Black Studies Collection Development Policy


The Black Studies Collection Development Policy supports research, study and teaching of multi-faceted & highly interdisciplinary study of peoples of African descent throughout the world. Research, study & teaching in the Dept. of Black Studies at UCSB centers in the social sciences and humanities, with a focus on culture, politics, history, art, music, cinema & literature.

Although the primary mission of black studies acquisitions is to to support the programs of the department of Black Studies, the materials also support instruction and research relating to black studies in other humanities, in the social sciences and in other departments and units throughout the university. In addition, black studies materials are frequently used by students, teachers, researchers, visiting scholars & other campus visitors with an interest in the black studies, ethnic studies, colonial history, developing countries, et al.

Primary subject areas

  • art history
  • dramatic art
  • film studies
  • ethnomusicology
  • gender studies
  • history
  • linguistics
  • literature & comparative literature
  • music & ethnomusicology
  • political science
  • psychological and brain sciences
  • religion

Geographic areas

Peoples of African descent are located in all areas of the world. The geographic focus of the department of black studies is therefore international in scope, with primary emphases on: Africa; United States; the Caribbean & Latin America and secondary emphases on Europe and Asia.


Principal languages include English, French, & Spanish. Materials in other languages are bought selectively.

Time periods

Time periods range from African prehistory to recent events. The predominant time focus is from the beginnings of early African civilizations to the modern era.


Predominant formats currently represented include:

  • Monographs & monographic series in print from university, professional, popular (trade) and small presses;
  • Videos, & DVDs, including documentaries, creative works and commercial releases;
  • Journals and magazines: academic & professional journals, popular magazines & newspapers from the U.S., the Caribbean & Africa;
  • Electronic resources : A growing number of resources including journals, monographs, indexes, abstracts and books, are acquired in electronic form.
  • Other Resources: Interlibrary loan for material held in circulating collections in the UC system is available for current faculty, academics, staff & students. Interlibrary loan beyond the UC system is available to UCSB current faculty, academics, staff and graduate students. General holdings as well as archival collections with collection strengths in areas of black studies are strong in the UC system, for example: the African and African American collections at UC Berkeley; oral history series on African Americans from the UCLA Oral History Program; Hall Family Papers and Sugar Plantation [Jamaica] Records at UC San Diego; from the Library of Social History Collection (Hoover Institution, Stanford), public & private papers from the New Jewel Movement (Grenada); all of which can be accessed via the Online Archive of California (OAC).
  • Consortia and Cooperative Agreements: When possible, consortia and cooperative agreements are used to augment collections. Resources are acquired in collaboration with other UCSB collections groups; with the Ethnic, Area, & Gender Studies collection group and/or in collaboration or as a result of consortial agreements with the UC Ethnic Studies as well as the UC & Stanford Africana consortiums, and through the California Digital Library. UCSB actively works with other University of California campuses to pool resources, negotiate purchases, and share materials. Research in black studies is enhanced by numerous UC CDL-supported databases.
  • Faculty & student recommendations: Frequent & active interaction and collaboration between students, faculty and the black studies collection manager (librarian) contributes to develop the collection to best meet the library needs of its principal audience. Therefore, the black studies librarian welcomes your suggestions and comments.

For further details on this collection development policy or to make purchase recommendations, please contact:

Jennifer Thompson
Black Studies Collection Manager
Library - Reference Services
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
(805) 893-8051
(805) 893-4676 fax
jthompson [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu