Oxford AASC: About AASC

About the Oxford African American Studies Center

The Oxford African American Studies Center combines the authority of carefully edited reference works with sophisticated technology to create the most comprehensive collection of scholarship available online to focus on the lives and events which have shaped African American and African history and culture.

The Oxford African American Studies Center provides students, scholars and librarians with more than 10,000 articles by top scholars in the field. The core content includes:


In Fall 2016 AASC will begin adding entries from the Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography, a major biographical reference work covering the lives and legacies of notable Afro-descendants from the Caribbean and Latin America, men and women from all eras and walks of life. This groundbreaking resource provides unprecedented coverage of the region through the lives of its people.

In addition to the full-text of these works, AASC draws on other key resources from Oxford's reference program, including the Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature, the Oxford Companion to Black British History, and selected articles from other major reference titles. Over 2,500 images, more than 450 primary sources with specially written commentaries, and nearly 200 maps have been collected to enhance this reference content. More than 150 charts and tables offer information on everything from demographics to government and politics to business and labor to education and the arts.

A key feature of the Oxford African American Studies Center site is the ongoing editorial program. The site continues to grow with new and updated content added on a regular basis, including the latest biographies from the African American National Biography project and additional primary documents with commentary.

The Oxford African American Studies Center has been created with the latest in online technology to give users a robust and unique research experience. Precise search and browse capabilities allow users to refine their results by specific eras and subject categories. Users can choose to view biographies, subject entries, primary sources, images, maps, or charts and tables when searching or browsing. The site's thematic timelines and Learning Center resources also provide users with powerful tools for navigating the content. Context-sensitive Help pages are available throughout the site to guide users through the features and functionality.

Editor in Chief

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University
Read Dr. Gates's Letter from the Editor

Editorial Advisory Board

Ira Berlin, University of Maryland
Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, University of Pennsylvania
Paul Finkelman, University of Tulsa College of Law
Trudier Harris, University of North Carolina
Darlene Clark Hine, Northwestern University
Graham Russell Gao Hodges, Colgate University
Valerie Smith, Princeton University
Find out more about the Editorial Advisors

Library Advisory Board

Emily Belcher, General and Humanities Reference Librarian, Princeton University
Nicole Cooke, Reference Librarian/Assistant Professor, Montclair State University
Janice Franklin, Director, Library Media, Alabama State University
Joyce Henderson, Supervisor, Library Media Services, Prince George's County, Maryland
Linda Johnson-Towles, Consultant, Instructional Technology and Media Services, Standards and Assessment, Hamilton County Educational Service Center, Ohio
Jane Keeton, Acquisitions Department Head, Birmingham Public Library, Alabama
James Mouw, Assistant Director for Technical and Electronic Services, The University of Chicago
Janice Sikes, Auburn Avenue Research Library, African American Culture and History, Atlanta Fulton County Library System, Georgia