Loyola University Chicago Libraries

African American Read-In: Online Resources

Library Resources for Background Information

In the Cudahy and Lewis Libraries Reference Collections there are many great print encyclodpedias, dictionaries, and other reference books. 

We also have many online reference sources which are easy to access and easy to use.  See below for some useful online resources!


Loyola University Libraries subscribes to hundreds of research databases that contain articles on many subjects.  Using a database is a smart way to start your article search since you can search many sources at one time. The database that you choose depends on what you're looking for.

If you're just starting your research, then searching a general database such as those listed below is a good approach. These databases contain journal, magazine, newspaper, and publications on a wide range of subjects.

Looking for a specific article in a specific publication? Use the Journal Finder search box below to locate the publication.

  • Article finder - A quick way to start looking for a specific article
  • Databases - We have hundreds of databases where you can search for different types of material
  • Online Guides - Use our online guides to get started with research in a specific subject

Getting Started

Not sure where to start your research? The interdisciplinary databases are good places to search for information on any topic, and have lots of full-text material available. See Getting Started for more tips.

  • Academic Search Complete
    Provides indexing in wide range of academic areas including business, social sciences, humanities, general academic, general science, education and multi-cultural issues. (more info)
    A collection of electronic full-text journals. Titles are usually covered from their first issue, excluding only the most recent 2-5 years. (more info)
  • Wilson OmniFile Full Text Select
    Provides access to full text articles, images, abstracts, and citations from over 4,000 journals contained in the following six Wilson full text databases: Education, General Science, Humanities, Reader's Guide, Social Sciences & Business. (more info)

Online Video Collections

The Loyola Libraries subscribes to several online streaming media collection.  Videos are a great addition to class syllabuses, reports and presentations, and can contribute greatly to both background and topic specific research!

Below is a list of  some of the licensed video databases available at Loyola. The subject content spans a diverse range of topics, from history to performing and fine arts.

Alexander Street Press' main collection (VAST) of streaming content contains over 20,000 full length videos for instant access including previously featured collections: Dance in Video, Opera in Video, Ethnographic Video Online, and Filmakers Library Online. ASP: VAST contains collections covering a wide variety of disciplines including Criminal Justice, Theatre, Politics, History, New World Cinema, Art, Diversity, Health Sciences, Engineering, Counseling and Therapy.

Black Studies in Video is a signature Alexander Street Press collection featuring documentaries, newsreels, interviews and archival footage surveying the evolution of black culture in the United States. In partnership with California Newsreel, the database provides access to their African American Classics collection, and includes films covering history, politics, art and culture, family structure, social and economic pressures, and gender relations.

Kanopy Streaming is a new service offering access to thousands of titles from the largest educational film providers. The library will license some whole collections while other titles may be previewed and requested a la carte directly by faculty for instruction. All titles come will full Public Performance Rights and may even be screened outside the classroom where no admission is charged. 

Distributors part of Kanopy Streaming include Media Education Foundation, Documentary Education Resources, California Newsreel, Criterion Collection/Janus Films, Psychotherapy.net, and many more.

LGBT Studies in Video is a cinematic survey of the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people as well as the cultural and political evolution of the LGBT community. This first-of-its-kind collection features award-winning documentaries, interviews, archival footage, and select feature films exploring LGBT history, gay culture and subcultures, civil rights, marriage equality, LGBT families, AIDS, transgender issues, religious perspectives on homosexuality, global comparative experiences, and other topics.

For a complete list check out the Online Video Resources Subject Guide!