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AFR 101: Introduction to African American Studies: Finding Books

Finding Books-OneSearch

1.  Begin by locating the library's OneSearch on the library homepage.  OneSearch allows you to search a majority of the library's electronic holdings at one time.

2. Begin with a simple keyword search, When searching for books, it's often best to start with a simple search, as most books are written on more general topics.  Example: Books about the Civil Rights Movement will most assuredly address voting rights.  Click Search.

3.  The next screen is the result screen.  On the left margin of the screen are your limits.  In order to limit to only books we need to select that box and click update. Note that this limit includes records for both print and electronic books.

Our results are now limited to only print and electronic books.

4. If we need to--meaning our results are too broad, we can limit our search further by adding an additional search.  In this case, "voting rights". Click on "Advanced Search" for more search boxes. Be sure to re-limit to books.

5. Review your results.  To select the record for a book, click on the title.  This will take you to the book's record.  If the book is a print book, note the book's call number.  

This number is how you locate the book in the library. 

Suggested Search Terms

  • Below are some suggested search terms to use when searching the SOUTHcat catalog or library databases. Search techniques may vary with each database, so look at help screens or ask a librarian for suggestions about using quotation marks and truncation symbols.

Leave out the word "and" when doing a keyword search on SOUTHcat, since this is automatically added if the phrase is not in quotes. Put phrases in quotation marks to search as a phrase. Use ? as a truncation or wildcard symbol in the catalog. Use Advanced Boolean Search for combinations of concepts and phrases.


  • African Americans
  • Slaves
  • Slavery
  • Slave trade
  • African American men
  • African American women
  • Civil rights
  • Lynching
  • Voting
  • Voters
  • Voter registration
  • Race relations
  • Racism
  • Narratives

Library of Congress Subject Headings:

  • African Americans -- History
  • African Americans -- Social life and customs
  • African Americans -- Intellectual life
  • African Americans -- Southern States
  • African Americans -- Southern States -- Politics and suffrage
  • African Americans -- Biography
  • African American civil rights workers – Biography
  • African Americans -- Civil rights – History -- 20th century
  • African Americans in popular culture -- United States -- History -- 19th century
  • African Americans -- Social conditions
  • African Americans -- Race identity
  • African American men -- Race identity
  • African American women -- Race identity
  • African Americans -- Suffrage -- Southern States
  • African American political activists
  • African Americans -- Civil rights -- Southern States -- History -- 19th century
  • African Americans -- Civil rights -- Southern States -- History -- 20th century
  • African Americans -- Crimes againstHistory
  • Slavery -- United States -- History -- 19th century
  • Women slaves -- United States -- Biography
  • Antislavery movements -- United States -- History -- 19th century
  • Slaves’ writings, American
  • Slave narratives
  • Captivity narratives
  • Slaves -- Alabama -- History -- 19th century
  • Slave trade -- Alabama -- Mobile -- History -- 19th century
  • Slave trade -- United States -- History -- 19th century
  • West Africans -- Alabama -- History -- 19th century
  • Civil rights workers -- United States
  • Women civil rights workers -- United States
  • Civil rights movements -- United States -- History -- 20th century
  • United States -- Race relations -- History -- 20th century
  • Voter registration -- Southern States
  • Mobile (Ala.) -- Social conditions -- 19th century
  • Mobile (Ala.) -- Race relations -- History --19th century.
  • Lynching -- Southern States -- History
  • Voting African Americans -- Politics and government -- United States
  • Selma-Montgomery Rights March, 1965
  • Selma (Ala.) -- Politics and government
  • Selma (Ala.) -- Race relations.
  • Alabama -- Race relations
  • Civil rights movements -- Alabama -- History -- 20th century
  • Civil rights -- AlabamaSelma
  • United States – Race relations
  • Southern States -- Race relations -- History
  • Rap (Music) |-- Social aspects
  • Hip-hop -- Social aspects