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Research Guides

History : Africa: Books & eBooks

A research guide to primary and secondary sources for African history.

Selected eBooks on African History

book cover: Beneath the Surface: A Transnational History of Skin Lighteners
Divided by the Word : Colonial Encounters and the Remaking of Zulu and Xhosa Identities
book cover: Saltwater Slavery : A Middle Passage from Africa to American Diaspora
Nkrumah and the Ghana Revolution
Chosen Peoples: Christianity and Political Imagination in South Sudan
Atlantic Africa and the Spanish Caribbean, 1570-1640
The Battle of Adwa: African Victory in the Age of Empire
Slave Trade and Abolition: Gender, Commerce, and Economic Transition in Luanda
Queering Colonial Natal: Indigeneity and the Violence of Belonging in Southern Africa
Colonial Geography: Race and Space in German East Africa, 1884–1905
Loot : Britain and the Benin Bronzes
Students of the World: Global 1968 and Decolonization in the Congo
African Dominion: A New History of Empire in Early and Medieval West Africa
book cover: Politics of the Womb: Women, Reproduction, and the State in Kenya
Josie Mpama/Palmer: Get Up and Get Moving
Idi Amin: The Story of Africa's Icon of Evil
From Hope to Horror: Diplomacy and the Making of the Rwanda Genocide
Extreme Violence and the 'British Way' : Colonial Warfare in Perak, Sierra Leone and Sudan

Using UW Libraries Search to Find Books

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Find eBooks

You can find eBooks in two ways:

  • Do your search and then on the results screen, filter your results by using the toolbar:
    • Choose Availability: "Available Online" and Resource Type: "eBooks"
    • And then click on the green "Apply Filters" button
  • Use the Advanced Search option
    • Change "Show Only" to "UW Libraries" and "Material Type" to "eBooks"
  • See the eBook FAQ for more information

Search Tips


  • By Topic - Type in the keywords that broadly describe your topic. For example: missionaries nigeria women history
  • By Title - search for a specific book by title. Type in the first few words of the book title in quotations. For example: "battle of adwa"
  • By Author - search for books written by a specific author. Type in the last name followed by the first name of the author in quotations. For example: "thomas lynn"

History eBook Collections

 Additional collections of eBooks can be found on eBook Collections guide. The following collections have strong history content:

Finding Books Beyond the UW

If you can't find the books you need at the UW or through our Summit partner libraries (Summit material can be found in UW Libraries Search), use the following catalogs. Books not available at the UW can be requested through Interlibrary Loan

Browsing African History

The UW Libraries arranges books by Library of Congress call numbers. Though history is covered in every discipline (e.g., women's history may be located in the women's studies call numbers while the medical history may be in the medicine call numbers), the major sections for African history are listed below.

DT Africa Suz 3
DT43-DT346 North Africa Suz 3
DT365-DT469 Eastern Africa Suz 3
DT470-DT671 West Africa Suz 3
DT1001-DT3415 Southern Africa Suz 3

For a more specific breakdown of the call numbers see the Library of Congress Classification Online.