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About this Guide
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.
The UC Berkeley History Collection News blog will keep you informed of new digital collections, trials of resources, workshops, events related to History collections, and other news of interest to researchers in History. Options for accessing the blog include:
Looking for a location or call number in Doe, Main Stacks or Moffitt? Try the floorplans, or ask for assistance!
Off-campus Access to Library Resources
Before you can access Library resources from off campus make sure you have configured your computer with proxy server settings.
After you make a one-time change in your web browser settings, the proxy server will ask you to log in with a CalNet ID or Library PIN when you click on the link to a licensed resource.
Library Prize for Undergraduate Research
The Library Prize for Undergraduate Research recognizes excellence in undergraduate research projects that show evidence of significant inquiry using the library, its resources, and collections and learning about the research and information-gathering process itself.
Searching Library Catalogs
Use OskiCat to locate materials related to your topic, including books, government publications, and audio and video recordings, in the libraries of UC Berkeley. OskiCat will show you the location and availability of the items that we own.
Use Melvyl to locate materials related to your topic located at other campuses in the UC system, or worldwide. You can use the Request button to request an item from another library, if we don't own it.
Using Melvyl (but not OskiCat) you can find articles as well as books, easily format a citation for copying into a bibliography, and see images of book covers, when available. Melvyl will also show you the location and availablity of items that we own.
HathiTrust (Hathi is pronounced hah-tee) is a partnership of libraries that works towards the goal of developing a shared digital access, preservation, and storage solution for the materials held in the member libraries. The contents of HathiTrust are similar to that of GoogleBooks, but the collecting focus is on scholarly materials and the resource includes content and features (such as indexing and manipulation of results) not available in Google Books.
To limit to “full view” (public domain materials) in your search, check the “full view only” box.
From the “full view” of any item, click on Download whole book (PDF).
Choose the University of California, Berkeley from the drop down list and click login.
Enter your CalNet ID and passphrase.
Click Download whole book (PDF).
PDF will load and you will choose to either open it or save it.
Tips for searching HathiTrust:
Phrase Searching: Use quotes to search an exact phrase: e.g., "occult fiction"
Wildcards: Use * or ? to search for alternate forms of a word. Use * to stand for several characters, and ? for a single character: e.g., optim* will find optimal, optimize or optimum; wom?n will find woman and women.
Boolean Searching: Use AND and OR between words to combine them with Boolean logic: e.g., (heart OR cardiac) AND surgery will find items about heart surgery or cardiac surgery.
Tips for doing a full-text search:
Phrase Searching: Use quotes to search an exact phrase: e.g., "occult fiction."
Multiple Term Searching: When your search terms are not quoted phrases, avoid common words (such as: 'a', 'and', 'of', 'the', etc.) to speed up your search.
Boolean Searching: Use AND and OR between words to combine them with Boolean logic: e.g., heart OR cardiac will find items containing the word heart or the word cardiac; heart AND cardiac will find items containing both words. Use a minus (-) to remove words from the result e.g., heart -cardiac will find items containing the word heart that do not include the word cardiac.
Choose the University of California, Berkeley from the drop down list and click on login.
Enter your CalNet ID and passphrase.
Click on Create a New Collection and name your collection (the description is optional).
Indicate whether it is a "Private" or "Public" collection.
Click on Add.
In the future if you want to edit, change the private/public setting, or delete the collection, your collections will always be listed in the "My Collections" tab whenever you are logged in to HathiTrust.
Google Books contains millions of scanned books, from libraries and publishers worldwide. You can search the entire text of the books, view previews or "snippets" from books that are still in copyright, and read the full text of out-of-copyright (pre-1923) books. Want to read the entire text of an in-copyright book? Use Google Books' Find in a Library link to locate the book in a UC Berkeley library, or search OskiCat to see if UC Berkeley owns the book.
Why use Google Books?
