This guide has been archived
Please note: this course guide was created during a previous semester, and is no longer being actively maintained. For a list of current course guides, please see http://lib.berkeley.edu/alacarte/course-guides.
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Searchable descriptions of nearly a million historical documents, personal papers, and family histories kept in libraries, museums, and archives worldwide.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.
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.
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.
U.S. History Microfilm Collections
The UC Berkeley Libraries has extensive microform (microfilm and microfiche) collections, containing valuable information for researchers. This list represents a small fraction of our collection.
Microfilm and microfiche owned by the UC Berkeley Libraries can be found through OskiCat; use Advanced Keyword Search to limit your search to "All Microforms." In the News/Micro collection, microfilm rolls and microfiche cards are shelved with their own numbering system; click here for a PDF of the collection's floorplan.
- Abolition and Emancipation. Marlborough, Eng.: Adam Matthew Publications, 1996.
Guide: MICROFILM 77764.guide
- Part 1: Papers of Thomas Clarkson, William Lloyd Garrison, Zachary Macaulay, Harriet Martineau, Harriet Beecher Stowe & William Wilberforce from the Huntington Library; Part 4: The Granville Sharp Papers from Gloucestershire Record Office.
- Advice Literature in America. Marlborough, Eng.: Adam Matthew Publications, 2001.
Guide: MICROFILM 78513.guide
- Part I: The Schlesinger Collection of Etiquette and Advice Books;
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.
- American Immigrant Autobiographies: Manuscript Autobiographies from the Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota. Frederick, MD: UPA, c1989.
Guide: MICROFILM 71258 guide
- American Women's Diaries: Southern Women 19th Century .
New Canaan, CT : Readex, [1988-1990].
- American Women's Diaries: Western Women. New Canaan, CT: Readex, .
BANC FILM 1976
Guide: BANC FILM 707
- 500 published and unpublished works by and about women in the Western United States during the 18th and 19th centuries, including diaries, autobiographies, biographies, personal histories, transcripts of oral interviews, and pioneer histories.
- Archives of the Settlement Movement. Woodbridge, CT: Research Publications, 1989-1990.
- Parts I-IV
- History of Science, Health, and Women. Woodbridge, CT: Primary Source, .
Guide: MICROFILM 78378.guide
- From the Smith Collection at Smith College, the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College, and other collections. Monographs and primary sources devoted to the history of women involved in medicine and science.
- Immigrant in America. Woodbridge. CT: Research Publications, 1983-1988.
Guide: MICROFILM 78024.guide
- The collection is based on the holdings of The New York Public Library, Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, Philadelphia, and The Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota.
- Margaret Sanger Papers: The Smith Collection. Bethesda, MD: University Publications of America, c1994.
- Native Americans Reference Collection: Documents Collected by the Office of Indian Affairs. Bethesda, MD: UPA, c1991.
- Part I- 1840-1900
Part II- 1901-1940
- Papers of the NAACP. Frederick, Md: University Publications of America, [c1982].
- Papers of the Association against the Prohibition Amendment and the Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform. Wilmington, Del.: Scholarly
Guide. MICROFILM.77734 guide
- Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs; Central Classified files, 1907-1939. Bethesda, MD: UPA, c1995.
- Series C Part 1 and 2.
- Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Bethesda, MD: University Publications of America, c1992.
- Research collections in American immigration.
Series A: Subject Correspondence Files
Part I: Asian Immigration and Exclusion, 1906-1913.
Supplement to Part 1: Asian Immigration and Exclusion, 1898-1941.
Part II: Mexican Immigration 1906-1930.
Part III: Ellis Island, 1900-1933.
Part IV: European Investigations, 1898-1936.
Part V: Prostitution & "White Slavery," 1902-1933.
- Records of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, 1895-1992. Bethesda, MD: UPA, c1993-c1994.
Guide: MICROFILM.71276. guide
- Part I: Minutes of National Conventions, Publications, and President's office correspondence.
Part II: President's Office Files 1958-1968
- Records of the National Negro Business League. Bethesda, MD: UPA, c1994.
- Part I: From the Archives of Tuskegee University collection: Annual Conference Proceedings and Organizational Records 1900-1919.
Part II: From the Papers of Booker T. Washington papers at Library of Congress Correspondence and business records 1900-23.
- Social and Cultural Construction of Girls. Woodbridge, CT : Primary Source Gale .
Guide: MICROFILM 78379 guide
- From the Smith Collection at Smith College, the Schleinger Library at Radcliff College and other collections.
- Stetson Kennedy Collection, 1916-1950. Schomburg Center collections.
- From the holdings of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division: The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations.
Ku Klux Klan Research File & General Research File
- U.S. Hispanic Heritage: newspapers, literature, personal papers, correspondence. Leiden, The Netherlands: IDC Publishers, .
Guide: MICROFILM 78404.guide
- Voices from Ellis Island. Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, c1987.
Guide: MICROFICHE.24312 guide
- An Oral History of American Immigration: A Project of the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Foundation, 1988.
- Women's Periodicals; 18th Century to the Great Depression. Woodbridge, CT: Research Publications, 1991-1992.
- Over 350 periodicals from US and European libraries. Among the journals included are The Birth Control Review, Independent Suffragette, The Mother's Companion, Temperance Education Quarterly, and The War Worker.