The main search tools for finding books, articles, databases, archival collections, and more at Yale (and beyond) can all be found on the "Find, Request, and Use" page of the library's website. Here are a few quick refreshers, but be sure to visit the page for a full overview:
Background or "reference" sources are a great place to start your research. Reference works include bibliographies, scholarly encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and other sources that provide overviews of topics and suggestions for further reading.
Comprehensive collection of scholarship focused on the lives and events which have shaped African American and African history and culture.
This is an extensive collection of annotated bibliographies that are keyword searchable and can also be browsed by subject area -- there are several articles (sometimes on the same topic across multiple disciplines) that may provide helpful starting points for your research, often listing both primary and secondary sources. A few examples of the articles you will find are:
"Empires and Colonialism" (Sociology module)
"Settler Colonialism" (Anthropology module)
"Settler Colonialism" (Literary and Critical Theory module)
The Oxford Research Encyclopedias are scholarly encyclopedias with informative articles, usually providing a discussion of the literature including primary sources. Encyclopedias that the library subscribes to include:
And here are a couple of examples of potentially helpful articles from the American History research encyclopedia:
"The Black Freedom Struggle in the Urban North" by Thomas J. Sugrue
"Deindustrialization and the Postindustrial City, 1950-Present" by Chloe E. Taft
Lengthy chapters in the Oxford Handbooks usually provide helpful overviews of scholarly topics and historical literature, along with suggestions for further reading. Includes the Oxford Handbook of Urban Planning.
A large collection of resources. The Wiley Companions will be especially useful. Navigate to "Humanities" and then "History" in order to find a detailed listing of titles by subfield.
In addition to the online library catalog (Books+ and Orbis), reference sources, and footnotes in the sources you're already finding, subject-specific databases of journal articles, book reviews, and the like are another extremely helpful resource for finding secondary literature. Here are a few key ones that may be helpful for your research this semester:
Below are some web resources containing maps, but there are also many maps you can find in Yale Library's special collections and other parts of the library (e.g., Marx Science and Social Science Library).