Library catalogs (like OskiCat) don't search inside books; using a library catalog, you can search only information about the book (title, author, Library of Congress subject headings, etc.). Google Books will let you search inside books, which can be very useful for hard-to-find information. Try it now:
OskiCat Searching Tips
Search for author's name using the author search: Auster, Paul
Search for topics using a keyword search: labyrinth and borges
Use an asterisk as a wildcard: author* finds authority, authorship, etc.
Limit results by language (Modify search)
You can browse topics using the Subject links. To find secondary literature on a particular author, look for "criticism and interpretation" subject links such as these:
Find Dissertations by searching Dissertations and Theses (Dissertation Abstracts) Full Text, which indexes graduate dissertations from over 1,000 North American, and selected European, graduate schools and universities from 1861 to the present. Dissertations published since 1980 include brief abstracts written by the authors and some feature 24-page excerpts. The database offers full text for most of the dissertations added since 1997 and some full text coverage for older graduate works.
Also see Find Dissertations and Theses for other specialized sources. Dissertations completed at UC Berkeley can be found in OskiCat, using the feature allowing you to limit to dissertations/theses:
Older dissertations not available full text may be obtained through Interlibrary Loan or using the "Request" option in Melvyl.
History Journal Articles
America: History and Life America History & Life is the best database to use when looking for academic journal articles
in the field of American and Canadian history. It indexes over 2,000 journals published worldwide and includes all key English-language historical journals; selected historical journals from major countries, state, and local history journals; and a targeted selection of hundreds of journals in the social sciences and humanities.
Historical Abstracts Historical Abstracts is the best database to use when looking for academic journal articles in the field of modern world history (after 1450). It indexes over 2,000 journals, as well as historical book reviews and dissertations, published worldwide about all aspects of world history (excluding US and Canada). Articles covered were written from 1954 to the present
Bibliography of British and Irish History (BBIH) Lists books, articles in books, articles in some 700 journals; covers historical writing dealing with the British Isles, and with the British Empire and Commonwealth, during all periods for which written documentation is available - from 55BC to the present. It is the successor to the Royal Historical Society Bibliography of British and Irish History, available online from 2002 to 2009. To access database, click on Enter databases, then click on Bibliography of British and Irish History.
International Medieval Bibliography (IMB) Indexes over 4500 periodicals and 5000 conference proceedings, essay collections, Festschriften, edited volumes, conference proceedings, and exhibition catalogues covering all aspects of the middle ages (400-1500 A.D.) in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.
ITER: Gateway to the Renaissance Indexes over 300 journal titles to create a bibliography of articles, essays, books and reviews related to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (400-1700). Includes a number of databases useful to the fields of classical, medieval, and Renaissance studies such as Iter Italicum, a catalog of Renaissance humanistic manuscripts found in libraries and collections around the world, International Directory of Scholars, International Directory of Renaissance and Reformation Associations and Institutes, and Scholars of Early Modern Studies (volume 34).
History of Science, Technology, and Medicine Indexes books, journals, proceedings, and dissertations worldwide about research in the history of science, medicine, technology, and related fields. Subjects covered include agriculture, biology, construction, chemistry, energy, engineering, geology, linguistics, mathematics, medicine, music, philosophy, physics, social sciences, town planning, transport engineering, and zoology.
Victorian Database Online Indexes over 500 journals, books, and dissertations concerning Victorian Britain (defined as 1830-1914), in every field of nineteenth-century British studies including: painting, architecture, and music; philosophy and religion; histories of England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and the British Empire; military and naval history; politics, commerce, and economics; sociology, women's studies, law, and education; science, technology, and medicine; and literature, drama, poetry, prose, and fiction. This is an online version of the Cumulative Bibliography of Victorian Studies.
Where's the PDF?
Many article databases contain information about articles (citations or abstracts), not the entire text of the article. Once you've used an article database to find articles on your topic, you may need to use this button: in order to locate and read the full text of the article. The UC-eLinks button appears in nearly all the databases available from the UCB Library website.
