This page has information and links to information related to history. See Biographical Research for history of individual people. For specific time periods, places/areas, and/or topics see left-hand side for topics.

Disease in African History Introduction

This page has some information to help with the HIST492 course Disease in African History. However, anyone doing research on this topic should find it useful.

Reference Resources Terms to Search in Library Catalog Research Databases
Circulating Items Print Indexes Web Resources


Reference Resources

Reference Books--Encyclopedias & More
Encyclopedias can be a great place to start your research, get an overview of your topic, or help you narrow your area of focus. Morgan Library has a number of encyclopedia sets that may be useful to you as you begin your research. Encyclopedias are located in the Reference collection, so they may not be checked out. General encyclopedias can also be extremely useful.

  • Africa [electronic resource]: an encyclopedia for students. 4 vols. New York, N.Y.: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2002. Gale virtual reference library. DT3 .A249 2002eb ONLINE
  • Africa South of the Sahara. DT 351 .A37 Reference
  • Basic documents on human rights. K3238.A1 B76 2002 Reference
  • The Cambridge historical dictionary of disease. RC41 .C365 2003 Reference
  • The Cambridge World History of Human Disease . R131 .C233 1993 Reference
  • Companion Encyclopedia of the History of Medicine . 2 vols. R133 .E5 1993 Reference
  • A Dictionary of the History of Medicine . R121 .S398 1999 Reference
  • Encyclopedia of African history and culture. 3 vols. New York: Facts on File, 2001. Reference DT3 .P27 2001
  • Encyclopedia of Africa South of the Sahara. DT351 .E53 1997 Reference
  • Encyclopedia of Precolonial Africa: archaeology, history, languages, cultures, and environments. Walnut Creek, Calif.: AltaMira Press, 1997. Reference DT2 .E53 1997
  • Historical atlas of Africa. G2446.S1 H5 1985 Maps
  • New encyclopedia of Africa. 5 vols. Detroit : Thomson/Gale, 2008. Reference DT2 .N48 2008
  • The Middle East and North Africa. DS 49 .M5 Reference (Information) Desk
  • Worldmark encyclopedia of the nations [electronic resource]. 12th ed. Detroit, Mich.: Thomson Gale, c2007. WORLD WIDE WEB G63 .W67 2007eb ONLINE [v. 2] Africa –
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library. Online. Search: Africa [disease]

Other Reference Books

  • Worldmark Chronology of the Nations D11 .W93 1999 Reference
    Organized by continent, this set gives chronologies of individual countries.
  • Chronicle of the World D11 .C56 1996 Reference
    Chronology of major world events.
  • Chronology of European History: 15,000 B.C. to 1997 D11 .C57 1997 Reference
  • Chronology of World History D11 .M39 1999 Reference

Circulating Items

Morgan Stacks & E-Books

  • "Bid the sickness cease": disease in the history of Black Africa. R702 .R36 1983 Morgan
  • AIDS and STDs in Africa: bridging the gap between traditional healing and modern medicine. Boulder, Colo.: University of Natal Press, 1994. RA644.V4 G74 1994 Morgan (checked out)
  • Aids Disease Africa Sub Saharan History: Histories of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. MORGAN; RA644.V4 H55 1999
  • Bubonic plague [electronic resource]: a medical dictionary, bibliography, and annotated research guide to Internet references. San Diego, CA: ICON Health Publications, 2003. WORLD WIDE WEB RC171 B83 2003eb
  • The Cambridge encyclopedia of Africa. Cambridge [ Eng.]; Cambridge University Press, 1981. MORGAN DT3 .C35 1981
  • The colour of disease: syphilis and racism in South Africa, 1880-1950. RA644.V4 J63 2001 Morgan
  • Encyclopedia of Plague and Pestilence: from Ancient Times to the present . RA649 .E53 2001 Morgan
  • Epidemics and pandemics: their impacts on human history. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 2005. RA649 .H293 2005 Morgan (checked out)
  • Histories of Sexually Transmitted Diseases & HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. RA644.V4 H55 1999 Morgan (checked out)
  • Influenza a medical dictionary, bibliography, and annotated research guide to Internet references. WORLD WIDE WEB RA644.I6 I54 2004eb
  • The monetary history of gold: a documentary history, 1660-1999. London: Pickering & Chatto, 2004. HG289 .M575 2004 Morgan
  • Sleeping sickness and other parasitic tropical diseases. New York: Rosen, 2002. RC961.5 .R35 2002 Morgan

Example Dissertations (May or May not be Available Full Text)

  • Open spaces and closed minds: A socio-environmental history of rinderpest in South Africa and Namibia, 1896—1897. by Marquardt, Gary, Ph.D., The University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2007, 244 pages; AAT 3278770
  • Antenatal syphilis management in sub-Saharan Africa: Public health management challenges and the impact of new HIV programs in Zambia. by Potter, Dara G., Dr.P.H., The University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2006, 104 pages; AAT 3253069
  • 'Black October': The impact of the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918 on South Africa. by Phillips, Howard, Ph.D., University of Cape Town ( South Africa), 1984; AAT 0562545

Terms to Search in Library Catalog

Identify useful books in the library catalog (and the Regional Catalog Prospector) doing a (LC) Subject search for:

Africa -- Historical geography – Maps
Africa -- History -- 1960-
Africa -- Politics and government -- 1960-
African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness)
AIDS (Disease) -- Africa.
Aids Disease Africa Prevention
Avian influenza
Diseases and history
Epidemics – History
Government and the press -- South Africa [early 1980s]
Malaria Africa
Malaria Africa Prevention
Parasitic diseases [broader term, sleeping sickness]
Sexually transmitted diseases
Traditional medicine -- Africa.
Tuberculosis Africa

Print Indexes

Listed are some useful indexes located in the library in print format.

  • Africa Bibliography DT 3 .A37 Morgan
  • London Times (various titles: Palmer's, etc.) AI 21 T51 & AI21 .T46 Reference  & others nearby 1785-
  • Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature. AI 3 .R48 Reference  1900-
  • Humanities Index. AI 3 .I495 Reference 1974-1998
  • International Index to Periodicals. AI 3 .I49 Reference 1920/1923-1952/1955
  • International Index. AI 3 .I49 Reference 1955/1958-1964/1965
  • Nineteenth Century Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, 1890-1899; with supplementary indexing, 1900-1922. AI3 .R496 Reference
  • Poole's index to Periodical Literature. AI3 .P6 Reference 1802-1901
  • Social Sciences Index. AI 3 .I496 Reference 1974/75-1998/99
  • Social Sciences & Humanities index. AI 3 .I49 Reference 1965/1966-1973/1974

Reasearch Databases

Take note that the exact terms and types of terms will vary from index (database) to index. Not all diseases are mentioned under each databases, so "insert your topic" and see what you can find. Case (capitalization) does not matter when doing searches. Use Truncation and proximity operators to do advanced searching.

Academic Search Premier

  • SOUTH Africa

Africa and history and

  • PUBLIC health
  • CATTLE -- Diseases
  • MYCOBACTERIAL diseases
  • HIV infections
  • HIV (Viruses)
  • AIDS (Disease)
  • SEXUALLY transmitted diseases
  • AVIAN influenza
  • INFLUENZA viruses
  • PLASMODIUM falciparum
  • DDT (Insecticide)
  • AFRICAN trypanosomiasis
  • COMMUNICABLE diseases

