Locating Primary Sources
There are many access points to the vast collections of primary sources available to you.
Certain words and phrases will find primary sources in library catalogs. You can use these in OskiCat or Melvyl:
-early works to 1800
For specific search strategies, see the Library's guide to Finding Historical Primary Sources.
Your searches will be more successful if, in your preliminary research, you identify specific:
- names of relevant individuals and organizations
- dates of events
- what terminology was used at the time by participants and observers? (ex: negro or colored instead of african american)
Online Archive of California (OAC)
A searchable and browseable resource that brings together historical materials from a variety of California institutions, including museums, historical societies, and archives. Contains over 120,000 images; 50,000 pages of documents, letters, and oral histories; and 8,000 guides to collections. Images are organized into thematic and institutional collections, such as historical topics, nature, places, and technology.
Searchable descriptions of nearly a million historical documents, personal papers, and family histories kept in libraries, museums, and archives worldwide. Includes information on how to examine and order copies.
Archive Finder (including ArchivesUSA and NIDS UK/Ireland)
Directory which describes tens of thousands of collections of primary source material housed in thousands of repositories across the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
One stop shopping for U.S. congressional publications. Provides index and abstracts of congressional publications back to 1789, including full text of published Congressional Hearings from 1824-present (unpublished until 1979), full text Committee Prints from 1830-present, full text Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports from 1916-present, full text United States Congressional Serial Set (and its various former titles) from 1789-present, and legislative histories from 1970-present.
ProQuest Legislative Insight
Provides access to more than 18,000 professionally researched legislative histories of US Law. Histories include the Public Law itself, all versions of related bills, law-specific Congressional Record excerpts, committee hearings, reports and prints, Presidential signing statements, and CRS reports. 1929-present
Provides open access to more than 15 million digital objects, including film material, photos, paintings, sounds, maps, manuscripts, books, newspapers and archival papers from more than 1500 European institutions. Europeana -- the European digital library, museum and archive -- launched in 2008 and is funded by the European Commission and its member states. This current prototype is one of many parallel projects of The European Library.
House of Commons Parliamentary Papers
Provides full-text access to thousands of 18th, 19th and 20th Century Parliamentary Papers. Includes all the "sessional papers" of the British Parliament: bills, reports of committees, papers presented by Royal Commissions and government departments, treaties and international agreements, command papers, and statistics.
Center for Research Libraries Online Catalog
CRL acquires and preserves newspapers, journals, documents, archives, and other traditional and digital resources from a global network of sources. UC Berkeley Library students, faculty, and other researchers have liberal access to these rich source materials through interlibrary loan, electronic delivery, and a growing collection of digitized material.
A more extensive list of online newspaper resources are available from the Library's Electronic Resources Finder. Some of these are only aggregated collections of links to U.S. and international newspapers, not all of them contain searchable, full-text articles.
An extensive collection of newspapers on microfilm is located in the Newspapers & Microforms department in Doe Library. Using OskiCat, you can locate newspapers by title, or if you don't have titles, by doing subject or keyword searches.
SUBJECT SEARCHING: Select "Subject Heading" as the search type and enter your search using one of the structures suggested below:
African American newspapers
KEYWORD SEARCHING: Combine search terms with AND and OR. Use * (truncation symbol) to search for multiple word endings. For example:
newspaper* and (poland or polish)
newspaper* and mexic*
(soviet or russia*) and newspaper*
NOTE: the above Boolean searches will produce results including both newspapers and books about newspapers, unless you limit your search to Newspapers/Microforms.
19th Century U.S. Newspapers
Images of both full pages and clipped articles for hundreds of 19th century U.S. newspapers. For each issue, the newspaper is captured from cover-to-cover, providing access to every article, advertisement and illustration.
Historical Newspapers (ProQuest)
Indexes articles from Chicago Defender (1905-1975), Chicago Tribune (1849-1986), Los Angeles Times (1881-1986), New York Times (1851-2004), San Francisco Chronicle (1865-1922), Wall Street Journal (1889-1990), and Washington Post (1877-1991).
This site allows users to search and view newspaper pages from 1880-1922 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. To date, over 200,000 pages of California newspapers have been digitized.
Primary Sources: Women's History
Discovering American Women's History Online
A gateway of digital collections of primary sources (photos, letters, diaries, artifacts, etc.) that document the history of women in the United States.
Documents from the Women's Liberation Movement
Online archival collection documenting various aspects of the Women's Liberation Movement in the United States. Focuses specifically on the radical origins of the movement.
Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 (WASM)
Contains 110 document projects and archives with almost 4,200 documents, more than 1,000 images, with more than 2,200 primary authors. Collects and analyzes documents and almost images on the history of women and social movements in the United States between 1600 and 2000. Also includes links to other websites and a dictionary of social movements and organizations.
Working Women, 1800 -1930
Provides access to digitized historical, manuscript, and image collections. Explores women's roles in the US economy between the Civil War and the Great Depression. Documents working conditions, conditions in the home, costs of living, recreation, health and hygeine, conduct of life, policies and regulations governing the workplace, and social issues. When completed, the collections will contain more than 2200 books and pamphlets, 1000 photographs and 10,000 pages from manuscript collections.
Internet Archive: Text Archive
Searches and displays the full text of books and other texts on many subjects, mostly published before 1923. This archive was created in part by the Open Content Alliance, which includes the University of California. All materials are in the public domain. Close to 10,000 volumes from UC Berkeley's Bancroft Library book and serials collection is available through the Internet Archive: The Bancroft Library portal.