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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Tips and Take Aways: The Oxford African American Studies Center Goes Live Today!

This is an exciting day for African Americans, America and academia. The legacy of the African Diaspora has been positioned squarely on the cutting edge of modern knowledge and technology. I'm ecstatic. I'm proud. I'm in awe. Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has once again managed to play a major role in pulling off a historical academic feat. The Oxford African American Studies Center(OAASC), an online compendium of primary resources, scholarly articles, essays and cross referenced charts and timelines went live online today. Three of the core sources utilized to create this academic masterpiece are the five volume Africana, Black Women in America, Second Edition and the African American National Biography.

Students, Teachers and Researchers can search the database by era, subject matter or reference material. Over 6,000 biographies, 7, 500 articles, 100 charts and 90 maps are at the fingertips of users when they visit the OAASC. These resources are grouped by historical themes, subject area and geographical locations.

Like any good teacher, the OAASC points its users to other available resources both on and offline via an extended bibliography of various reference books and listings of internet resources grouped by topic, law and legislation, journalism, history, etc. The database will also continue to be updated as tomorrow becomes history. A guided tour and monthly feature, this month's is the Civil Rights Movement, makes the vast amount of information more accesible by providing a snapshot of what's available through the database.

The OAASC will be a subscription service available to individuals for $17.95 a month and $179 for a year. When compared to the $3,000 or more one would pay to own the library of books used as the core sources for this database, it is well worth the investment. Currently, institutions can subscribe to a 30 day trial of the database.The cross indexing alone is worth it.

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