Biological Abstracts

Africa and history and Disease* and

  • Infection
  • Parasitology
  • Organisms [ZR]
    • cattle, common, Roles: host, (Bovidae)
    • Rinderpest virus, species, Roles: pathogen, (Paramyxoviridae)
    • human, common, child, middle age, adult, adolescent, female, male, Roles: host, (Hominidae)
    • Avian influenza virus, common, strain-H5N1, Roles: pathogen, (Orthomyxoviridae)
    • Plasmodium , genus, Roles: parasite, (Sporozoa)
  • ZR "Rinderpest virus" and Africa
  • Diseases [ZP]
    • avian influenza virus infection, ( Influenza (MeSH)), transmission, prevention and control, diagnosis, epidemiology, Affiliations: respiratory system disease, infectious disease, viral disease
    • influenza, ( Influenza (MeSH)), epidemiology, Affiliations: respiratory system disease, infectious disease, viral disease
    • malaria, ( Malaria (MeSH)), Affiliations: blood and lymphatic disease, parasitic disease
    • HIV-1 infection, human immunodeficiency virus 1 infection, Affiliations: viral disease, infectious disease, immune system disease
    • trypanosomiasis, (Trypanosomiasis (MeSH)), Affiliations: parasitic disease, infectious disease
    • tuberculosis, ( Tuberculosis (MeSH)), epidemiology, prevention and control, therapy, diagnosis, Affiliations: bacterial disease
  • ZP "malaria" and Africa
  • Parasitology
  • Africa
  • Human Medicine

CAB Abstracts

  • human diseases
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • tuberculosis
  • HIV infections
  • Human immunodeficiency viruses
  • South Africa
  • epidemiology
  • acquired immune deficiency syndrome
  • Organisms: cattle; Mycobacterium bovis
  • Organisms: Human immunodeficiency viruses; man; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Pneumocystis carinii
  • rinderpest
  • Rinderpest virus
  • animal diseases
  • cattle
  • Descriptors: control programmes; disease control; disease prevalence; disease surveys; epidemiology; rinderpest; vaccination; vaccines
  • Organisms: Alcelaphine herpesvirus 1; Bovine herpesvirus 1; Bovine viral diarrhea virus 1; cattle; Foot-and-mouth disease virus; goats; Rinderpest virus
  • influenza
  • poultry
  • viral diseases
  • avian influenza
  • infections
  • viruses
  • avian influenza A viruses
  • fowls
  • man
  • epidemiology
  • malaria
  • human diseases

Historical Abstracts

  • South Africa
  • Africa
  • Africa, West
  • Africa, southern
  • South Africa (Witwatersrand)
  • Colonialism
  • Diseases
  • Epidemics
  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
  • Medical Research
  • Malaria
  • Africa, East
  • Rinderpest
  • Cattle
  • Tuberculosis
  • Miners

Social Science Abstracts

  • AIDS (Disease)--Prevention
  • AIDS (Disease)--Social aspects
  • Epidemics--Sub-Saharan Africa--History
  • Epidemics--West Africa--History
  • Influenza epidemic, 1918-1919
  • Influenza--Transmission
  • Influenza--Vaccines and vaccination
  • Malaria
  • Malaria--Prevention
  • Malaria--Treatment
  • Medicine--Social aspects
  • Public health--Africa
  • Public health--Political aspects
  • Public health--Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Slaves--Diseases
  • Tuberculosis--Prevention

JSTOR (keywords, not subjects)

  • Africa
  • Disease
  • Rinderpest
  • Malaria
  • Influenza
  • Tuberculosis


  • Africa : epidemiology
  • Africa South of the Sahara: epidemiology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome: epidemiology
  • Disease Outbreaks: history
  • Epidemiology: history
  • History , 19th Century
  • History , 20th Century
  • HIV Infections: complications
  • HIV Infections: rehabilitation
  • HIV Infections: therapy
  • HIV Infections: transmission
  • HIV: genetics
  • Humans
  • Malaria : congenital
  • Malaria : diagnosis
  • Malaria : epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis : history

Digital Dissertation Abstracts

  • Africa and disease and history (79)
  • Africa and rinderpest and history
  • Africa and tuberculosis and history


Subject terms should match those listed under Library Catalog & Prospector.


