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Race and Ethnicity Studies : Subject Guide: Books & Media

Frank Smith Library Center has many resources to those researching race and ethnic issues.

Searching Books and Media


The A. Frank Smith Library is offering a discovery layer called Worldcat@SU.  Worldcat@SU pulls together a large number of subscription databases (including SU's Library Catalog) into a unified search engine, increasing one's chances of finding results by keyword or phrase.  Whenever possible, links are provided directly to the online source identified.

Once you do a search, note how Worldcat@SU offers a large number of facets (limiters)  on the left side to refine your search by format, author, year, language etc.  To the right side of the record, you can focus by subject headings.

Phrase Searching

  • add quotation marks around the terms you're searching so the whole phrase will be found.

Use the subject heading hyperlinks

  • within individual records to see other items classified under that same heading. Subject headings are standardized tags that describe the content of an item. You can use these tags to find material on the same topic regardless of the words used in the material’s text.


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Background Resources

Background resources provide contextual information.  This category may include encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, maps, statistical sources, and more.

Background Resources

Relevant Search Terms

 Worldcat@SU catalog searches use keywords and subject headings for the topic at hand. For topics related to race and ethnicity, it may be necessary to think about how a population has been described in the past in order to come up with a complete list of effective search terms. Below are some recommendations.

Ethnicity and Race in General 

- antiracism
- antisemitism
- ethnic Groups 
- ethnic Relations 
- ethnicity
- Islamophobia
- minorities
- people of color
- race 
- race discrimination
- racial 
- racism

African Americans

- Afro Americans 
- African Diaspora
- Blacks
- Colored people (in works written before the 1980s)
- Negroes (in works written before the 1970s)

Asian Americans

- Chinese Americans (or other specific nationalities) 
- Oriental or Orientals

Indigenous Peoples

Immigrant Populations

- immigrants 
- emigration or immigration 
- illegal aliens 

- undocumented aliens 
- [nationality] and immigration (example: Guatemalans and immigration)

Latino Americans

- Latino/as 
- Hispanics 
- Hispanic Americans 
- Chicano/as 
- Mexican Americans (or other specific nationality)

Native Americans

- American Indians 
- Indians of North America
- First Nations
- Native Americans 
- Cherokee Indians (or other specific tribes)

White Americans 

- Caucasians 
- European Americans 
- White ethnicity 
- Whiteness
- Whites -- Race Identity

Note: Courtesy of Washington State University, Vancouver.