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African History: Indexes & Databases

Background on Locating Journal Articles

Our lists of databases, alphabetical or by subject.

Citation only

Some databases do not provide journal articles in full-text, but rather provide only citations, i.e. information identifying the article with author, article title, journal title, date, volume and issue numbers, page numbers, etc. To get the article, take this information and follow the directions below under "If you already know the title of the journal...".

Directly to full-text

Some databases link directly to full-text journal articles using a link such as PDF full-text, Linked full-text, full-text, full-text - PDF, Article PDF, etc.

Indirectly to full-text and/or other formats

Many citations in many databases have a link reading Find it @ Bowdoin, check availability, or something similar. Clicking that link brings up a window which tells you whether the article (a) is available in full-text, or (b) is available in print or microfilm at Bowdoin, or (c) is not available at Bowdoin but can be obtained through Interlibrary Loan.

If you already know the title of the journal...

you can select the Journals & Newspapers tab on the Library Homepage and enter the journal (not the article) title. If we have access to that journal, you'll find a list of full-text subscriptions or other print or microform choices for accessing the article. If the journal is not available at Bowdoin, you can request it through Interlibrary Loan.

Indexes & Databases

Historical Abstracts
Primary scholary index of history, covering Africa, Europe, Asia and Latin America. Publications orginate throughout the world, from 1960 to present.

CIAO (Columbia International Affairs Online)
Working papers, case studies, articles on countries and international relations, often very current material.  

Full-text articles from selected scholarly journals. Coverage from a journal's first issue to five years back.

Academic Search Complete
Mixed scholarly journals and popular magazines, with articles published back to 1980.

Africana Periodical Literature
Includes "articles on Africa covering a wide range of topics, from geography, history and anthropology to agriculture, women’s studies, medicine and health. It currently (November 2013) contains more than 169,600 records from over 750 journals. The majority of the journals are in English or French. A smaller number is in German, Afrikaans, Dutch, Italian and Portuguese. There is a strong focus on journals published in Africa."

PAIS Index, 1915-present
Citation index for publications focused on policy from all nations. Sources may be articles, books, government documents and NGO reports.

Africa Bibliography
Print--Main Per Index 1984-2008
Covers the areas of social and environmental sciences, development studies, humanities, and the arts. The whole continent and associated islands are covered, but not the African diaspora.

Current Bibliography on African Affairs
Print--Main Per Index 1968 to present
"Compiled as a quarterly guide for study and research in the field of African Studies and related subjects." Source materials are both African and international.

G.K. Hall index to Black periodicals (1999-2004)
Main Per Index
Continues Index to Black Periodicals (1984-1993), Index to periodical articles by and about Blacks, 1973-1983, Index to periodical articles by and about Negroes, 1950-1973.

Scholarly, Peer-reviewed, Trade, and Popular Periodicals

Scholarly articles are written by experts in the field and are typically directed at their peers. The articles contain reports of original research and in-depth analysis of topics. "Peer-reviewed" or "refereed" articles are scholarly articles which have been submitted to a panel of experts, or peers, who review the content for standards established in that field. Examples include Journal of Interdisciplinary History, The Hispanic American Historical Review, Comparative Studies in Society and History, International Affairs, and Political Science Quarterly.

Popular and newsstand articles in magazines are targeted to the general population, are generally shorter in length, sometimes are unsigned, do not contain footnotes or a bibliography, are often heavily illustrated, and may be printed on glossy paper. Examples include Time and Newsweek.

Trade periodicals are written on topics related to a particular profession, trade, or industry. Their audience is practitioners. Examples include: Maine Townsman and Foreign Affairs.