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Arkansas State University

Race and Ethnicity in the United States: Home

This guide is intended to help you find both print and online race and ethnicity resources.

This guide is intended to help you find both print and online resources. This guide is only a starting point for your research, it is not meant to be a comprehensive list of resources. If you need further assistance, please visit the Research & Information Desk in the library.

 
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SCHOLARLY OR NOT?

Scholarly and peer reviewed are your "academic" articles. These are the ones that deal directly with research, history, or theory. Most likely, your professor wants you to use these types of articles. These types of articles are written by scholars, experts in the field often associated with a university or an organization. Peer reviewed articles must also be approved by a group of scholars before being published to ensure that the research presented is factual and relevant. Not everyone can get peer reviewed.

Popular magazine articles are usually ones that you read for entertainment. These are usually the type of publications that you find at the grocery store checkout. Chances are if there's a celebrity on the cover, it's a popular magazine.

For a more in-depth look at the differences, please visit our Scholarly Journals guide.

MORE WORDS TO USE

One of the things you may notice when you start researching Latin American history is the changing terminology. Many of us today use the term "Latin American" or "Latino/a," but that wasn't and isn't always the case.

As George I. Sánchez stated in 1967, "The people of in El Paso and California want to be called Mexican-Americans, the rest of the people in Texas want to be Latin-Americans, the people in New Mexico want to be Spanish-Americans." During this same time, Cesar Chavez spoke about Chicano experiences. 

Can you still find historical documents using just the term "Latin American"? Yes, you can - but this does not cover all of the rich history and terminology of Latin American history. Chances are if you just use the term "Latin American," you're going to be missing something. This is especially true with newspapers and other primary documents. You have to search the terms that the people of the time used.

BOOKS IN THE DEAN B. ELLIS LIBRARY

All books in the library are arranged by subject using the Library of Congress classification system for call numbers and subject headings. The main call numbers for American history begin with “E & F” while the main call numbers for social issues begin with "H." The basic breakdown is as follows:
 

CT21 – CT9999

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Biography

E75 - E99

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Indians of North America

E151 – E889

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United States

E184 - 184.4

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Elements in the United States Population

E184.5 - E185.98

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African American History

E441 - E453

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Slavery in the United States. Anti-Slavery Movements

F1 – F975

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United States Local History (States)

F406 – F420

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Arkansas

HN1 - HN995

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Social History, Conditions. Social Problems. Social Reform.

HT1501 - HT1595

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Races. Including race as social group and race relations.

HV3167 - HV3199

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Social and Public Welfare. By Race or Ethnic Group.


The numbers that follow these beginning letters relate to the narrower scope of the item. For example, American Politics and the African American Quest for Universal Freedom (E185.615 W317 2008) gives a broad view of African Americans in American history whereas Medgar Evers : Mississippi Martyr (F349. J13 W55 2011) focuses on a particular person from Mississippi.

Occasionally a totally different call number will appear. This means the item is about more than African American history and higher importance was given to the other subject when the call number was assigned. For example, Lessons from Little Rock has a call number of LC214.23. L56 R63 2009 because it is more about the right to education than general African American history. It's still an excellent book to use!

DATABASES

Databases with green All Full Text or partially green Partial Full Text icons offer some level of free, full-text articles. In most cases, you must be affiliated with A-State to view the article or on the A-State campus. Some database offer a "pay-per-view" service where you can buy an article not available for free and have immediate access. If you do not need immediate access to the article, you may also request it through Interlibrary Loan for free. Articles requested through Interlibrary Loan can take 2-5 business days to come in, depending on the lending library. You can also digital scans from our physical collection through Document Delivery.

To view all our History databases, click here.

To view all our newspaper databases, click here.

To view all our databases, click here.

CONTACT US

Email Icon  refdesk@astate.edu

   (870) 972-3077

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WORDS TO USE

Art covers a wide range of topics. If you're having trouble coming up with a topic, here are some keywords you can use that might help you get started:

  • Civil Rights
  • Demography
  • Discrimination
  • Disparaties
  • Diversity
  • Emigration
  • Equity
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Ethnic Relations
  • Ethnicity
  • Hate Speech
  • History
  • Identity
  • Immigration
  • Inequity
  • Labor
  • Minorities
  • Movements
  • Population Statistics
  • Privilege
  • Race
  • Race Relations
  • Society
  • Sociology

If you want to combine keywords, use the connector AND between terms:

"Native American" AND youth AND identity

You can learn more about connectors in our Boolean Searching guide.

MORE WORDS TO USE

One of the things you may notice when you start researching African American history is the changing terminology. Many of us today use the term "African American" or "Black," but that wasn't always the case. Zora Neale Hurston wrote about the "Characteristics of Negro Expression" while Frederick Douglass wrote about "The Destiny of Colored Americans." While we wouldn't use words like "negro" or "colored" today, they are historically correct words. You may also come across "Afro-American" and "person of color" as terms for African Americans. These too also have roots in American history.

The term "African American" is a fairly recent term. The term really didn't start gaining prominence until the 1980s and didn't become "politically correct" until the 1990s. That's a whole lot of American history not tied to the term "African American." Can you still find historical documents using the term "African American"? Yes, you can. There are groups of scholars who index and list historical documents with tags and subject headings to make it easier to find, but there are limitations to what has been indexed.

Chances are if you just use the term "African American," you're going to be missing something. This is especially true with newspapers and other primary documents. You have to search the terms that the people of the time used.