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ART 391: African Art: Find Books

Using books for research

  • Get expert information on the background topics and big issues
  • For keywords and other sources use the Table of Contents, Index, Bibliographies, & List of sources

A Benin Bronze plaque on display in the British Museum

Michel Wal (2009, Jan 1). A Benin Bronze plaque on display in the British Museum. Benin brass plaque 03 (cropped).jpg CC-BY-SA

Search the catalog using keywords to find books

1. Search for a book on your topic. Limit to Print Book format.

2. Note books available at Salisbury University, the University System of MD & partners, and via Interlibrary loan

3. Get access to the material, whether by clicking "Get Item", "Request Item Through Interlibrary Loan", finding it in the SU collections, or going to the GAC Library Service Desk for course reserves.

Course Reserves

Many of the print books SU Libraries owns on the topic of African Art are placed in Course Reserves.

Go to the GAC Library Service Desk to check them out! Check here to see the materials available.

Here are some titles under reserve:

  • Baule: African Art, Western Eyes by Vogel
  • Royal Arts of Africa: The Majesty of Form by Preston Blier
  • Art As Technology: The Arts of Africa, Oceania, Native America, and Southern California
  • The Art of Benin by Ben-Amos
  • Yoruba. Nine Centuries of Nigerian Art by Drewal

Call Number Locator

If SU Libraries owns a print copy, use our online Call Number Locator to quickly find the book you need! Make sure you select the correct collection and have the call number ready!

Interlibrary Loan Link

SU Libraries doesn't have it? Order through InterLibrary Loan.


Evaluating Book Sources

Use the CRAAP method!


  • Is it up-to-date? Does it need to be?


  • Is the information relevant to your topic?
  • Who is the intended audience?

Who is the AUTHORITY?

  • Who is the author, publisher, sponsor? What are their credentials?
  • Are they qualified to talk about this subject?


  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Is the information unbiased and emotion-free?

What is the PURPOSE of the information?

  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform or persuade?


  • Multiple editions indicate the book is well regarded enough to have been through revisions, and has been updated.

  • Scan the preface or the introduction for a statement on why the book was written and what the author hopes to accomplish with it. Often the author will also let you know what perspective of bias he or she brings to the topic.

  • Look for references and/or a bibliography (may be called Works Cited, Sources, etc.). This list shows you what kind of sources the author used to write the book.

  • Browse the Table of Contents to see what the book covers. Look up one or two of your keywords in the index in the back of the book to see if they're there. Is the entire book devoted to your topic? Is there a whole chapter? Or just a paragraph or two?

  • Search library databases for book reviews to find out what others think of the author's book.

  • Look at the subject headings assigned to the book using a library cataloge or database record to help you check for content relevance.

  • When deciding if a book's content is current, check the publication date and the dates of the references used in the book's bibliography.

  • Exercise care when looking at a book's publication date. It can take up to two years for a book to be published. Be aware that some dates represent the year a book was republished (as a paperback, or after being out of print for some years).

    Adapted from CQ University: