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Dance 290: Dance Forms of Africa

research help for Dance Forms of Africa

Why Use Journal Databases?

While you can find articles in Catalyst, Catalyst only shows you articles for which we have immediate access. Journal databases, however, will include records for articles that exist that we don't have direct access to, which is great for getting an overall view of what kind of research has been done on your topic. If you find an article for which we don't have direct access, we can usually get it for you through Resource Sharing; see the Requesting Materials from Other Libraries tab for instructions). 

I have listed a number of databases that I think may be most helpful.  Run a ctrl+F/cmd+F  search on the word "recommended" to see which databases I personally found most useful when preparing for our library session.

Journal databases usually include articles from both scholarly peer-reviewed journals as well as trade and popular magazines.  Look for a scholarly or peer reviewed filter to help locate materials from scholarly journals.

Dance Research Databases

Please note: these dance research databases lean more towards western dance and dance as a performance art (ballet, musical theater, etc.) as opposed to dance as ritual or as a cultural activity. You should definitely search the dance databases, but you should definitely also search in religion, anthropology, or other databases covering relevant subjects.

African Studies Databases

These databases are open access. They are not made available through the Library, but they are free for you to use. -- a free database for Africana social science journal articles

African Digital Research Repositories -- a list of research archives with African topics, including countries national libraries; sorted by country

African Journals Online -- peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles published in Africa, covering disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, with particular attention to medicine and agriculture. Links to some full text. RECOMMENDED

African Music Library -- a site for information about African music, including genres and instruments; note that this site is a work in progress

African Online Digital Library -- Access to cultural heritage materials from and about African countries and communities. Contents include photographs, videos, archival documents, maps, interviews and oral histories in numerous African languages.

African Studies Abstracts Online -- open access articles, thesis and research from the African Studies Centre Leiden (ASCL); not everything will be in English

Other Research Databases (available through the Libraries)

Search Tip:  When researching dance topics in non-dance databases, use the subject filter on your result list the limit the results to articles that have been tagged as being specifically about dance. These filters usually appear on the left side of the results list.

For example, I searched for Africa dance in ATLA Religion Database Plus and got 114 results.  But I can use the subject filter to limit to articles tagged with "dance" or even "dance, religious," depending on what fits my research topic best. Using the subject filter helps me know that the article will discuss dance topics in depth.

Screenshot of the subject filter for a results list in the ATLA religion database. It includes options to limit to "dance," "dance, religious" and "dance--religious aspects."

For more database options, see our complete database list. Use the menus along the top of the list to sort by the subject area and type of material you want.

African News Resources

AllAfrica -- available through the Libraries' Nexis Uni subscription; much of the news will be in French -- links to African newspapers by country

Electronic Journals and Newspapers on Africa  -- a list of free e-journals about African; compiled by Columbia University Library