  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome – Africa
  • Africa - Health conditions
  • Diseases – Africa
  • Human immunodeficiency virus - Africa
  • Malaria
  • Medical ethics – Africa
  • Medicine, Alternative - Africa
  • Public health - Africa

New York Times Historical 1851-

  • Africa and epidemic
  • Africa and influenza
  • Africa and malaria
  • Africa and rinderpest
  • Africa and tuberculosis

Web of Science

  • Africa and disease*
  • avian influenza
  • Author keywords: cattle; epizootic disease; herd immunity; vaccination

Journals--Medicine Owned by CSU

  • The Lancet ( UK). Science Direct Backfile 1823-1994; Science Direct 1995-
  • The Lancet ( North America ed.).
  • The Lancet infectious diseases. Science Direct 2001-
  • British medical bulletin. R 31 .B925 current journal 1943-
  • Bulletin of the World Health Organization = Bulletin de l'organisation mondiale de la sante. R 5 .W62 current journals 1948-1994; 1996-
  • Harvard Health Letter. RA 773 .H37 current journals1990-

Journals— Africa Owned by CSU (online means CSU proprietary database—could be JSTOR, ProjectMUSE, and/or Academic Search Premier, etc. Use “Find Journals” page http://lib.colostate.edu/sfx/ejournals/ for exact locations, or identify via library catalog record.)

  • Africa contemporary record; annual survey and documents. DT 1 .L43 Morgan 1968/69-1994/96 (some gaps)
  • Africa Report. DT 1 .A2 Storage, Moveable Shelves 1960-1995 scattered. Online 1993-1995.
  • Africa Today. DT 1 .A22 Storage, Movable Shelves 1960-2004 scattered. Online 1990-
  • African Affairs. DT 1 .R62 current journals, storage Moveable shelves 1960- . Online 1944-
  • African Issues. Online 2000-2004.
  • African Studies Review. DT 1 .A2293 current 2005-2006 in current journals, 1971-1983,1985-2001 Moveable Shelves. Online 1970-
  • African Studies Monographs. Free e-journal 1981-
  • Cahiers d'études africaines . Free e-journal 2000-
  • Eastern Africa social science research review. Online 2002-
  • Emerge. Online 1990-2000 (Ethnic NewsWatch).
  • Estudos afro-asiáticos. Online 2000- (Scielo)
  • Issue. Online 1971-1999. (JSTOR)
  • Journal of contemporary African studies. Online 1998- (past 1 year not available)

Journal— Africa History Owned by CSU (not in JSTOR)

  • History in Africa. DT 19 .H58 Morgan and Online 1974-

JSTOR Journals (available to CSU affiliates online)

African Studies

  • Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 1928-2004
  • African Affairs 1944-1999
  • African Arts 1967-2002
  • African Economic History 1976-2004
  • African Economic History Review 1974-1975
  • African Historical Studies 1968-1971
  • African Issues 2000-2004
  • African Languages and Cultures 1988-1997
  • African Languages and Cultures. Supplement 1992-1996
  • African Studies Bulletin 1958-1969
  • African Studies Review 1970-2004
  • Agenda 1987-2000
  • ASA Review of Books 1975-1980
  • Bulletin of African Studies in Canada / Bulletin des Études Africaines au Canada 1963-1966
  • Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 1940-2002
  • Bulletin of the School of Oriental Studies, University of London 1917-1940
  • Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue Canadienne des Études Africaines 1967-2004
  • Goodwin Series 1972-2000
  • History in Africa 1974-2004
  • International Journal of African Historical Studies 1972-2004
  • Issue: A Journal of Opinion 1971-1999
  • Journal of African Cultural Studies 1998-2003
  • Journal of African History 1960-2002
  • Journal of African Law 1957-2002
  • Journal of Modern African Studies 1963-2002
  • Journal of Religion in Africa 1967-2002
  • Journal of Southern African Studies 1974-2004
  • Journal of the Royal African Society 1901-1944
  • Research in African Literatures 1970-2002
  • Review of African Political Economy 1974-2004
  • South African Archaeological Bulletin 1945-2004
  • Transition 1961-1999 (plus links to recent content 2000-2001)


