa, the Caribbean, the U.S., Latin America, and Europe from 1490 to 2007.

Nineteenth Century Collections Online
Includes a large number of colonial materials related to Africa.

19th Century Masterfile
Indexes Anglo-American literature: periodicals, books, newspapers, and government documents published before 1930.

Humanities and Social Sciences Index Retrospective: 1907-1984

Periodical Archives Online
PAO offers access to the international scholarly literature of the humanities and social science disciplines from 1802 to 1995.

Times Digital Archive (London)
The Times Digital Archive is an online, full-text facsimile of The Times, detailing every complete page of every issue from 1785-1985.

New York Times Historical Newspaper
1851 to 4 years ago

Proquest Historical Newspapers
Full text facsimiles of various U.S. newspapers.

Selected Web Resources

Ancient Manuscripts from the Desert Libraries of Timbuktu
Dating from the 16th to the 18th centuries, the ancient manuscripts presented in this exhibition cover every aspect of human endeavor and are indicative of the high level of civilization attained by West Africans during the Middle Ages.

Africa Online Digital Library
contains oral narratives and much more

Africa Past & Present
Podcast about African History, Culture and Politics (African Digital Library, Michigan State University)

Africa's Great Civilizations
PBS TV Series

Images of Colonialism in Africa (Harvard U. collection)

Internet African History Sourcebook
Diverse collection of primary source materials.

16th - 20th century Maps of Africa
Digitized collection of maps from the Northwestern University collection.

The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas: A Visual Record
Searchable collection of images arranged in eighteen categories. The 1,280 images in this collection have been selected from a wide range of sources, most of them dating from the period of slavery with information of the experiences of Africans who were enslaved and transported to the Americas and the lives of their descendants in the slave societies of the New World.

Internet African History Sourcebook (Fordham University)

The Slave Route (UNESCO Project)

Slave Voyages (Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database)
The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database has information on almost 36,000 slaving voyages that forcibly embarked over 10 million Africans for transport to the Americas between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Voice of the Shuttle: History
There is a section of Africa.

Wonders of the African World (PBS)
Supplementary materials to the TV series with Henry Louis Gates Jr. 

World Digital LIbrary (WDL)
WDL makes available on the Internet and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world.

Zamani Project
This site offers photos, maps and videos of 3-D models of archaeological sites.

History: Africa: Primary Sources
Not all of the websites can be accessed as some are locked and only available to the University of Washington community.



Primary Sources

Primary sources are original sources, in which its witnesses or first recorders describe a time, person or event. The format will vary from topic to topic. Some types of primary sources include:

  • diaries and journals
  • speeches, interviews, letters
  • memoirs and autobiographies
  • government documents
  • published materials,  e.g. magazine and newspapers articles written at the particular time

The primary source can be from the period of study, as well as digital, microfilm (especially newspapers) and printed collections of these documents published at a later date.

For more information, check the Primary Sources guide along with the primary sources section of individual country guides.

Subject Headings

Once you've discovered the subject heading for secondary sources, try adding one of the primary source subheadings to see what you find.  For example:

Secondary source subject:
  Apartheid South Africa History
Primary source subject:
  Apartheid South Africa History Sources

Historical Figures

If you know ot a person involved in the event or from the time period, browse for that person's name as an author for memoirs, diaries, correspondence, etc. To do this:

Click Browse in the top menu.

Select Browse by Author. Type in author's name - last name first.

For example: