Africana Collections at KU
Holdings.--Africana collections at the University of Kansas Libraries include approximately 70,000 printed volumes. The Libraries receive over 350 current periodcals with significant African content.
Subjects.--The primary subject focus of the collections is the social sciences and the humanities, with selected areas of the natural sciences including physical geography, environmental studies, and human health.
Geographical Focus.--Historically, the primary geographical focus of the collections has been Africa south of the Sahara and the African diaspora. Recent collection development efforts have also included the Maghreb.
Languages.--Languages collected include English, French, and Portuguese, with selected purchases in the languages taught in the African studies curriculum, principally Arabic, Amharic, Hausa, Kiswahili, and Wolof.
Using the KU Online Catalog
The best place to begin a search for information on Africa is the University of Kansas Online Catalog. There are a number of ways to search the catalog.
Author or Title Search
If you already know the author or title of a certain book you want, go to the University of Kansas Libraries homepage and click on the Catalog: books & more option in the left-hand column. You can then enter what you know about the book into the search for box. Then click on the appropriate search by box below as appropriate. For example, if you want to search for The African experience : from Olduvai Gorge to the 21st century, by Roland Oliver, type in either the author's name or the book title.
For an author search, you need to enter the author's surname first, followed by a comma and the author's first name. This will bring up a list of author names with no hits for Oliver, Roland. Directly below it in the author list you have just retrieved is Oliver, Roland Anthony, which is the full name of the author as used for all of his works owned by the KU Libraries. Clicking on this entry will produce a title display of all his works. You can then click on the one you want to display the complete online catalog record for this title.
For a title search, you can enter either the complete title or the first several words. You can do this by choosing the the simple search option and type in what you you know about the title. You must take care, however, that every word of the title is spelled correctly. This will bring up just one entry for this particular title. You will find however that with some title searches, you will retrieve more than one entry for the same title. This is because the Libraries may own multiple editions or formats for the same title.
There is an alternative way of doing a title search. If you know several words from the title but don't remember the complete title, you can click on the advanced search option and enter each of the words from the title that you know and click on the appropriate search by box on each. If this yields too many hits, you may want to revise the search by selecting two words from the title and the author's surname in the third box, which will narrow the number of hits obtained.
Subject Headings Search
You can also do a subject headings search by entering a keyword or phrase for your topic. For example, if you are interested in child soldiers in Uganda, click on the advanced search option on the KU Libraries Catalog search page. Enter the phrase child soldiers in the first search for box and enter subject headings in the search by box. Then enter Uganda in the second search for box and again enter subject headings in the search by box. This will produce a list of eight titles on this topic. The first of these titles is Child victim, soldier : the loss of innocence in Uganda, by Donald H. Dunson. Clicking on this title will take you to the complete display in the KU online catalog.
While this record is displayed, notice that there are eight subject(s) listed in the record. Each of these is linked to other books which have the same subject entry. Clicking on each of these subjects will take you to a list of subject headings showing how many titles are linked to each, thus identifying other books on your topic. Note that if this is the only book for which the heading is used, the subject display will show that just one item, which will lead back to the same title you have already found on this topic.
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