  • Annals of the Association of American Geographers 1911-2002
  • Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 1999-2004
  • Arctic and Alpine Research 1969-1998
  • Economic Geography 1925-2002
  • Geografiska Annaler. Series A, Physical Geography 1965-2002
  • Geografiska Annaler 1919-1964
  • Geografiska Annaler. Series B, Human Geography 1965-2002
  • Geografiska Annaler 1919-1964
  • Geographical Journal 1893-2002
  • Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society and Monthly Record of Geography 1879-1892
  • Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of London 1855-1878
  • Geographical Review 1916-2002
  • Bulletin of the American Geographical Society 1901-1915
  • Journal of the American Geographical Society of New York 1872-1900
  • Journal of the American Geographical and Statistical Society 1859-1870
  • Imago Mundi 1935-2002
  • Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London 1831-1880
  • Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 1965-2002
  • Transactions and Papers ( Institute of British Geographers ) 1946-1964
  • Transactions ( Institute of British Geographers) 1935-1939

History (selected)

  • African Economic History 1976-2004
  • African Economic History Review 1974-1975
  • History in Africa 1974-2004
  • International Journal of African Historical Studies 1972-2004
  • African Historical Studies 1968-1971
  • Journal of African History 1960-2002
  • Journal of Modern African Studies 1963-2002
  • Journal of Southern African Studies 1974-2004

Example Journal Articles (from different Research Databases)

  • Francis E. G. Cox PhD, DSc. "History of sleeping sickness (African trypanosomiasis)." Infectious Disease Clinics of North America Volume 18, Issue 2, June 2004, Pages 231-245. Historical Aspects of Infectious Diseases, Part II
  • "The Colonial Disease: A social history of sleeping sickness in Northern Zaire 1990–1940." Brian Morris. African Affairs (Lond). 1993; 92: 473-474.
  • "New perspectives in avian influenza diagnosis." Author(s): Cattoli G, Terregino C. Source: ZOONOSES AND PUBLIC HEALTH Volume: 55 Issue: 1 Pages: 24-28 Published: 2008


Click here for information about evaluating web sites.

*Health and Society in Africa - Research Guide. University of Pennsylvania Libraries.  Very nice annotated resource for this topic! While a few of the titles are listed above, check the library catalog for other ownership. Penn has library databases that we don't have; ones we have are very likely listed on this page, above.

Perry-Castañeda Library: Map Collection: Historical Map Web Sites. University of Texas at Austin.  Selected Africa to find historical maps of that part of the world.

Maps Since 1960. American Memory.  More recent maps.

National Geographic Map Store collection.  Maps of Africa from a number of years. Zoom in to increase size.

Resources on health and diseases in Africa. University of Pennsylvania African Studies Center.

Bibliography of Africana Periodical Literature Database. Ryerson University Library & Archives.

Country Studies. Library of Congress

Human Development Reports. United Nations Development Program.

Bibliography: UC Atlas of Global Inequality. UC Atlas.

Annotated Bibliography on HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. Vanessa Woog. Occasional Report No. 10. November 2003. The Alan Guttmacher

World War I. Colorado State University Libraries.  History page. In general. Africa not specified, but should be helpful if have a World War I topic.

Sub-Saharan Art. Colorado State University Libraries.  Art page. Might be helpful for the creative mind.

General Sources

This page have multiple links to resources on the Web.

Africa: South of the Sahara

Africa, Selected Countries

Afghanistan Online: History. QAZICO
Afghana: History



History of Egypt

Author Information

Content: Naomi Lederer


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