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African Languages and Cultures

Guide to Sources of Information

Scholars interested in information on African languages can search the UCLA Library Catalog for various types and formats of information resources including books, periodicals, maps, government information, CD-ROMs, videos and music resources. The catalogue provides for both simple subject-keyword and advanced (Boolean operators) search options and a typical record includes title, author, publishers, physical description of the material, series (if any), subject terms with links, LC control number, record ID, collection (e.g. UCLA libraries), location, call number, status and the number of items. It is also possible to search by relevant ranges of call numbers. In addition, all options related to borrowing the materials are provided and linked to the searched record. Furthermore, a user can search Melvyl Catalog, checking such key commands as language codes in this case, LC's codes for major African languages and appropriate subject headings to maximize search results. African language information resources can also be searched from the following sources

Reference Sources

Various reference sources including encyclopedias, guides, indexes and article bibliographic databases. Article databases contain important information for language researchers.

Specific examples include Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts (LLBA) and Index Islamicus (covers a few African languages that have some historical Islamic influence), these and other relevant databases can be accessed via UCLA Databases by Subject.

Online reference resources such as:

Library Resources and Services

United Nations, Government, and Local Resources

Search Engines and Web-based Resources

The Web including MS-Live, Google Scholar, and Google itself for general information on specific languages, language groups/families, language maps, etc., as well as other libraries and African studies centers (universities) that might have undertaken similar work/study; check also any possible web-links for interactive language learning resources for African languages.

Online discussion groups on African languages (including blogs – see resources for individual languages) such as H-Net. Related forums such as Wikimania Conference and its discussion on Facilitating African Language Wikipedias might be important sources of information for language scholars.