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Black Art

Guide to resources related to African-American and Black Diaspora art and artists c. 1800s to the present

Article databases

One can begin a search for full-text article content using Articles+ (see previous tab in this guide).  Limit a broad search to something more specific by choosing among the facets listed on the left-hand side. The SUBJECT TERMS section allows you to select specific subjects you wish to include and exclude in a search.

There may be content that is NOT available online, and in order to locate scholarly journal articles on a topic, you will need to use one or more of the following databases (all available via DATABASES on the library homepage, or else link is supplied below):

AMERICA: HISTORY AND LIFE (covers all aspects of North American history)

AVERY INDEX TO ARCHITECTURAL PERIODICALS (produced at Columbia University's Avery Library, one of the foremost architecture libraries in the world, covers architecture, landscape design, and related topics)

ART INDEX (all art-related subjects; covers 1929-present)

ARTS AND HUMANITIES CITATION INDEX (citation tracking database)


HISTORICAL ABSTRACTS (world history, minus North America)


JSTOR: important scholarly journals in full. Often, there is an embargo by the publisher so that the current 2-3 years are not available, but Princeton may have those issues in print form.




ART databases (NOTE: many databases can be searched simultaneously - can choose multiple databases via the EBSCO and ProQuest interfaces, respectively)

Primary source materials & Encyclopedias

Primary Sources

To identify primary source materials in the library catalog, look for the word sources within a subject term: e.g. perform a Subject (keyword) search: e.g. cultural sources; or, sources food, etc.

Additional Subject (keywords) or (regular) Keywords to bring up primary sources or books with primary source content include the following: (these are several examples of words that would identify a source as primary)

* charters
* correspondence
* diaries
* documents
* early works
* interviews
* letters
* manuscripts
* oral history
* oratory
* pamphlets
* personal narratives
* sources
* speeches
* transcripts

Firestone and Mudd Libraries comprise the Special Collections Department, which includes collections of unique or rare items like author manuscripts and other (unpublished) materials, letters, rare books, music manuscripts, works on paper (prints), coins, death masks, etc. There are great opportunities for you to work with original materials, some of which may never have been investigated or worked on before.

Check out the Guide to Topics ; and the Finding Aid search (archival collections). While you can find many of these collections in the library catalog, you can search by keyword here across collections within the guides that exist to help you navigate what’s contained in collections of papers for an important author, company, statesman, woman, etc.

PUL Digital Library: The old site is here, while the new digital platform is here. Take some time to browse for the unique and interesting content from Special Collections that has been digitized.