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Encyclopedias, etc.

When researching a new topic it is often necessary to get an overview, explanations of unfamiliar terms, or brief factual information. The print and electronic resources listed below include selected reference materials (dictionaries, encyclopaedias, handbooks, guides, etc.) that may be useful for topics in African-American Literature. To find additional reference materials, check the library catalogue (UNB WorldCat), check our Encyclopedias, Etc database, or search Reference Universe. Search results from Reference Universe will provide you with quick links to UNB WorldCat (for print materials) and to many of our online reference materials.

Key Resources

  • African-American Writers: A Dictionary [HIL-REF PS153 .N5 A3444 2000]

    A survey of an important sector of American letters, African American Writers examines a multitude of black cultural leaders from the 18th to the 20th century. Brief biographies of African American authors describe their background, inspiration, literary works, and connections with other African American writers.

  • Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete Online (DLB Online)
    Provides more than 16,000 biographical and critical essays on the lives, works, andcareers of the world's most influential literary figures from all eras and genres.Comprised of the award-winning Dictionary of Literary Biography series, which over its30-year history has been dedicated to making literature and its creators betterunderstood and more accessible to students and interested readers, DLB Complete Onlineprovides reliable information in an easily comprehensible format while placing writersin the larger perspective of literary history. Specifically, DLB Complete Onlineincludes the DLB main series, the DLB Documentary Series, and the DLB Yearbook Series -the latter two of which have never been electronically available. Additionally, DLBComplete Online will include the extremely valuable images from the above DLB series -again, content that has never been available online.
  • Encyclopedia of African-American culture and history : the Black experience in the Americas [HIL-REF E185 .E54 2006 vols. 1-6]

    Impressively comprehensive, this reference updates the first edition published in 1996 and the Supplement, in 2001, and will be valuable for high school and undergraduate students as well as general readers. It contains 1,300 entries, two-thirds of which are revised, rewritten, or newly added; and half the remainder have updated bibliographies. Many of the new articles are thematic, for example, those on the African diaspora, anti-colonial movements, economic condition, and military experience. Several new entries are devoted to topics in the Caribbean. The central focus is on the experience of African-Americans throughout North and South America, although the people, concepts, and events associated with the U.S. predominate (due to the larger amount of scholarship). Biographical entries profile political and public figures as well as artists, writers, and musicians. Each entry concludes with a list of cross-references and a bibliography. An introductory article provides a background history of Africa. Volume Six is devoted to a selection of primary documents, an appendix with numerous tables of statistics and lists on all topics, and a comprehensive index. Annotation #169;2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR ( Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature, The
    " It contains entries on major works (including synopses of novels) and also incorporates information on literary characters, as well as on character types such as Aunt Jemima and Brer Rabbit. Icons of black culture are addressed, including Muhammad Ali, John Coltrane, Marcus Garvey, Jackie Robinson, John Brown, and Harriet Tubman. There are general articles on poetry, fiction, and drama; on autobiography, slave narratives, Sunday School literature, and oratory; as well as on a wide spectrum of related topics."
    Collection limited to subscribed 5-user access
  • Africana: the encyclopedia of the African and African American experience [HIL-REF DT14 .A37435 1999]

    Inspired by the dream of the late African American scholar W.E.B. Du Bois and assisted by an eminent advisory board, Harvard scholars Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Kwame Anthony Appiah have created the first scholarly encyclopedia to take as its scope the entire history of Africa and the African Diaspora.

  • Encyclopedia of African American history, 1896 to the present : from the age of segregation to the twenty-first century
    Focusing on the making of African American society from the 1896 "separate but equal" ruling of Plessy v. Ferguson up to the contemporary period, this encyclopedia traces the transition from the Reconstruction Era to the age of Jim Crow, the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Migration, the Brown ruling that overturned Plessy , the Civil Rights Movement, and the ascendant influence of African-American culture on the American cultural landscape. --publisher description.
    Purchased multi-user unlimited access
  • The Greenwood encyclopedia of African American literature [HIL-REF PS153 .N5 G73 2005 vol. 1-5]

    Gwendolyn Bennett was a poet and writer of short stories, and although she never published a book of either she kept the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance alive. Anne Spencer worked on her poetry 16 years before she was discovered and published, but it took almost no time before actor and writer Paul Robeson was discovered to be a socialist and reviled. In hundreds of objective and accessible entries, high school students, undergraduates and general readers can get the basics on the issues, events and people of African American literature. Contributors describe how writers, filmmakers and commentators reacted to social and political events, a unique approach that helps to define contexts. Writers, journalists, and editors are joined by others generally ignored in the literary world, including publishers, writers' collectives, niche journals, advocacy groups and marketeers. Entries include impressive lists of resources. Annotation #169;2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR ( Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

Additional Resources

  • Oxford Companion to African American Literature [HIL-REF PS153 .N5 O96 1997 ]

    A comprehensive one-volume reference work devoted to the lives, works and careers of more than 400 writers. Also includes coverage of literary genres, autobiography, journalism, the black periodical press, major libraries and research centers, religion, literary societies, women's clubs, and more.

  • Wiley/Blackwell Reference Online
    Wiley/Blackwell Reference Online "is a vast new online library giving instant access to the most authoritative and up-to-date scholarship across the humanities and social sciences. With more than 350 reference volumes to be published in Blackwell Reference Online by the end of 2008, it is the largest academic reference collection available online and includes the critically-acclaimed Blackwell Companions and Handbooks, major reference works such as the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Management and the Companion to Syntax, and a whole host of other valuable reference materials such as dictionaries, encyclopedias and concise companions."
  • Literature criticism online
    Provides Online access to the content of the following reference works on literature: Twentieth-century literary criticism, Nineteenth-century literature criticism, Literature criticism 1400-1800, Shakespeare criticism, Contemporary literary criticism, and Children's literature review.
  • Notable American Novelists (Revised Edition) [HIL-REF PS371 .N68 2008]

    Notable American Novelists provides biographical information and plot summaries for some of the 19th and 20th century's most prominent American authors and their work. 

  • Oxford Reference
    Multi-part database of the online versions of Oxford University Press texts. Each topical division contains the searchable version of the latest edition of published dictionaries and encyclopedias. Additionally, information about Oxford University Press is provided. Online texts will be updated after new editions of the print monographs are published.Covers the humanities and social sciences.
    Collection limited to subscribed 5-user access

Last modified on December 2, 2023 18:19