HIST 3243: African American History Since 1877

This guide is intended to assist students studying the history of American Americans after Reconstruction, providing introductions to secondary sources in particular to complement their selected primary sources.

Published Books

Published memoirs, letters, diaries, and collections of source documents can serve as primary sources, depending on your topic. Beyond these "first person accounts,"  books published at the time of your topic can reveal a great deal about the attitudes and assumptions of the time.

For example, studies on agriculture and economics in the South that were published in the 1910s and 1920s can tell you about the way economists, politicians, and planners envisioned the "New South" at that time.


Try to add terms such as "sources," "personal narratives," "memoirs," or "correspondence" to your search terms to locate published sources, for example:

african american women sources south* race relations sources
great depression personal narratives railroads personal narratives


To find books by particular persons or organizations, such under that person's name as author, for example:

carver, george washington fugitives
hamer, fannie lou southern tenant farmer's union


Use the date limits in OneSearch and other catalogs to find books published at the time of your topic, for example:

agriculture arkansas > published between 1900 and 1930
race relations southern states > published between 1900 and 1930

Magazines and Periodicals

Popular periodicals and magazines easily convey the atmosphere of the time in which they were published. Not only the feature articles, but also the illustrations, editorial statements, and advertisements can serve as primary sources.


Finding and using newspapers is a big topic. You can read the Research Guide for Newspaper Research for more in-depth information.

These resources have full text online that can be searched by keyword.  

Microfilm and Microfiche

Microfilm and microfiche are housed in Multimedia Services on Level 2 of Mullins Library.

First time using fiche or film? Don't be intimidated. Ask at the Periodicals Desk or main service desk for assistance.

You can scan images (PDF or JPG format) of microfilm to a jump drive or to your email account. Instructions for scanning.

There is a guide to all microfilm research sets post on our web site. Below are a few that might be useful for this class:

About United States Government Documents

Depository Library Seal


The University Libraries have been a selective depository for United States documents since 1907, and we hold United States federal documents dating back to the 18th century. Documents are housed  in Mullins Library, in Young Law Library, and in offsite storage and can be found in print, microform, and onlne

From 1976 - present most United States documents can be found in OneSearch.

Earlier documents may also be found in OneSearch or by using print or online indexes such as ProQuest Congressional. However, many pre-1976 documents can only be located by asking us.

Documents in the USDOC collection are arranged according to the Superintendent of Documents classification numbering system (SuDoc). More about the Superintendent of Documents System.

Digital Collections

Many libraries and archives have digitized important source collections and placed them online for everyone.

Some of the recommended sites listed here are free to all, others are subscription collections that the University Libraries have purchased for your use.

Please suggest other sources for this list by using the comments link below.