CIS History Universe - Access to African
American Studies Now Available from BCR
(December 1999 Action for Libraries newsletter)

By James Speed Hensinger

BCR is offering a new addition to the CIS suite of databases. Subscriptions are now available to CIS History Universe - Access to African American Studies.

This new web-based product provides libraries and schools with an extensive collection of information resources on African-American history, including legislation, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, reference works, biographies and articles from selected academic journals.

A subscription to African American Studies provides Web access to:

  • Full text of every major law passed by Congress concerning race, from 1792 to 1994.

  • Every Supreme Court decision pertaining to race for more than 200 years, including concurring and dissenting opinions.

  • Nearly 900 biographical and reference articles on African-American history, including detailed information on people, organizations and events.

  • Selections from manuscript collections featuring documents in both image and text format giving users access to important primary sources.

  • A personal perspective on the African American experience through autobiographies of such noted individuals as Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Walter F. White and James Forman.

  • rticles from such academic journals as The Journal of Southern History, The Journal of Negro History, The Black Scholar and The Journal of Social History, as well as major anthologies like the Union and Emancipation: Essays on Politics and Race in the Civil War Era and The State of Afro-American History: Past, Present and Future.
Users can search by a combination of keywords, wildcard characters, logical operators or narrow the search to specific date ranges or types of documents (i.e., statutes, manuscripts, autobiographies). Searchers not sure where to begin, can browse using a provided list of topics.

BCR member libraries can have access to this research resource for no more than $0.39 per FTE. But the price could be reduced, depending on the total number of schools and libraries that subscribe to Access to African American Studies by December 10. As an incentive, those that sign up for the regular 12-month subscription by the December 10 date will instead receive a 24-month subscription that runs from January 1, 2000, through December 31, 2001.

Once the final price of Access to African American Studies has been set following the December 10 deadline, it will be posted on BCR's web site at: Those subscribing after December 10 will receive a 12-month subscription.

For more information about History Universe - Access to African American Studies, see Reference/CIS/HUFAQ1.html or visit the CIS Web site at To subscribe, complete the online form on BCR's web site at Reference/CIS/CISform.html.