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HIST 2391: African History to 1880: Overview


  • HIST 2391
  • African History to 1880
  • Dr. Jill E. Kelly

How can you find useful  secondary sources that relate to your art piece?

  • Can you find secondary resources on: the African societies that created the art you are researching?
  • Can you find resources on the art style or technique?

Whenever you are searching for information ask yourself:

  • What am I looking for?
    • Background information, general overview, very specific or specialized information/analysis
  • Where should I look for this information?
    • Search engine looking at open web, library catalog, general database, specialized database
      • Should I use the Simple/Basic search or the Advanced search option?
  • How am I searching?
    • Natural language search using key words, or subject term search,or Boolean search (AND, OR, NOT)
  • Who is responsible for this information?
    • Who created this information? Who published it? Who is hosting it online?

Keyword search

You can start a general search for African Art, but if you have more specific terms, you will get more relevant results.

  • Nok sculpture
  • Benin bronze
  • Yoruba ring.

Gather Background Information

Gathering Background Information

As you get started, you can get ideas from class discussions or readings.

If it is a topic you are just getting started with, look for background Information in reference resources.

Reference resources allow you to:

  • Gain familiarity with the topic
  • Identify more specific aspects of the topic on which to focus
  • Provide context and identify differing perspectives
  • Identify experts related to the topic


Rafia Mirza's picture
Rafia Mirza