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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Afro American Studies

A general guide to library research in Afro American Studies.

Finding Books

To find books at UMass 


Start with the Discovery Search, the general search box on the library home page,  

This search gives you access to books and articles and more.

Citations can be exported directly to Zotero or other citation managers.

Some Books by UMass Afro Am Faculty

Some books by Afro Am alums

Spotlight on...

Two books by graduates of the Afro American Studies department were selected as Choice Outstanding Academic Titles for 2008. Both books began as dissertations in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Spotlight on...

Ousmane Power-Greene received his PhD from the UMass Amherst Department of Afro American Studies in 2007.


We have a robust ebook collection

Search our growing ebook collections for topics in Afro American Studies.

Scholarly and popular books online in full text, from 1990 to present.

Gale Virtual Reference Library
A collection of several hundred current subject encyclopedias.

Sample e-books:

Where are the books in Afro American Studies?

Call Number Locations

Information on Afro American studies can be found throughout the Library of Congress's classification system (the one we employ in the University Libraries). The subject of the work is the most important determinant as to where an item will be found, but the following Library of Congress call numbers mark areas where a significant number of books, journals, and other materials can be found.

TIP: When you look for a particular book on the shelf, make sure to browse the shelf and nearby shelves for related books. Take your time! Open the books!


E 184.5 - E 185.98 History of African Americans in the United States
14th floor

PS 508 .N3 Collections of literature by African Americans
11th floor

PS 628 .N4 Collections of plays by African Americans
11th floor

PS 591 .N4 Collections of poetry by African Americans
11th floor

PS 153 .N5 Literary history and criticism of works by African Americans
11th floor

Z 1361 .N39 Bibliographies on African American subjects
21st floor

What floor?

Reading Call Numbers

The Library Catalog provides a call number and location for each item. The call number consists of an alphanumeric string based on the Library of Congress classification system. Learn how to read a call number.

Note: If the Call Number of a book says "UM Reference," you will find it in the Learning Commons, lower level of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library. Otherwise, for BOOKS and PERIODICALS in the UM W.E.B. Du Bois Library, use the chart below.


Call numbers beginning with Floor Subject(s)
A 17 General Works
B 20 Philosophy, Psychology, Religion
C 15 History
D-DR 15 History
DS-DZ 14 History
E 14 History
F 14 History
G 18 Geography, Anthropology, Recreation
H-HG 1999 18 Social Sciences
HG 2000-HZ 17 Social Sciences
J 17 Political Science
K (circulating) 6 Law
K (non-circulating) 6 Law
L 20 Education
M 6 Music
N 9 Art
P-PQ 5999 8 Language and Literature
PQ 6000-PT 11 Literature
PZ 21 Children's Literature
Q 23 Science
R 23 Medicine
S 23 Agriculture
T (except for TR) 23 Technology
TR 9 Photography
U 23 Military Science
V 23 Military Science
Z 21 Bibliography

Note: If the call number is followed by either the word Folio or the word Oversize, it is too large to fit on the standard shelves and is located on Ranges 1 or 2 of the floor.


New Books!

Titles recently acquired in the Five College Libraries, on African American history.