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Collection Policies by Subject

Africana Studies




Subjects covered :  The Africana Studies collection supports teaching and research conducted by faculty in the Department of Africana Studies.  The collection contains materials relating to Africans in Diaspora with special emphasis on African American history, literature, society, politics, and culture.  The collection also contains material on the history and culture of the peoples of the African continent.

Departments and users served :  The Africana Studies collection serves students and faculty in the Africana Studies Department, as well as faculty and students in anthropology, education, history, literature, political science, sociology, urban studies, and women, gender, sexuality studies.

Students and faculty in UC Blue Ash and Clermont College also make use of the Africana Studies collection, as do students in other Ohio universities and colleges through OhioLINK.

Quantitative Information :

The faculty :

Degrees granted :  The Africana Studies Department awards the bachelor of arts degree.  The department also offers a minor in Africana Studies for undergraduates in other departments and colleges within the university who wish to complement their major area of studies.  Courses offered in the Africana Studies Department at level 500 or above may be taken by master and doctoral candidates in other departments.  For additional information about the department's course offerings see:

Special programs and accreditation requirements :  Africana Studies is a multidisciplinary program of academic study that explores the dynamics that impinge on the structure of African society and the society of Africans in Diaspora, especially people of African descent in the United States, through class lectures, special topics seminars, guest colloquia, and cultural programs.

Grants and special funding :  The Africana Studies collection receives its funding from the library's general monographic and serial allocations.


Location :  The Africana Studies collection is chiefly located in Langsam Library.  Older, little circulated monographs and discontinued serials are in the Southwest Ohio Depository, an off site cooperative storage center.

Other collections supporting the program

Internal :  Africana Studies draws on many other disciplinary collections within University Libraries including anthropology, art, education, history, literature, music, political science, psychology, sociology, and women's studies.  Collections in the Health Sciences Library and in the College of Law also support Africana Studies.  General interest material and multidisciplinary materials purchased by the Cohen endowment and by the library's general arts and humanities and social sciences funds also support Africana Studies.

External :  Collections at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, at the Cincinnati Historical Society Library, and at Xavier University support the Africana Studies collection, as do the combined collections of the colleges and universities in Ohio through OhioLINK.

Collection history :  Africana Studies was established as an academic unit within the College of Arts and Sciences in 1970. 

General level of collecting :  Collection building using the modest budget allocation for Africana Studies is conducted at a basic undergraduate level.  However, because of its interdisciplinary nature and the support received from other areas of the collection, especially history, literature, and women', gender, and sexuality studies, materials in the library that relate to Africana Studies are at advanced undergraduate through research levels in these areas.


Call numbers :  As practiced at the University of Cincinnati, materials purchased using the Africana Studies monographic allocation fall chiefly into these call number ranges:

DT Africa E184.5-185.98 African Americans HT1501-1595 Race as a social group;  Race relations Z1361 African Americans bibliography

Current and retrospective collecting :  The monographic allocation for Africana Studies does not permit active retrospective collection building.  Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of current monographic materials.  The Africana Studies collection benefits from the retrospective collection development practiced by other disciplinary areas, especially history and English.

Levels and treatments :  The collection developed by Africana Studies contains material suitable for the undergraduate student.  Textbooks are infrequently collected, if at all.

Languages :  English is the language of the collection developed by Africana Studies.  Dictionaries to support the Department's courses in Swahili are an exception purchased through funds allocated to build the general reference and world languages collections.

Geographical areas :  Emphasis is placed on collecting materials relating to persons of African descent living in the United States.  An occasional purchase is made of material relating to persons of African descent living in other Diaspora areas, notably the Caribbean.  Some material relating to Africa is also collected.

Types of resources :  The Africana Studies collection contains monographs, journals, reference materials, videos, and web sites.

Resource formats :  The Africana Studies collection includes print, microform, video, and digital formats.  Print predominates.

Endowed areas supported by restricted funds :  The Africana Studies collection is not supported by any endowed or restricted funds.


Approval plans :  The Africana Studies collection participates in the approval plan supplied by Yankee Book Peddler.

Firm orders :  Firm orders for Africana Studies are selected from a variety of sources including vender notification slips, direct mail brochures, publisher catalogs, book reviewing publications, and faculty requests.

Standing orders :  The Africana Studies collection maintains standing orders for journal publications.

Document suppliers :  The Africana Studies collection relies on direct patron access through OhioLINK and the library's Interlibrary Loan Department for access to items that are not in our collections, are in circulation, or are missing from the collection.

Special vendors :  The Africana Studies collection relies on the Acquisition Department to determine if a special vendor is needed to acquire requested materials.

Unique sources :  The university's Archives and Rare Books Department holds manuscript materials relating to African Americans in Cincinnati among its urban history collections.

Sally Moffitt, Bibliographer
Africana Studies
July 2014

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PO Box 210033 Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0033

Phone: 513-556-1424

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