Access to this free online catalogue to the Black Literature microfiche collection will end on 30 September 2022.

Black Literature Index will continue to be available as part of the Black Studies Center product on the ProQuest platform, where users can cross-search its content along with scholarly journals, newspapers, dissertations and other relevant databases to which your institution has access.

If you are interested in continuing access to the Black Literature Index within the Black Studies Center product, please contact us for more information.

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Accessibility Statement

We are committed to ensuring that Black Literature Index is accessible to everyone. The accessibility of the site is under constant review and we are always looking for ways to improve the experience of the interface for all our visitors. If you have any questions or suggestions about the accessibility of this site, please submit those to us via the "Contact Us" link in the page footer.

Accessibility Features

A number of accessibility features have been implemented in Black Literature Index to make the site more accessible to as many people as possible. Some of these features may not be visible in your browser but can improve accessibility for people using assistive technologies.

Keyboard access

Access Keys

You can use access keys as part of keystroke combinations (keyboard shortcuts) to navigate quickly to important features in this site without using a mouse. So that you don't have to learn a new set of keys each time, we have tried to ensure that the keys assigned are consistent with authoritative sources on the Web and other ProQuest products.

  • 0 = Accessibility statement
  • 1 = Home page
  • 2 = Skip navigation
  • 3 = Site map
  • 4 = Search
  • 6 = Help (opens in a new window)

To use access keys in Internet Explorer for Windows and FireFox 1.5:

  • Hold down the ALT key and press the assigned access key.
  • Press Enter (Internet Explorer only).

Mac users should hold down the Ctrl key and press the relevant access key.
Note: access keys may not be available to users of some screen reader software where they conflict with reserved keystroke combinations (e.g. Window Eyes).

Using The Tab Key

You can use the TAB key to navigate through the main features of the page such as links and form fields:

  • Press the TAB key to move forward to the next feature
  • or press SHIFT and the TAB key to move back to the previous feature.


All forms such as search forms and email forms have been implemented to make them easier to understand for people using assistive technology.
For example:

  • Fields which are associated with each other have been grouped together within the HTML to demonstrate their relationship to one another.
  • All fields have been given a label in the HTML to match the label for the field shown on the screen. These labels are not visible on the screen but will be read out by screen readers and other assistive technologies.

Headings and Links

Throughout the site every effort has been made to ensure that the information in a page is presented in a sensible order. Headings have been used to indicate the hierarchy of information and can also be used to navigate through a page. If you are using a screen reader try using the keystroke H to move forwards through the headings and SHIFT H to move backwards. Check your browser or screen reader instructions for full information on how to use headings as a navigation tool.

Links can be used to navigate through a page in a similar way. Check your browser or screen reader instructions for detailed information on how to navigate through the links on a page.

Navigation Aids and Warnings

Skip navigation

A 'Skip over navigation' link has been provided at the top of each page to enable people using assistive technology or their keyboard to access Black Literature Index to go directly to the main content of the page without needing to repeat the navigation links. It is usually hidden from view but can be read by screen readers or displayed on the screen by using the TAB key or the correct Access Key.

Site Map

The site map provides a list of links to all the main areas and sub-areas of the site. To open the Site Map click on the link displayed in the bottom navigation bar on every page, then follow the link for the page you wish to open.

Hidden Text

Hidden text is used throughout Black Literature Index to provide additional assistance for people using screen readers.
For example: Error messages for forms are hidden at the top of the page so that when an error occurs the message is read out first.

Popup windows

Popup windows have been kept to a minimum. Whenever they occur, hidden text has been added to the link to warn people using screen readers that a new window will open and, where appropriate, the Popup window icon icon is displayed.

Visual Elements


An alternative text description has been added to images, where appropriate, within <alt> and <title> tags in the html. The descriptions will be displayed as 'tooltips' in the browser when the mouse is hovered over the image or will be read out by screen readers. Images which have been used purely for decorative purposes contain a null value so they will not be read by screen readers or generate a 'tooltip' unnecessarily.

Changing the Text Size

Text throughout the site (including navigation) can be made bigger or smaller within the browser to suit your needs.
In Firefox:

  • open the View menu and choose from the options under Text Size
  • or use CTRL + + to increase the size and CTRL + - to decrease the size.

In Internet Explorer:

  • open the View menu and choose from the options under Text size.


The visual style of the pages within Black Literature Index is controlled using Cascading Stylesheets. However, it is possible to view the site without the stylesheet we have implemented or with your own stylesheet if you prefer.
To view without the stylesheet in Firefox:

  • Open the View menu
  • Choose Page Style
  • Select the No Style option

To change the styles in the page in Internet Explorer:

  • Open the Tools menu
  • Choose Internet Options
  • Choose Accessibility
  • Select one of the formatting options

Changing Colors

Colors used throughout the interface have been tested against the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) and Hewlett Packards's standards for luminosity contrast, color difference and brightness difference.

You can change the color of the text and background in your browser to suit your preferences. To do this you will first need to disable the stylesheet as described above.

  • Open the Tools menu
  • Choose Options (Internet Options in IE)
  • Click the Colors button to open a dialogue box containing options for changing text, background and links colours

Standards Compliance, Browser Support and Testing

The site has been thoroughly tested to ensure that it is useable in a wide range of browsers. For full details of the browsers we support please see the Software requirements page.

At present we are aiming to comply with our interpretation of Priority 1 of World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and some features also contribute towards compliance with Priority 2 and Priority 3 guidelines.


All content within Black Literature Index is accessible with JavaScript disabled. However, it is advisable to browse the site with JavaScript enabled to ensure that all features of the site function correctly.


Black Literature Index has been tested for accessibility using JAWS 7.0 with Internet Explorer 6.0. JAWS users can make use of the following keyboard features:

  • Use H to navigate through all the headings in the page. Pressing INSERT F6 opens a list of all the headings in the page.
  • Use TAB to navigate through all the links in the page. Pressing INSERT F7 opens a list of all the links in a page where there are special access keys to navigate and sort the links in the list.
  • Use L to navigate to the next list in the page and SHIFT L to go back.
    Use I and SHIFT I to navigate between items in a list.
  • Use CTRL+INSERT+HOME to move to the first form field in a page. Press F to navigate to the next field and SHIFT F to go back. INSERT F5 opens a list of all the form fields on a page.

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