Cultural and Racial Minorites - LPC Library Research Guide

Please ask a reference librarian for assistance at any time. We will be glad to help!

Reference Sources

Use reference sources for background information, broad overviews and summaries. The reference collection includes general and subject dictionaries and encyclopedias, biographies, directories, bibliographies, almanacs, atlases, etc. Many also contain bibliographies for further research. Reference books cannot be checked out from the library but may be photocopied.


World Book Encyclopedia, Ref AE5.W55 2005

Encyclopedia Americana, Ref AE5.E333 2005

Subject Specific:

African-American Culture and History, Ref E185.E54 1996 v.1-6

African American Encyclopedia, Ref E185.A253 1993 v.1-8

American Immigrant Cultures, Ref E184.A1.A63448 v.1-2

Asian American Encyclopedia, Ref E184.O6.A827 1995

Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, Ref E184.A1.G15 1999 v.1-2

Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups, Ref E184.A1 H35

Latino Encyclopedia, Ref E184.S75.L357 1996 v.1-6


Check-Out Books

Use the library catalog to find books in the library. This will show you all the books and other materials our library owns. You can search for a book by the author, title, subject, or keyword. The subject search allows you to find books about a topic or a person.

Examples of subject headings

United States and Ethnic Relations
United States and Race Relations
United States and Emigration and Immigration
Irish Americans
Japanese Americans

Examples of books in the LPC Library on ethnicity in the United States:

Leinwald, Gerald. American Immigration: Should the Door Be Closed. New York: F. Watts, 1995. - JV 6455 L524 1995

Robert, Elliot (ed.). A Nation of Peoples: A Sourcebook on America's Multicultural Heritage. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999. - E184 A1 N2866 1999

Race relations: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 2001. - : E184 A1 R316 2000

Maharidge, Dale. The Coming White Minority: California's Eruptions and America's Future. New York: Times Books, 1996. - JV6483 M28 1996

Examples of videos in the LPC Library on ethnicity in the United States:

Videos are shelved behind the circulation desk and may be checked out.

Destination America - MV 22053 v. 1-9

Ties That Bind: Immigration in the United States - MV 22289

The Irish In America: Long Journey Home - MV 22494 v. 1-4


Periodicals and Databases

To find articles published in magazines, journals, and newspapers, use one of LPC Library's online databases. While some give general coverage others focus on one subject or discipline. Periodicals provide in-depth analyses of events and trends, research studies on particular problems, and professional literature. (These electronic print resources can be accessed in the LPC Library or from home at the LPC Library Homepage. Use your W-ID and pin.)

Examples of Electronic Print Resources:

Academic Search Complete. EBSCO – This database and the 20+ other databases included contain thousands of full-text articles on social, scientific, health, historic, business, and economic, political and global issues.

  • Suggestion: Do a keyword search for "multiculturalism and United States"
  • Suggestion: Do a keyword search for "race relations and social aspects and United States"
  • Other possible keywords to search: ethnic relations, multiculturalism, assimilation, acculturation, immigrants, emigration and immigration, race discrimination, affirmative action, pluralism, minorities, ethnic groups, Hispanic Americans and ethnic identity, demography and united states, melting pot, United States census, diversity, etc.

Ethnic NewsWatch – This database contains articles with a broad diversity of perspectives and viewpoints from newspapers, magazines, and journals of the ethnic, minority, and native press. All the articles indexed are available in full-text

  • Suggestion: Do a keyword search for "affirmative action"

GenderWatch – This database contains articles that focus on the impact of gender on culture and society. It presents "an important historical perspective on the evolution of the women's movement and the changes in gender roles." All the articles indexed are available in full-text

  • Suggestion: Do a keyword search for "sex discrimination and gender"

America's Newspapers. NewsBank - This database contains the full-text of articles published in U.S. newspapers, which include: The New York Times, The Valley Times, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, and Washington Post, to name just a few. Click on "Create a Custom List" to see and choose from the entire list of newspapers offered.

  • Suggestion: Do a keyword search for "ethnicity AND United States"

CQ Researcher - Covers issues of public condern with coverage since 1991.

  • Suggestion: Do a quick search for "ethnicity"
  • Suggestion: Browse by topic for "affirmative action"


Internet Resources

You may want to explore some Internet resources to supplement or enhance your research. Always be cautious of information you find on the Web since the quality of sources varies tremendously on the Internet. It is always a good idea to check the information against another source. As with all information resources, whether in print or on the Internet, you evaluate its quality based on the following criteria:

  • Accuracy  (Is it free from mistakes and errors?)
  • Authority  (What are the qualifications of the author?)
  • Objectivity  (Is there any strong bias?)
  • Currency  (Is the information up to date?)
  • Coverage  (To what extent is the topic explored?)

Examples of Relevant Web Sites:

AAD Project - The Affirmative Action and Diversity Project provides scholars, students, and the interested public with on-site articles and theoretical analyses, policy documents, current legislative updates, and an annotated bibliography of research and teaching materials.
Internet URL:

Becoming American: The Chinese Experience - provides biographical portraits, eyewitness accounts, a timeline, a Chinese American history quiz, a viewer's guide, and links to related
Internet URL:

Public Agenda Online - Drawing on its research, Public Agenda prepares a broad array of educational materials that help explain policy issues, including race and immigration, to the public in a balanced and easy-to-understand way.
Internet URL:

Race, Racism and the Law - "considers race, racism and racial distinctions in the law; It examines the role of the law in promoting and/or alleviating racism. The site includes statutes, cases, excerpts of law review articles, annotated bibliographies and other documents related to race and racism".
Internet URL:

United States Census Bureau - This site contains information and statistical reports relating to the demographics and projections of the U.S. population. Also contains the full-text of the Statistical Abstract of the United States.
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For additional sites on this topic, please see the LPC Library Web Page under "For Students" or go to the Librarians Index to the Internet for other recommended web sites.
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Citation of Sources

Keep the printouts of your sources, or write out all pertinent information on author, title, publisher, date, Internet location, or whatever is necessary to identify where you got the information. Follow the format recommended by your instructor or ask a librarian to show you a "style manual". There is also a link to these instructions on the LPC Library Homepage: Citation Style Guides, as well as a link to the online resource, NoodbleBib, a bibliography composer.

Frances Hui, Reference Librarian


Email a Librarian

Library Telephone: 925.424.1150
Library Fax: 925.606.7249

Page last modified: March 12, 2015