This research guide introduces selected academic publications in the field of Catholic and African American studies. Use the menu on the left to navigate and feel free to contact me if you have questions. Use the book now button on the right to schedule a meeting with me.

Encyclopedias, Handbooks, Companions

The Library has a substantial collection of subject-specific encyclopedias, handbooks, and companions with exhaustive and well-researched articles written by subject experts. These essays are great introductions to the historiography and helpful in defining and focusing a topic. Articles generally include references to recommended literature.

African American Studies Center (Oxford University Press)
Unites a selection of publications in the field of African American Studies. Includes essays on "Black Catholic Women" (Diana L. Hayes), "Black Catholic Women Religious" (Diane B. Morrow), the "Catholic Church and African Americans" (Thomas E. Carney), and the "Catholic Church in Latin America and the Caribbean" (John Burdick). Available primary sources include "A Statement of the Black Catholic Clergy Caucus" (1968). Biographies of influential African American Catholics are part of the African American National Biography project.

Oxford Bibliographies (Oxford University Press)  Tutorial
Presents peer-reviewed, annotated bibliographies and expert commentary on current scholarship in African American Studies. See essays on African American Religions (Stefania Capone) and Black Theology (Michael B. McCormack).

New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd ed.
The updated second edition offers comprehensive coverage of Roman Catholic history and belief. Note the essay on the history of African American Catholics in the United States by C. Davis.

American History (Oxford Research Encyclopedia)
Offers peer-reviewed topical introductions and literature reviews written by well-regarded authorities. See essays on African Americans and Religion (Sylvester A. Johnson) and Religion in African American History (Judith Weisenfeld).

Gale eBooks
Offers access to a collection of digital encyclopedias, handbooks, dictionaries, and directories in the arts, social sciences, business, and sciences. Includes the authoritative Encyclopedia of Religion, Contemporary American Religion, and the New Catholic Encyclopedia.

World Christian Database (Brill)
Provides comprehensive statistical information on Christians and denominations world-wide.

Books & Book Chapters

Much of the scholarly literature in the field is published in books which are often referred to as monographs. Find books in the Library’s collection with a Books & Media search. Start with keywords that describe your topic and use the hyperlinked subjects in the book records to reduce and focus search results. Notice facets such as topic and language which will further narrow results. Subject searches can significantly increase or decrease the number of results. For a more comprehensive review of the literature consult WorldCat and use the integrated Borrow from other libraries feature to request books which are not locally available.

Books & Media
Includes records of all print and e-books owned by the Library. Use the Online collection facet to limit results to ebooks.

Provides a full text archive of academic journals and books in the humanities, social sciences, and mathematics.

WorldCat (FirstSearch)
Presents a combined catalog of the catalogs of more than 10,000 libraries worldwide. WorldCat highlights publications available at Villanova University. Other items can be requested via an inter-library loan request form.

EZBorrow and Interlibrary Loan
Use the Articles form to request digital scans of book chapters. Check the Library website for availability of interlibrary borrowing for print books.

Library of Congress Subjects

Experiment with keyword and subject searches for better results. Keywords are pulled from anywhere in the catalog record including the table of contents while subject terms are limited to the Library of Congress (LC) subject thesaurus. LC subjects can help with the discovery of books missed with a keyword search. For example, a simple keyword search for African American Catholics brings up a list with close to 300 matching publications. A closer look at the record for the book The History of Black Catholics in the United States leads to the hyperlinked LC subject “African American Catholics” which pulls up a different and much shorter book list which will be more focused on the topic as the original list.

Journal Articles

The Library subscribes to many African American studies and theology journals including The Journal of African American Studies, the African American Review, The Black Scholar, the U.S. Catholic Historian, and the Catholic International. Use the Journal and Article Finder or the Articles & more search on the Library’s website to look up known references. Request articles from journals that are not part of the Library's collections through interlibrary loan. The journal databases listed here index the contents of most if not all African American studies and theology journals and are by far the best tools to discover articles published in these journals.

America: History and Life (EBSCO)
Indexes the literature covering the history and culture of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present. Includes citations for journal and magazine articles, book reviews, and dissertations.

Historical Abstracts (EBSCO)
Indexes academic journals, magazines, books, book reviews, and dissertations that cover world history from 1450 to the present, excluding North American history which is covered in the companion index America: History and Life.

Features a multi-disciplinary research platform with full text archives of selected academic journals, monographs and essay collections, primary sources, and visual collections formerly housed on the Artstor platform. Current issues of academic journals are not included in most cases.

Articles & More Search
If all else fails give Articles & more a try. Use unambiguous keywords and limit results to articles from peer-reviewed journals.

Primary Sources

This is a selection of digital primary source archives.

Black Historical Newspapers (ProQuest)
Offers access to the major African American newspapers of the 20th century: the Atlanta Daily World (1931-2003), the Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988), the Cleveland Call & Post (1934-1991), the Chicago Defender (1910-1975), the Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005), the New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993), the Norfolk Journal & Guide (1921-2003), the Philadelphia Tribune (1912-2001), and the Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002).

African American Newspapers: The 19th Century (Accessible Archives)
Provides access to the major 19th century African American newspapers including The Christian Recorder (1861-1902), Freedom's Journal (1827-1829), The North Star (1847-1851), and Frederick Douglass' Paper (1851-1863).

Catholic News Archive (Catholic Research Resources Alliance)  Tutorial
Provides open access to selected U.S. Catholic newspapers from the early 19th century to the late 20th century.

New York Times: 1851- (ProQuest Historical Newspapers)
Provides full text access to the complete New York Times archive except for the most recent five years. Use, Nexis Uni, or ABI/INFORM for access to current content.

Washington Post (ProQuest Historical Newspapers)
Contains the full text of the Washington Post and its title variations from 1877 until seventeen years ago.

Philadelphia Inquirer, 1860-2009 (ProQuest Historical Newspapers)
Provides full text access to the complete Philadelphia Inquirer archive up to 2009: the Philadelphia Inquirer (1860-1934), the Philadelphia Inquirer Public Ledger (1934-1969), and the Philadelphia Inquirer (1969-2009). Use Philadelphia Inquirer (NewsBank) for access to current content.

Features electronic archives for selected journals of opinion, including Commonweal, Dissent, The New Leader, The Progressive, Orion, American Spectator and The Weekly Standard.

American Periodicals (ProQuest)
Provides access to the full text of American magazines and journals published from the colonial period to the early 20th century.

African American Communities (Adam Matthew Digital)
Documents African American community life from the second half of the 19th century through a wide variety of material types including pamphlets, newspapers, scrapbooks, letters, official records, posters, photographs, and oral histories. Key themes are desegregation, urban renewal and housing, the civil rights movement, race relations, and African American culture with a focus on communities in Atlanta, Chicago, Brooklyn, and towns and cities in North Carolina. Essays by subject experts, community case studies, thematic guides, and image galleries facilitate research. Sourced from the collections of the Atlanta History Center, the Newberry Library in Chicago, and the libraries at the University of Illinois and the University of North Carolina.