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ENG 110 Prof. Leanna McLennan Fall 2021

Recommended primary source databases

A database is a collection of publications (if you want to know more about what databases are, please click here!).

The library databases that will help you find primary sources for this assignment contain articles, reports, photographs, laws, and other documents written in another time. As we'll discuss in the library workshop, a key skill for researchers using primary sources from another time is reading to infer the point of view of the author, which may include figuring out how everyday life, common assumptions about the world, and vocabulary were different in the author's time and place compared to our own.

In order to read these documents online, when prompted for a password please use the same username and password that you use to get into Blackboard and CUNY First.

You can find our "A-Z list" on the library's front page.screenshot of search box with A-Z list of databases link



screenshot of database subject dropdown menu with Black Studies highlighted

We have several databases that specialize in Black Studies.










Two especially good databases for finding primary sources for this assignment are: Black Thought and Culture and Black Freedom Struggle in the United States.


Black Thought and Culture

You can search Black Thought and Culture two ways:

screenshot of black thought and culture front page



(1) by typing in your keywords (remember to try different words and combinations) in the search box, or

(2) by browsing through subjects, people, historical events, publication title, and more. Note that you can scroll through these options with the arrows on the sides.



Black Freedom Struggle

You can also search the Black Freedom Struggle database either by typing keywords into the search box or by browsing their subjects.

screenshot of featured subjects in database


This one seems a little more challenging to find things by using the search box. If you browse, think about the time period most relevant to your topic, as their subjects are divided by years.


The Crisis

Cover of The Crisis: Record of the Darker Races. Image of Frederick Douglass and title "Woman's Suffrange Number"Crisis Cover image of young girl looking at camera, text says The Children's Number October 1914

The Crisis was a magazine published by the NAACP.  W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the publication's founders and its editor for over 20 years.








cover of The Crisis May 1960, NAACP protestors


Google Books has many scanned issues from more recent decades available to read - they don't organize the issues by year, so it's a little messy, but you can use the search box on this page to search with your keywords. (Please take a close look at your results, as sometimes Google will return other things as well when you search).











Crisis masthead and editorial: 110 Years Later, Du Bois is Calling



For issues between 1997-2020, you can search in the library database Ethnic Newswatch.











Advanced search with The Crisis selected as journalFor older articles (1910-1922), use this advanced search page of the Modernist Journals Project (be sure to select The Crisis as the journal you want.)