Subject Specialist

African History

Subject Guides

Getting started

Find books:

Albert Search

Search Albert to find books, movies, etc..

Advanced Search

Background information:

Includes the series The Cambridge History of Africa, The Cambridge History of South Africa, and The Cambridge History of Egypt

Includes New Encyclopedia of Africa (2nd ed), and Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa

Oxford Research Encyclopedias: African History - Scholarly essays on a broad variety of topics-- browse the index for ideas.

Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century African History. (Ref 960.03 Z37) London: Routledge, 2003.

New Atlas of African History. (Ref 911.6 F877) New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991.


Find articles:


Discover articles from many of our databases.

Or search within particular databases:

JAN 044-01 / Beyond Madagascar: Africa and the World

Getting started (tertiary sources):

The interface is painful, but the rewards if you persist are great. Titles include: The Cambridge History of Africa (1986), and New Cambridge Modern History.  Volume 6 of The Cambridge History of Africa offers an entire volume on the partition of Africa.  

Another great spot to gain background information in the form of encyclopedia entries written by scholars.

Next browse books and articles

Albert Plus

Combines Albert (books, videos, etc.) and Multisearch (articles)


Some titles are set aside (as they were in storage and have been retrieved).  Arrangements are being made for access for these titles within the library.  Please speak with Sue if you need a specific title for your assignment and if no one else needs it, we can get it checked out to you. 

The Partition of Africa, 1880-1900: and European imperialism in the nineteenth century (1983) and ebook from ebrary.



Now you can research the secondary scholarly research.  Great places to do so (along with Albert Plus above) are:

Searches multiple databases, including PAIS, and Worldwide Political Science Abstracts.


Other Sources

If you need to see specific treaties that were established during the conference, you can find them online.  These primary sources are not always in English, so be warned.  Here is how to find them:  "name of treaty or agreement in quotations" year ["act of berlin" 1885 for example].  Once you are looking at the results, you do still need to find the treaty itself and not analysis of it.  

Other primary sources are contemporary newspapers from the time, particularly if they have a reporter on site.  Try the 

. Remember the newspapers in the 19th century use different terms and phrases from the 21st!

Within books you'll often find contemporary political cartoons, excerpts from speeches or memos, contemporary photographs, etc.  


Country Studies (general)

African Collections- Contains the Africa South of the Sahara publication, plus connections to other collections relating to Africa. From Stanford University libraries.

African Postcolonial Literature in English- Browse various subjects, such as Post-colonial theory, religion, and specific country studies, such as Uganda, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

African Studies Internet Resources - From Columbia, a definitive site for both Africanists and people interested in Africa. Huge. - Offers a more contemporary look at modern Africa. Includes oral history (under Voices), data resources, bibliographies, and much more. Many links point to e-journals.

Country Studies: Africa- From the Library of Congress. Check the dates for currency.

Encyclopedia of African History and Culture. (Ref 960.03 P146) New York: Facts on File, 2001.

Encyclopedia of African Peoples. (Ref 301.03 D540) New York: Facts on File, 2000.


Historical Dictionary of Egypt. (Ref 962.003 G572) Lanham, MD: Scareacrow, 2003.

The Story of Africa: African History from the Dawn of Time - A BBC special report, organized chronologically.

Africa Contemporary Record: Annual Survey and Documents. (Ref 960.3 Af83) New York: Africana Publishing, Irregular.

Africa Historical Text Archive - A variety of links including the Chief George Manual Memorial Library, full text of narratives and journals, and closer study of certain African countries and areas such as Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Western Sahara.

Internet African History Sourcebook - Debates on issues in history using articles, megasites, and other Web links. Organized into a general timeline. - Two African studies databases Africa Women's Bibliographic Database and Africana Periodical Literature Bibliographic Database plus full text of Women Travelers, Explorers and Missionaries to Africa, 1763-1999: a Comprehensive English Language Bibliography.

Human Rights

Africa Online Digital Library - "Building digital libraries in an African context."  Free online exhibits and primary sources that relate to social and political issues.

Doctors Without Borders - Find stories from around the world that deal in a variety of issues where this organization had an important role.

Frederick K. Cox International Law Center: War Crimes Research Portal - Select the category to see a collection of documents and links relating to that subject. Includes information on the Congo, Rwanda, Liberia, and the Sudan.

Genocide Archives - Relating to Rwanda

Human Rights Watch: Africa - Press releases relating to issues from the entire African continent.

Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda - Report dated April, 2004. From Human Rights Watch.

Writing and Citing

A Pocket Guide to Writing in History (also called Rampolla)
(8th edition)
Reference: 1st floor 907.2 R148a

Chicago Manual of Style Online. Also available in print in the reference room (Ref 808.02 Un3e)

Chicago Manual of Style (Notes-Bibliography) - A guide from the SMC Library

Citation Management Software

Consider getting the Firefox (browser) extension called Zotero to better manage your online citations.  You can also use Mendeley.   Both are free!

Writing Assistance

Having trouble putting it all together? The SMC Center for Writing Across the Curriculum (or, "The Writing Center") offers peer-to-peer advising sessions for both undergraduate and graduate students. You can call or stop by to make an appointment, or can also drop in and do a session immediately, if an adviser is available. See their website for more information, or stop by the first floor of DeLaSalle, or call us: 925.631.4684