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Southern African Languages & Literatures Library Guide: Home

Southern African Languages & Literatures Guide

Shelf Numbers for Books

The main shelf numbers for South African Languages and Literatures are:

496 for Language

896 for Literature

More specifically, the Language and Literature subdivisions are:

Languages:

496.392       Swahili language

496.3976     Venda (Tshivenda) language

496.39771   Northern Sotho language

496.39772   Southern Sotho language

496.39775   Tswana language

496.3978     Tsonga language

496.3985     Xhosa language

496.3986     Zulu language

496.3987     Swazi (siSwati) language

496.3988     Ndebele (South Africa) language

Literatures:

896.392       Swahili literature

896.3976     Venda (Tshivenda) literature

896.39771   Northern Sotho literature

896.39772   Southern Sotho literature

896.39775   Tswana literature

896.3978     Tsonga literature

896.3985     Xhosa literature

896.3986     Zulu literature

896.3987     Swazi (siSwati) literature

896.3988     Ndebele (South Africa) literature

South African Languages & Literatures Guide

Where are your Books?

The African Literature books (Poetry and Novels) are located on Level 3 of the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library, down a spiral staircase near the Information Desk. They begin with the shelf numbers 896. These books may be borrowed.

The African Language books (Lingusitics, Teaching and Learning) are located on level 5, at the North end of the Library. They begin with shelf number 496. These books may be borrowed.

Our books are given shelf numbers according to the Dewey Decimal System - these shelf numbers keep related books together by subject. You can follow the numbers like a street address to find a family of related books all together on the shelf. At the end of each shelf number there are a few letters, for example, 896.398532 NGEW.  These are the first letters of the author's name, and keep books by that author together on the shelf.

There is a list of the main shelf numbers for African languages and Literatures in the left-hand column.

Some books are kept in the African Studies collection in the Special Collections wing. Their shelf numbers begin with the letters BA. These books may be read in the Special Collections Reading Room, but may not be borrowed. 

African Language and Literature Journals

Journals are published every few weeks or months. They are academic magazines that contain articles on different topics. Journals are important for finding very up-to-date information, or very specific information on narrow topics. The great thing about journals nowadays is that so many of them are available electronically as well as in print, although that is not always the case in this field.

Printed Journals

The latest unbound journals are kept on level 5. The bound copies since 1965 are located in the basement. Pre-1965 journals are kept in an off-campus store and can be requested from the Loans Desk.

Electronic Journals

Many of our journals can also be found full text in electronic format on our databases. These databases contain thousands of journals, all searchable by keywords, like chunk of Google.

Most of the journals are full text nowadays. In some cases, though, the databases may just give a reference to the journal article, rather than the whole thing. This will tell you which year and volume and pages of a particular print journal to look at to find the article.

You can get to our databases from www.lib.uct.ac.za and mousing over Search & Find and selecting Databases.

Databases for your subject

The main database of specific interest to African Languages and Literatures is Africa-Wide Information- via EBSCOhost.


The main database for language and literature in general is MLA International Bibliography - via EBSCOhost

 These are some other very popular databases which might interest you:

· Academic Search Premier - via EBSCOhost (Full Text)

· Academic OneFile

· SA ePublications

· Humanities International Complete - via EBSCOhost

· Arts & Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI) on Web of Science

THE BASICS OF SURVIVAL

The Basics of Survival

 

Finding books

Go to the library homepage at www.lib.uct.ac and click on the open search tab - this defaults to the book catalogue.

If you are searching for a book by a specific author it is useful to do a simple keyword search. Type in the author's surname, followed by AND and a word or two from the title.

For example: Khayyam AND Rubaiyat

This sort of quick and dirty search brings up not only The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam,  but also books about The Rubaiyat.

Journal articles

Journals are published every few weeks or months. They are academic magazines that contain articles on different topics. Journals are important for finding very up-to-date information, or very specific information on narrow topics. The great thing about journals nowadays is that so many of them are available electronically as well as in print.

Printed Journals

The latest unbound journals are kept on level 5. The bound copies since 1965 are kept in the basement. Pre-1965 journals are kept in an off-campus store and can be requested from the Loans Desk.

