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AMST 801 | HIST 700: The U.S. Colonial Present: Home

This guide is intended for students in the seminar, "The U.S. Colonial Present," taught by Professor Lisa Lowe in the spring 2024 semester. The guide provides an overview of key resources in the Yale Library for your research paper this semester.

Yale Library Search Tools

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:

Library contact

James Kessenides, Kaplanoff Librarian for American History,

Background Sources

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.

Oxford African American Studies Center

Comprehensive collection of scholarship focused on the lives and events which have shaped African American and African history and culture.

Oxford Bibliographies

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, including:

The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History

The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature

The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History

The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Asian History

The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African History

The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion

The Oxford Research Encyclopedias are scholarly encyclopedias with informative articles, usually providing a discussion of the literature including primary sources. 

Cambridge Core

Includes book series such as the Cambridge Histories and Cambridge CompanionsExamples of titles include:

The Cambridge Companion to Asian American Literature

The Cambridge History of America and the World 

The Cambridge History of Capitalism, Volumes One and Two

The Cambridge World History of Slavery:  Vol. 4, AD 1804-AD 2016

Oxford Handbooks Online

Lengthy chapters in the Oxford Handbooks usually provide helpful overviews of scholarly topics and historical literature, along with suggestions for further reading.

Wiley Online Library

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.

Secondary Sources/Subject Databases

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: