Thursday, February 24, 2011

Black History Month: Start Your Research Here

We haven't made much explicit reference to Black History Month month because the accomplishments of African-Americans are such an integral part of the library's collection, but it does give me an excuse to point our Africana Studies Research Guide.

First, a general explanation of the research guides. From the library's home page, you'll find Research Guides under E-Resources. The Research Guides are intended as a way to get you started on your research. Each guide is on a specific subject, such as Africana Studies, Film Scoring or Guitar. Within each guide are categories of resources specific to the subject. Each resource includes a description, a call number so you can straight to the library shelf, and links to the library catalog to check availability, in other words, whether it's in or checked out. The other advantage of the links to the catalog is that, if you like what you find, there are links to find more. For example, if you follow the link to Milestones: The Music and Times of Miles Davis by Jack Chambers, you'll find links for more items by Jack Chambers, about Miles Davis or even more broadly biographies of jazz musicians from the United States.

The research guides are not intended to be exhaustive. It's not everything we have a subject, but it does contain some key items to get you going.

Now back to the specifics of the Africana Studies Research Guide. You'll find things like biographies of specific musicians and books on the history of both black music culture and the African Diaspora in general. There are lots of DVDs and videos, from documentaries to concert films to Berklee's own concerts and clinics.

And these aren't just for research. For my own entertainment, I'm most interested in Don Letts's autobiography (TR140.L48 C85 2008) because the DJ/video director/musician pops up in so many places and the George Clinton concert DVD Mothership Connection (DVD 45) because you can always count on the P-Funk All Stars to tear the roof off that sucker.

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