In late January 2020, the African American Studies Center relaunched on a new site, with mobile-responsive design, various saving and sharing features, improved accessibility for impaired users, and better stability and technical support. For readers of the previous version of the site, here are a few of the changes explained so you can find your way around.
Browse and quick search
We’ve revamped search and browse options. The browse menu is now driven by “Subject,” “Era,” and “Occupation” categories rather than by type of content.
We’ve moved the “African American Studies” and “Africa and Diaspora Studies” options out of quick search and added them as browse categories under “Subject,” also available as a set of filters on search results. Therefore you can combine a text search with one of those selections to get to the same results. Find out more on the Help page.
We’ve aimed to clarify and streamline this user experience by retaining useful search options and putting them in one place, the left hand panel of every search and browse results page. Get to these options quickly by running a quick search, selecting a browse category, or clicking the “Advanced Search” link to the right of the quick search box.
Most of the options for searching on the previous site’s “Main Search” and “Biography Search” are available in a different configuration on the new site (mainly under the “Era,” “Occupation,” and “Subject” filters, text search, and “Life Event”). A few of the less-used options from “Primary Source Search” have been dropped, but you can filter by primary source under “Format” and combine with text searches and “Subject” and “Era” filters.
Since illustrations are no longer returned as individual search results (more below), “Images and Multimedia Search” doesn’t translate, but you can still search media captions using the standard text search (under “Modify your search” in this screenshot) or filter on illustrated articles (“Articles containing”) in combination with other parameters.
For more about search, see the video demonstrating these features on Help.
What you see in search and browse results
Search and browse results on the new site have changed so that there are fewer types of results (biographies, subject reference, and primary sources), and they are presented in a more consistent way.
You will no longer see “At a Glance” results, allowing you a more direct path into the content. Neither will you see individual results for maps, charts, or images and videos, so you’ll always view those items in the context of the entries they illustrate.
Finally, we’ve removed source identifications (such as “African American National Biography”) from search results, instead showing you author names, publication dates, and article snippets. When you click into the article page, you’ll see a boxed source note at the top of the entry (see below for more about article page layout).
On the article page
Once you’ve gotten to the content you want to read, you’ll see that we now have registered DOIs (digital object identifiers, for stable linking) and publication dates on every article.
A note under the bibliographic information tells you the reference work an article was sourced from.
Biographical information is presented under the person’s name instead of in a separate sidebar.
Related article links are listed at the foot of the article instead of in the left hand panel. Clicking on the “See also” link beneath “Article contents” will take you to them.
The previous site allowed you to run an author search by clicking on his or her hyperlinked name from an article page. We’ve moved this to sit with other text searches in Advanced Search – simply type or paste an author’s name and select “Authors” from the dropdown in the text search filter.
Supplemental free resources
We’ve renamed the AASC Learning Center Tools and Resources, which is accessible from a link at the top of each site page.
The Tools and Resources section features Focus On essays, Author Resources, Timelines, and Interviews with the Editor in Chief. Events on timelines are now consolidated onto fewer pages and are no longer categorized by topic.
In the coming months, we’ll be adding Lesson Plans and Teacher Resources, Further Reading and Internet Resources, Family Trees, and Country Profiles. We appreciate your patience as we finish moving these materials over and making other improvements to Tools and Resources.