Skip to Main Content

AH/ AA 215: Arts of Africa & Its Diaspora

Find Books on African Art

Try searching the BU Catalog for Subject: Art, African.

Replace African with the particular region, culture, or country for a narrower search.

For more examples, also see the Guide to African Art & Architecture


Try a basic keyword search with your search terms, for example:  Art Africa

Search Tips for the Library Catalog

BULS Search Box

Begin with a keyword search and try various combinations. How you search can determine the number of results:

For example:  Art or African art

Using and narrows the search: Mali AND art

Using or broadens the search. : (Mali OR Niger) AND Art  This search includes results for either Mali or Niger, but all results should include art

Mali AND Niger AND Art is a narrower search.  It would show you results that mention all three terms, and should not include works that mentions only Art from Mali. 

The Not functions excludes certain terms from your search: Niger AND art NOT Nigeria .  This is one method to limit your search to only items about Niger and not those that mention Nigeria.  Africa NOT America* is another example of a search that would exclude America and American from your results.


The BU Library Search also has many facets that can be used to refine your search in various ways.  

For example, try searching only in the author field:  Author search for Winnie Mandela

Using the options on the left-hand column, you could further limit your results in various way, for example choosing only article or using the date slider to see only material published before 1994.

The results provide a breakdown of books and articles on that topic and other similar subject headings you might want to investigate.

**** For more details see the Power Searching Guide****

Getting Books Not Available at BU

There are several ways you can obtain books or articles that we do not own. These include:

  • WorldCat Discovery. WorldCat Discovery allows current BU faculty, staff, and students to borrow books directly from other Boston Library Consortium libraries. Turnaround time is approximately three working days. (How to use WorldCat Discovery)

  • Interlibrary Loan. Interlibrary Loan services allow current BU faculty, staff, and students to request books, articles, book chapters, and other materials that our ILL staff will obtain from other libraries. Books generally take 2-4 weeks to arrive; articles are generally delivered electronically within 1-2 days.

  • BLC Cards. A Boston Library Consortium Card allows the bearer to borrow—in person—circulating material from a member library, just as you would from a BU library. Boston University faculty, staff, and students on the Charles River Campus may obtain a Consortium Card by filling out an application form. Medical Campus affiliates apply at the Alumni Medical Library.


Profile Photo
Rachel Dwyer
she/ her
African Studies Library
6th floor,
Mugar Memorial Library
Mon-Fri 9am - 5 pm
Subjects: African Studies