During COVID-19 I am available by email as well as for virtual meetings. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you need assistance, or have any questions. Margaret.
Pick a research topic
- Read your syllabus (assignment instructions).
- Pick a topic that interests you and meets the assignment instructions.
- Narrow or broaden the scope of your topic so that it is "doable."
- What's scope? Scope refers to the "people, places and things" or "who, what, when and where" that you are studying. For example, Canada or another country? Children or adults? Education or child protection services?
Use these to get an overview of your topic or to find definitions of key terms and concepts.
Subject specific dictionaries and encyclopedias are useful for helping you figure out the jargon of a discipline and can give quick overviews of a topic to get you started. You can often pick up keywords to use in your search strategies from these sources:
- New encyclopedia of Africa
- Oxford research encyclopedias. African history
- Encyclopedia of twentieth-century African history
- Student encyclopedia of African literature
- The African studies companion : a guide to information sources
- A Political and Economic Dictionary of Africa
- EIU.com (Economist Intelligence Unit)
- Africa confidential (Information service covering economic and political issues)
- Oxford Reference Online Premium
- CRL Catalogue (the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago, Illinois, collection of research materials including historical, political, social and cultural primary resources in the area of African Studies, especially explore the Cooperative Africana Materials Project (CAMP) http://www.crl.edu/area-studies/camp )
- Foreign Government Information: Africa
Use this worksheet to write out your research topic and identify key ideas.
Explore your topic
Introducing the library's search engine (OMNI) - which makes it possible to search across many of the library's collections simultaneously. Including books, ebooks, journal titles, games, music, videos, government information, maps, and more.
However, it doesn't search everything that the library owns or subscribes to so you will still need to search other resources to find everything that you need.
When to use the library's search engine:
- When starting research on a topic
- If you are not sure which databases to use
Fulltext eBook Collections:
- Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
- International Political Science Abstracts
- Columbia International Affairs Online
- Business Source Complete
- Africa Development Indicators
- African Journals Online
- Anthropology Plus
- Historical Abstracts
- Quarterly Index of African Periodical Literature
- PAIS Index (previously PAIS International)
- Sociological Abstracts
- World Bank e-Library
- Web of Science
- World Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology Abstracts
- Literary Sources
- ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials
- Gender Studies Database
- Women Writers Project
- Political Science Database (previously ProQuest Political Science)
- Dissertations and Theses Global
- Africa in Focus (Brookings)
- Africa Maps (Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, University of Texas)
- Africa Portal
- Africa South of the Sahara: Selected Internet Resources
- African Studies (Columbia University)
- African Studies Association
More than 1,000 digitized historic maps of Africa
- Center for Africana Studies (University of Pennsylvania)
- Guide to Africa on the Internet (Nordic Africa Institute)
- H-Africa: Africa Past and Present
- Index on Africa (Norwegian Council for Africa)
- Selected African Studies Websites (Princeton University Library)
- Africa Online Digital Library
- African Human Rights Resources (University of Minnesota)
- South African History Online
- African Arguments
- Africa Through a Lens
- Some organizations and initiatives supporting African publishing and book development
- Africa Portal (resource for policy-related issues on Africa)
- African Books Collective (index of major African publishers)
- Douglas Anglin fonds
- The Uganda Collection
- Archives and Research Collections (the Uganda collection)
- Gemini - Uganda Asians, c. 1972
Library and Archives Collections
- Thematic Guides - South African War
- South African War, 1899-1902 - Service Files, Medals and Land Applications
- Archives de l'Afrique Équatoriale Française
Historica maps of Africa.
- AGSL Digital Photo Archive: Africa (University of Milwaukee)
- Africa Oral Narratives
- Africa Through a Lens (The National Archives, UK)
- Africa: South of the Sahara (Stanford)
- African Activist Archive
- African National Congress Historical Documents Archive
- Ancient Manuscripts from the Desert of Libraries Timbuktu (Library of Congress)
- Archives de l'Afrique Équatoriale Française
- British Pathe Film Archive
- Colonial Film Database
- Digital Innovation South Africa (DISA)
Freely accessible online scholarly resource focusing on the socio-political history of South Africa, particularly the struggle for freedom from 1950 to 1994.
Documents dealing primarily with the British Empire including Africa.
- Genocide Archive of Rwanda
- Images of Colonialism (Harvard)
- International Mission Photography Archive
- Malcolm X , the FBI Files
- NAACP: A Century in the Fight for Freedom, 1909-2009
The Library of Congress's largest single collection is the NAACP papers. This exhibition shows documents from this collection which have been digitized.
- Nelson Mandela Archive
- The Rwanda Documents Project
- Ross Archive of African Images (Yale)
- South African History Archive
- South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid Building Democracy
- The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission Videotape Collection
- South African Medical Journal 1884-2002
- Say it Plain, Say it Loud A Century of Great African American Speeches
- Slavery Abolition and Social Justice
- Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora
- Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law
- United Nations
- Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
- World Bank - Africa
- World Digital Library (UNESCO)
- African Newspapers
news, analysis and advocacy
- Africa | IPS Inter Press Service
- BBC News | Africa
- African News from World Press Review
- Africa Review
online news magazine
- Historical Papers held by the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Think Africa Press
African Research Institute
Consult the News Guide for details of news sources.
Tips for searching newspaper databases.
For current Canadian newspapers/news:
- Canadian Newsstream
- Canadian Business & Current Affairs Database: transcripts of CBC (TV and radio) and CTV (TV) news shows
For historical Canadian & other newspapers:
- The Globe and Mail: Canada's Heritage from 1844
- The Guardian 1821-2003
- New York Times 1851-2005
- The Observer 1791-2003
- Sunday Times Digital Archive 1822-2006
- Toronto Star: Pages of the Past
- Times Digital Archive 1785-1985
For international sources:
When doing your research, It is important to find information that is reliable, accurate, and appropriate for your assignment.
Knowing how to evaluate information can help you with research assignments.
Knowing how to find relevant and accurate information can help you make informed decisions.
Writing & Citing Guides:
Citation Management (workshops offered at the Library)
More Writing & Citing Resources:
- Empirical Research and Writing: A Political Science Student's Practical Guide
- Politics on the Internet: A Student Guide
- How to map arguments in political science
- Your research project: how to manage it
Citing Print and Electronic Resources
- Citing Sources From Duke University. This guide provides examples of citations in APA, Chicago, MLA,and Turabian styles for both print and electronic resources.
- Online! Citing Electronic Resources Provides guidelines for the citation of electronic resources in a variety of styles
- Purdue OWL
How to write a literature review
- How to write a literature review (Concordia University Libraries)
- The literature review: a few tips on conducting it (U. of Toronto)
- Literature reviews (University of N. Carolina, Chapel Hill)