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In honor of the 2012 Black History Month theme, "Black Women in American Culture and History", this guide features Black American women writers whose works are included in the collections of the James P. Adams Library.
Last Updated: Jun 18, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Selected Library Databases for Research on This Topic

  • Academic Search Complete - Ebscohost
    Indexes and abstracts over 11,000 magazines and scholarly journals in all subject areas with over 7,000 in full text. Coverage dates vary.
  • American National Biography Online
    The landmark American National Biography offers portraits of more than 18,700 men & women — from all eras and walks of life — whose lives have shaped the nation.
  • Book Review Digest Retrospective: 1908-1982 (H.W. Wilson)
    Cumulating the complete content of Book Review Digest from 1905-1982, this database provides excerpts from, and citations to, reviews of adult and juvenile fiction and non-fiction.
  • Gale Literature Resource Center
    A full-text database of literary information including literary criticism, biographies, bibliographies, work overviews and explications, websites and periodical articles.
  • Humanities & Social Sciences Index Retrospective: 1907-1984 (H.W. Wilson)
    Indexes nearly 1,200 periodicals, from 1907 - 1984. There are citations to more than 1,300,000 articles, including over 240,000 book reviews in this database.
    Rhode Island College currently participates in seven JSTOR archive collections: Arts & Sciences I-VII. The entire corpus is full-text searchable, offers search term highlighting, includes high-quality images, and is interlinked by millions of citations and references.
  • LexisNexis Academic
    Searchable access to full-text information including: National and regional newspapers, wire services, broadcast transcripts, international news, and non-English language sources; U.S. Federal and state case law, codes, regulations, legal news, law reviews, and international legal information; Shepards Citations for all U.S. Supreme Court cases back to 1789; Business news journals, company financial information, SEC filings and reports, and industry and market news.
  • Masterplots
    A classic reference work for more than sixty years, Masterplots analyzes the most important works in all genres -- long fiction, short fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction -- throughout history and around the world, helping to define and critique the literary canon.
  • MLA International Bibliography
    MLA International Bibliography is the primary database for finding articles on Literature.
  • New York Times, 1851-2008 (ProQuest Historical Newspapers)
    The New York Times (1851-2007) offers full page and article images with searchable full text back to the first issue. The collection includes digital reproductions providing access to every page from every available issue.
  • Oxford African American Studies Center
    The Oxford African American Studies Center combines the authority of carefully edited reference works with sophisticated technology to create a comprehensive collection of scholarship available online focusing on the lives and events which have shaped African American and African history and culture.
    The Oxford African American Studies Center provides students, scholars and librarians with more than 10,000 articles by top scholars in the field.
  • Oxford Reference Online
    A multi-part database of the online versions of Oxford University Press texts. Each topical division contains the searchable version of the latest edition of published dictionaries and encyclopedias.
  • Readers' Guide Retrospective: 1890-1982 (H.W. Wilson
    Readers' Guide Retrospective, produced by The H. W. Wilson Company, is a database containing comprehensive indexing of the most popular general-interest periodicals published in the years 1890 through 1982.

Resources in HELIN

A selection of reference materials available at RIC are shown below.  For a more complete list, use the subject headings above.

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African-American writers [electronic resource] : a dictionary - Hatch, Shari Dorantes
Provides brief biographies of African American authors, describing their background, inspiration, literary works, and connections with other African American writers.

Harlem Renaissance and beyond : literary biographies of 100 Black women writers, 1900-1945 - Roses, Lorraine Elena
Chronicles the lives and works of 100 black women novelists, short-story writers, playwrights, poets, essayists, critics, historians, journalists, and editors writing in the United States between 1900 and 1945, including Zora Neale Hurston, Katherine Dunham, Angelina Weld Grimké, Mary Eliza Church Terrell, and Ida Bell Wells-Barnett, and profiles of neglected writers--their works deserving to be rescued from obscurity.

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The concise Oxford companion to African American literature [electronic resource] - William L. Andrews
A comprehensive collection of African American writers includes contributions from Frederick Douglass, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, and many others.

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The Greenwood encyclopedia of African American literature - Ostrom, Hans A
Provides 1,029 aphabetically arranged and cross-referenced entries covering the development of African-American literature from colonial times to the present.


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