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Africana Studies

Resources for doing research in Africana Studies


IUCAT Button

IUCAT is Indiana University's online library catalog. Search it to find items held by the IU Libraries statewide, including books, recordings, US government publications, periodicals, and other types of material. You can access IUCAT from any computer connected to the Internet or at walk-up terminals located throughout the IU Library system.

IUCAT Quick Search:

Library: IUPUI University Library
  Herron Art Library

Finding Books and Media

Finding Books

Library Catalogs
What is available & where is it?
Subject Searching
Some tips on subject searching
After finding the IUCAT record
or if you just want to browse

Library Catalogs

Library catalogs have been created to help you learn what a library holds in its collection and where these items are located. IUCAT and WorldCat are two library catalogs that will be helpful to you.


IUCAT can be used to find out what is available in all of the Indiana University Libraries.

This catalog is open to the public, but as an IUPUI student, staff, or faculty member you have special privileges. For example, you can use Request Delivery to request that books held in the IU system but not available at your local IUPUI campus library be delivered to the IUPUI campus library of your choice, where you can check them out. So books in IU libraries in South Bend, Bloomington, or elsewhere can be delivered to IUPUI for you to read.

Options for learning to use IUCAT features:


OCLC's WorldCat can be used to find out what is available in many public and university libraries in this country and in some other countries.

If you find a book, CD, DVD, or video in WorldCat that is not available through the Indiana University libraries, you can make an Interlibrary Loan request for the item. Keep in mind that it will usually take at least 7-10 days for the item to come in and these items must be picked up and returned to IUPUI University Library if you are an IUPUI student, staff or faculty member. If you are not able to pick up items at IUPUI, please make an Interlibrary Loan request through your local public library instead of through University Library.

Options for learning to use WorldCat features:

  • Check the Help Feature
  • Look at this brief Flash tutorial
  • Ask a Librarian to explain how to use WorldCat
  • Experiment with WorldCat on your own

Some general search tips:

If you are searching by keyword or subject heading:

  • Before you start entering any search terms, spend a few minutes trying to think of as many relevant terms and combinations as you can. This will help you to avoid getting stuck in a rut with the first terms that come to mind.

If you are searching by title:

  • Leave out the first word of the title if it is a common article such as "the" or "an"
  • If you are searching in WorldCat, do not include punctuation such as a ":"

Learn at least a few of the search features

  • The most common one is Boolean searching:
    • using AND between terms to narrow the results to items containing both (or all) of the search terms
    • using OR between terms to expand the results to include items containing any one of the search terms

Subject Searching

Searching library catalogs by Subject Heading, rather than by Keyword, can help to target your search. The catalog records for most of the books and other items in IUCAT and WorldCat include Subject Headings drawn from a list defined by the Library of Congress. This can be helpful because it narrows down the options for useful search terms, but you need to know the approved Subject Headings in order to take advantage of this system.

Options for finding/using applicable Library of Congress Subject Headings:

  • Most library Reference departments will have a copy of the "Red Books" containing the Library of Congress Subject Headings
  • WorldCat has a feature that allows searching for subject headings.
    • Go to the Advanced Search Screen.
    • Or see the Flash tutorial on using this feature.
  • When you do run across a catalog record for a book that is relevant to your topic, both IUCAT and WorldCat allow you to click on the hyperlinked subject headings to find more books on that topic.
  • This Word document shows a list of some Subject Headings relevant to African American African Diaspora Studies topics.



When you want to view an e-book:

Click on the link in the IUCAT record. For a demonstration, see the Viewing e-books Tutorial or ask for Reference Help.

When you want to find an item on the Library shelves:

IUPUI University Library and many other academic libraries use the Library of Congress Classification System and Call Numbers, not the Dewey Decimal System that you may have seen at your local public library.

At the bottom of an IUCAT record, you will see the call number and basic location for the item as shown in this example:

Indpls - IUPUI University Library (I-UNIVLIB) Location
P90 .G354 2006 (this is the call number) 1) Stacks

If the location for an item in the University Library collection says "Stacks" the item will be on the:

  • 3rd floor shelves if the call number starts with the letters A-N
  • 4th floor shelves if the call number starts with the letters P-Z

Reference materials, Current Periodicals, Microforms, and Government Documents are all in the Reference Room on the 2nd floor.

IUPUI's Philanthropic Studies Library is on the 2nd floor across the hall from the reference desk.

DVDs are kept behind the Circulation desk on the 2nd floor.

Special Collections are on the Lower Level.

Library Maps

If you have any questions, comments, or would like research help, contact Caitlin Pollock, Africana Studies Library Liaison

InterLibrary Loan - Infographic