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Race and ethnicity: Books

Library resources for researching race and ethnicity related topics


To find out if a specific book is in the Library you just need to check the Enterprise catalogue (search box below). Enter the author's surname and one or two words from the title:

For example: Multiculturalism and Modood

You can also search Enterprise for a topic, to find related books.

Finding books

Finding printed books and e-books

Search the Enterprise catalogue to find specific books or books on a topic.


Finding online book chapters

To find online book chapters on a topic search the Summon discovery service:

Diversify our collections

Help the Library to diversify its collections. If there are ethnicity or race-related titles you would like to see in the Library collection to help support your research, please complete our online suggestion form:

Getting books not held at Reading

Our Inter-Library Loans service can get books not held at Reading from other libraries (usually from the British Library).

For more information see our webpages:


Examples of relevant e-books we hold in the Library. Many are available in print as well. If you would like to know more about making effective use of our e-books, see our guide:

Call Numbers for selected topics

301.2  Social geography, ethnography

301.45 Race, ethnicity and multiculturalism

320.1  Political Science -The State

325  International migration and colonization

325.3  Colonialism and postcolonialism

326  Slavery and emancipation

341.37  Human rights 

347.133 Racial discrimination

Cataloguing and classifying race and ethnicity

The Library uses the Library of Congress and the Dewey Decimal classification schemes to catalogue and classify its stock and we are bound by the rules and subject headings outlined in these. However, we acknowledge that some of the terminology used in these schemes may not always accurately reflect current cultural references.

Just as this field of research is evolving, library classification schemes are beginning to as well, though there is more work to be done. If you would like to know more about this topic, you might find the following articles of interest:

  • Adler, Melissa and Lindsey M. Harper. (2018) 'Race and Ethnicity in Classification Systems: Teaching Knowledge Organization from a Social Justice Perspective." Library Trends, vol. 67 no. 1, 2018, p. 52-73. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/lib.2018.0025
  • Higgins, M. (2016) 'Totally Invisible: Asian American Representation in the Dewey Decimal Classification, 1876–1996', Knowledge Organization 43 (8): 609–21.
  • Idrees, H. (2012) 'Organization of Islamic Knowledge in Libraries: The Role of Classification Systems' Library Philosophy and Practice, 798,

New Books