VCU Libraries

Research Guides

African American Studies

Not @ VCU

If you can't find the book that you want at VCU, try these resources to find what you need.


Dissertations may be useful for finding criticism on newer authors or specialized topics, and the bibliographies of recent dissertations can often provide a wealth of new sources.

Browsing for African American Studies Resources

African American Studies resources are found widely across the collection, depending on what the focus of the topic is. One way to find scholarly monographs on your subject is simply to browse the shelves in the area of the library where related works are located. Because our library is organized by subject according to Library of Congress Classification, you will find related materials grouped together. If you want to browse large areas of the shelves, you may wish to consult the Library of Congress Classification Outline. The "Class" links below provide greater description of some relevant classes. Monographs on these topics are on the 3rd and 4th floors of Cabell Library, but you can also browse for reference titles on the 1st floor.

Class E - History of the Americas

E184.5-185.98 Afro-Americans
E185.2-185.89 Status and development since emancipation
E185.96-185.98 Biography. Genealogy
E441-453 Slavery in the United States. Antislavery movements

Class H - Social Sciences

HT1501-1595 Races
Including race as a social group and race relations in general

Class P - Language and Literature

PN841 Black literature (General)
--BUT works about individual authors are located in the Library of Congress Class for their region and period

Reference Books

Reference books provide brief descriptions of people, places, events, and so on, often along with suggestions for related secondary or primary sources. To browse for reference books, use the outline above and go to the stacks on the 1st floor of Cabell Library.


E-books can be found via the VCU Libraries Search. Here are a couple resources that may be of particular use.