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African American Biographical Database: Sample Searches

A guide to all aspects of ProQuest's African American Biographical Database including content, searching, and viewing results.

Sample Searches

Profile Search

You need to research one woman and one man who played key roles in the U.S. Abolition Movement. Start with a profile search to learn more about an individual.

  • In the Profile Search page, type Cary into the Name search box.
  • Select Abolitionist from the Occupation menu.
  • Click Search and review the results looking for Mrs. Mary Ann Shadd Cary. Select her record by clicking on the name.
  • What are Mrs. Cary's birth and death dates? ______________________________  How many occupations are listed for her and what is the most surprising/interesting to you? _____________________________________________
  • Return to the Profile Search page and run a new Name search for Hood with Male selected from the search limits.
  • Click Search and select the result for Hood, James Walker by clicking the name.
  • Note the large number of biographical sketches and the single illustration.
  • Click the link for the page number next to the hit in the Illustration(s) section of the Profile.
  • Because illustrations were often placed on non-numbered pages, use the Page Forward arrow to advance to the image of Mr. Hood. What is the caption listed beneath the image? _______________________________________________________________________________
  • Using the Page Forward arrow advance to the next page and review the biographical sketch and poems. In what year was the longer of the two poems presumed to have been written? ____________

Full Text Search

You want to find information regarding the first African American poet to be published, Jupiter Hammon.

  • From the Full Text Search page, type Jupiter Hammon in the All Keyword search box.
  • Click Search. 
  • On the Results page, select to view the hit from result #1 by clicking the title and read the brief paragraph written of him.
  • List the name of the work cited in the paragraph:_________________________________________________________________.
  • Return to the Results page by clicking the Back button
  • Click to view result # 4 and read through to page 25. This will include his first published work, which is titled  ______________________________________________________________________________________________________.
  • Return to the Search page by clicking the Refine Search button. Enter the name of Hammon's first published work in the All Keywords search field. Click Search.
  • Select to view the last result on the new results page. Read pages 17-19. According to this text, was Jupiter Hammon ever emancipated by the Lloyd family?  Yes / No   In what year was his poem published? ______________________________  What poem was reprinted at the behest of The Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery?__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

View Sources

Use this page to locate publications covered in this database and browse the available Table of Contents.

You found a citation for the book An Era of Progress and Promise, 1863-1910 by W.N. Hartshorn and you would like to explore the title further.

  • From the View Sources page, click on the E to toggle to that section of the page. 
  • Click on the Table of Contents icon to the right of the title to be taken to the publication’s Table of Contents page.
  • Click the title of the work to view the front cover and begin reading from there using the Page navigation buttons. Click the Back button to return to the Table of Contents and select a section of the title you wish to explore further.
  • Who is profiled in the pages appearing prior to the title page of this book? _______________________________________   What year was this book published? ________________  What are the names of the three women listed on the Dedication page (p. iii)? ___________________________________