Electronic Journals

Electronic journals are full text journals to which UCT subscribes. They are useful because they are always available and because they can be searched by subject.

Below the tab for books you will find a tab for "e-Journals". Click on it and type the title of the journal (not the article) into the search box. This will take you to whichever of our many database has that journal, and allow you to browse through it, year by year, issue by issue - or search through it with keywords. 

If you are off-campus, use the off-campus login first, on the library homepage. This will ask for your student number and the password you normally use on the UCT network.

Databases

Databases contain thousands of journals, all searchable by keywords, like a chunk of Google. You can get to our databases from www.lib.uct.ac.za by mousing over Search & Find and selecting Databases A-Z.

Most of the journals are full text nowadays. In some cases, though, the databases may just give a reference to the journal article, rather than the whole thing. This will tell you which year and volume and pages of a particular print journal to look at to find the article. In many cases though, if a journal is not full text one one database, there will be an SFX button below it, which allows you to see if it is ful text on any of our other databases.

Below are some databases which will be generally helpful

 Africa-Wide Information- via EBSCOhost 

Africa-Wide Information combines databases (African Studies, South African Studies, and African Healthline) to form a multidisciplinary aggregation offering unique and extensive coverage of all facets of Africa and African studies. This resource is essential for those with an interest in African research, and information on and about AfricaMLA International Bibliography

SA ePublications 

One of the few databases that indexes full text South African journals.

Academic Search Premier - via EBSCOhost (Full Text) 

This is a very popular undergraduate database at UCT. It contains a lot of full text covering most academic areas of study, including language and linguistics, arts and literature. You can weed out “newsy” material and restrict your search only to scholarly journals by ticking the “Peer reviewed” button on this database.

MLA International Bibliography - via EBSCOhost 

This is a very scholarly language and literature database, produced by the Modern Language association of America, and consists of abstracts for literature, language, linguistics, and folklore, with some full text. It holds abstracts for nearly 4,000 journals and books, in some cases back to 1963. It indexes some Afrikaans language sources as well as English. Some material may be full text.

 Humanities International Complete - via EBSCOhost 

This is a scholarly and wide-ranging database with good full text.  Subjects covered include Film, Linguistics, Literary & Social Criticism, Literature, Performing Arts, and Philosophy. It covers only articles from English-language periodicals.

 Arts & Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI) on Web of Science 

This is a scholarly tool used for following a chain of references.  By typing in the name of a particular researcher, you can generate a list of articles which have made reference to that researcher’s work. The database can also be searched by subject, like any other database.

 

African Language and Literatures Journals

 Although many of our journals are electronic nowadays, you may still find yourself needing a printed journal.

These are some of our print journals in African Languages and Literatures.

  1. NAWA : journal of language and communication. -- Windhoek, Namibia : Dept. of Communication, Polytechnic of Namibia, 2007     BA 302.205 NAW
  2. African writing. -- Oxford : Fonthouse, [2007]- BA 820.5 AFR
  3. Kwani? -- Nairobi : Kwani Trust, 2003- BA 809.8805 KWA
  4. LEAP news : newsletter of the Language in Education in Africa Project. -- Rondebosch, South Africa : PRAESA, 2003- BA 306.44605 LEA
  5. Chimurenga. -- [Cape Town] : Pan African Market, [2002- BA 820.5 CHI
  6. Journal of African cultural studies. -- [Abingdon, Oxfordshire] : Carfax, 1998-. BA 496.05 AFR
  7. Matatu : journal for African culture and society -- Gottingen : Matatu, 1987- BA 820.5 MAT      
  8. Suid-Afrikaanse tydskrif vir Afrikatale : tydskrif van die Afrikatale-Vereniging van Suider-Afrika (AVSA) = South African journal of African languages : journal of the African Language Association of Southern Africa (ALASA). -- Pretoria : AVSA, {1981-  BA 496.05 SOU
  9. English in Africa. -- Grahamstown, South Africa : Institute for the Study of English in Africa, Rhodes University  BA 820.5 ENG