Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Collaborative Conversations: Launch to Learning


For topics related to race and ethnicity, it may be necessary to think about how a population has been described in the past in order to come up with a complete list of effective search terms. Below are some recommendations.

Note: You will see some terms that are now considered offensive or outdated. These terms may still be useful when searching for historical perspectives or when browsing by subject, since the Library of Congress Subject Headings are slow to change and do not always reflect current attitudes or usage.

Ethnicity and Race in General 
- antiracism
- antisemitism
- ethnic groups 
- ethnic relations 
- ethnicity
- Islamophobia
- minorities
- people of color
- race 
- race discrimination
- racial 
- racism

African Americans
- Afro Americans 
- African Diaspora
- Blacks
- Colored people (in works written before the 1980s)
- Negroes (in works written before the 1970s)

Asian Americans
- Chinese Americans (or other specific nationalities) 
- Oriental or Orientals

European Americans and whiteness
- Caucasians 
- European Americans 
- White ethnicity 
- Whiteness
- Whites -- Race Identity

Immigrant Populations
- immigrants, immigration 
- emigration 
- illegal aliens 
- undocumented immigrants
- [nationality] and immigration (example: Guatemalans and immigration)

Latino Americans
- Latino/as 
- Hispanics 
- Hispanic Americans 
- Chicano/as 
- Mexican Americans (or other specific nationality)

Native Americans
- American Indians 
- Indians of North America
- First Nations
- Native Americans 
- Cowlitz Indians (or other specific tribes)

If you'd like learn more about research and online resources, stop by the Beaman Library Reference Desk.

Useful Call Numbers

Beaman Library uses Library of Congress Classification to organize books. 

Topics related to Ethnicity and Race
In U.S. History: E184 
In Anthropology: GN537-GN674 
In Labor: HD6050-HD6305 
In Sociology: HT1501-HT1595 
In Social Services: HV3176-HV3199

African Americans
In History: E 184.5-E185.98
In Education: LC2699-LC2913

Asian Americans
In History: E184 
In Education: LC2630-LC2638

Immigrant Populations
In U.S. History: E184 
In Social Services: HV4005-HV4013 
In Education: LC3701-LC3747

Latino Americans
In History: E184 
In Education: LC2667-LC2698

Native Americans
In History: E75-E99