As an expert in your field, your syllabus might comprise the canonical works of your discipline or a combination of “classics” and the authors and resources you have come to rely on as fixtures in your teaching. To value diversity across areas of study and in the classroom, faculty around the U.S. have been actively refreshing their reading assignments as a result of higher education efforts to address injustices and to include historically suppressed or marginalized voices.

The resources suggested here can help you find new material to include and can be used in assignments themselves as pedagogical tools.

Identifying primary sources, in many cases, is easier than finding secondary sources. Archives and museums deliberately collect materials based on a common theme or characteristics, which is why we are fortunate to have repositories like New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College. Secondary sources can be more of a needle-in-a-haystack proposition if you are starting from scratch with finding authors from marginalized groups.

One of the best ways to find new and underrepresented material to incorporate into your teaching is to do what we ask students to do – research! Carefully mine the footnotes and bibliographies of the authors you read, especially if you find a book or article that addresses the area of research you hope to amplify. Those resources will lead to more discoveries, and so on.

Familiarize yourself with what the Lloyd Sealy Library has to offer in terms of digitized primary source collections (ideal for research and teaching). From the library home page, navigate to Databases > Choose by Subject > Primary sources for a complete list. For a guide focusing on historically oppressed groups, navigate to Research Guides > Primary Sources > Amplifying marginalized voices.

When you do find new resources by and/or about marginalized groups, tell us! For books, go to the Suggest Purchases form under Faculty Services on the library home page. For other types of resources, you are welcome to send a message to with your findings and suggestions.

--Kathleen Collins