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Black History Month Resources: Research Starting Points & Search Strategies

Welcome to the Black History Month Resource Guide: In honor of February being Black History Month, we are highlighting a number of African American resources that are available through UNLV Libraries, in addition to a variety of web resources.

Starting Your Black History Research

Keyword Search Strategies

When books and articles were written and cataloged in the past, terms were used that we now would consider somewhat outdated. Remember, to make certain you are searching comprehensively, it is sometimes necessary to use terms that were commonplace in the past. Below are some examples of keywords to search when using the library catalog or the research databases.

You may want to consider combining keywords to narrow your search. Below are some examples:

  • African Americans and educational attainment
  • Civil rights movement and Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Blacks and Las Vegas


African Americans



Black Americans

Afro-Americans Black Power 

Afro-American Studies

Black Studies African American Studies Africana Studies

African Dispora Studies

Africology Afrocentricity Civil Rights Movement

Black Panthers

You may want to consider combining keywords to narrow your search. 

  • African Americans AND educational attainment
  • Civil rights movement AND Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Blacks AND Las Vegas

You can also broaden your search by adding OR between the keywords or phrases:

  • African Americans OR Afro-Americans
  • Black Panthers OR Black Power

Searching by Subject

Once you find a book, check out the subject terms associated on the library catalog record. These subject terms are another good way to find additional sources.

For example, looking at the catalog record below, you can click on any of the subject terms to locate more resources.

BOOK: Black history: more than just a month
CALL NUMBER: E185 .H495 2013
AUTHOR: Mike Henry 1952- 
PUBLICATION INFO & DATE: Lanham, Maryland : Rowman & Littlefield Education, A division of Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 

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