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Media: Paper 320pp, 284x220mm clothbound
Format: The Marshall Index: A Guide to Negro Periodical Literature, 1940-1946
Coverage Dates: 1940-1946

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This seminal index represents the pioneering effort of a young African American librarian to ensure that future researchers would have access to the contents of black periodical literature that was being ignored by traditional indexing services. In an interview shortly before his death in 2001, Marshall commented,

"I didn't know quite what I was getting into. I was fortunate enough to have discovered my life's work at an early age and had mentors who guided my career and supported my efforts."

Marshall started compiling citations for his index while working as an assistant librarian. It was 1940, war loomed on the horizon and the country was still suffering from the effects of the Depression. With 3 x 5 cards, a shoebox, and typed mimeograph stencils, Marshall embarked on his self-publishing venture and in 1941 he mailed the first issue of A Guide to Negro Periodical Literature to a handful of subscribers.

Titles in the premier issue included many leading African American publications: Crisis, published by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Journal of Negro Education; Journal of Negro History; Opportunity, the Journal of the National Urban League; and Phylon, published by Atlanta University. For a complete title list, click here.

Author and subject entries in the Guide were filed together and subject headings were adapted from the Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature. Details included book reviews, listed together and arranged by author, with reviewers' names included. Poetry appeared both as a subject heading and individually listed under their authors' names. By indexing a broad range of publications, Marshall was able to take note of the changing role of African Americans throughout American society and indeed across the world stage. Subjects ranged from military service to rural education; from the Fair Employment Practice Committee to the International Military Tribunal; and from Paul Robeson to Toussaint L'Ouverture.

Marshall continued to publish his index until February 1943, when Uncle Sam requested his presence in the U.S. Coast Guard. After his discharge in 1946, two more issues were published, but by that time standard indexing sources had begun to include a few black periodicals and Marshall ended his solo efforts, but not before providing the academic community with a window into a pivotal and thought provoking world of African American periodicals during the World War II era.

With Albert Marshall's blessing, editors James Danky and Richard Newman have taken the original four volumes and created this new edition. Marshall's original indexing terms remain largely intact, with a few exceptions. Cross-references have been added to assist with subject access and name authority guidelines have been used to establish a preferred form. Whenever possible, original journal articles were compared to Marshall's index entry and citation information was verified and in some cases completed.

The frontispiece to this edition was provided by Satia Marshall Orange, daughter of Albert P. Marshall.

ProQuest Company is pleased to offer this long out-of-print index to the academic and public library community. The Marshall Index: A Guide to Negro Periodical Literature, 1940-1946 continues our tradition of unique content and indexing excellence and we are proud to add this work to our growing collection of African American research materials.

One volume index with author/title and subject entries ISBN: 0-608-21113-3, $199 USD (pricing subject to change)

  • Content Type: One volume, with author/title and subject indexes for 42 periodical titles

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