Colloquium on Precolonial African Historiography (HIST G8760): CLIO Searching & Primary Sources?

General Tips on Searching in CLIO

  1. Reference works or statistical publications -- in print or electronic
    • Combine name of country, language, or ethnic group as “Subject” and another term as a “Subject”….such as:

      bibliography | handbooks | statistics | atlas -or- maps

      biography | congresses | dictionaries | grammar

  2. Historical sources—published
    • Use *current* name of country, a geographical region (ie. "Africa, East"),
      ethnic group--followed by "(African people)" as “Subject”
      ...and combine it with...“Subject” keywords like:
      “history“ | “description and travel” | “personal narratives” | sources
    • For works in African languages, use name of language...followed by the word "language" (ie. Fula language...for Pular, Peul, Fulfulde, Fulani)
    • Colonial government publications in European languages:
      Search [name of the colonial territory], Great Britain Colonial Office, France, etc. as “Author” or “All Fields”

  3. Literary works
    • Search by author or title …or combine [name of individual language] as “Subject” with:

      literature | drama | fiction | poetry | criticism
    • Exceptions….African literature (English) ; African literature (French)

  4. NOTE: For items not found in CLIO with a publication date before 1982: you may still need to use the paper Card Catalog, 310 Butler Library

Primary Sources?

  • Archaeological evidence
  • Autobiographies and memoirs
  • Ethnographic surveys & case studies
  • Field notes and interviews
  • Folktales and proverbs transcribed
  • Historical newspapers (See below)
  • Oral traditions and epics transcribed
  • Travellers’ accounts & descriptions
  • Unpublished government records & published government and NGO reports
  • RECOMMENDATION: Routinely search & read articles in the back issues of two journals:

Historical Newspapers