UC-eLinks will link you to the online full text of an article if UCB has paid for online access; otherwise, UC-eLinks will help you locate a print copy on the shelf in the library. If UCB doesn't own the article in print or online format, UC-eLinks can also help you order a copy from another library.
You can also set up UC-eLinks to work with Google Scholar. For more information, watch this video tutorial (about 2 min.)
Google Scholar provides easy access to a lot of full text content paid for by The Library, as well as other scholarly or professional content available freely on the Web. Their Help pages describe more fully what is included in this resource.
With a Google account you can exploit special features in Google Scholar.
Set up a Google Scholar Alert to be automatically notified when new articles are added to Google on topics of interest. Do your search in Google Scholar. Look in the green toolbar for the envelope icon, and click it. New items will be sent to your email account as they are found by Google.
Make Google display links to full text of articles that Berkeley subscribes to. Open Scholar. Click on the gear icon in the upper right corner, and choose 'scholar preferences'. In the new window, scroll down to 'Library Links', type the word Berkeley. Choose University of California, Berkeley-- UC eLinks, and Open Worldcat Search.
Ever wanted to trace an article’s impact? Google now permits searching within citing articles. Do a Google Scholar search. Click on the "Cited by" link under a citation and select the "Search within articles citing..." checkbox.
General Article Databases
Now that you know the types of articles you need, you can choose a database, also known as a periodical index, to find them. Databases are collections of thousands of articles organized by subject. The Libraries have hundreds of databases covering every academic discipline. Some are multi-disciplinary, covering a broad range of subjects and including popular and scholarly sources, and others are subject-specific, and include scholarly and specialized articles. A complete list is available at Find Articles.
The following multi-disciplinary databases are good places to start your research:
Academic Search Complete A multidisciplinary index to articles in more than 10,900 journals and other publications in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Portuguese; full-text is available for over 5300 journals.
Google Scholar Lists journal articles, books, preprints, and technical reports in many subject areas (though more specialized article databases may cover any given field more completely). Some listings include links to related articles and to other sources that cite the item. Includes content from free resources (such as ArXiv.org and university websites) as well as subscription resources (such as electronic journals from selected publishers). Use the UC-eLinks option, when available, to find the UCB access to a publication.
JSTOR Includes over 1000 scholarly journals with access to more than 2 million articles. JSTOR is an archive which means that current issues (generally the most recent 3-5 years) of the journals are not yet available.
The Bancroft Library
The Bancroft Library is one of the treasures of the campus, and one of the world's great libraries for the history of theAmerican West.
Some Bancroft materials are available online via Calisphere, which includes primary sources from many California libraries and museums.
Before you go:
1. Be prepared! Read secondary sources and know something about your topic.
2. Search OskiCat so you can bring call numbers with you. Use the Entire Collection pull-down menu in OskiCat to limit your search to the Bancroft Library only. (Remember that there are primary sources in many other campus libraries as well.)
If the item you want is in storage (the location is NRLF) and it's owned by The Bancroft Library, do not use the Request button in OskiCat. Instead, use the Bancroft's online request format least 72 hours in advance (they prefer a week.)
If you have 72 hours in advance, you can also use the online request form for Bancroft materials that are not in storage; that will speed things up when you arrive.
If the OskiCat record mentions a finding aid (an index) to a manuscript collection, you should use it to help you find what you need in the collection. If the finding aid is online, there will be a link from the OskiCat record. The finding aids that are not online are near the Registration Desk at the Bancroft Library.
3. Learn about the Bancroft's policies: read about Access (bring a quarter for lockers) and Registration (bring two pieces of ID). You may want to read about the new camera policy ($10/day, no flash) or about getting photocopies.
During your visit:
Store your belongings in the lockers provided, located on the right-hand side of the east entrance. Pass the security guard station and proceed up one level by stairs or elevator to the Reading Room and Seminar Rooms (3rd floor).
Check in at the Registration Desk, located on the left-hand side of the entrance to the Reference Center.
Go to the Circulation Desk, where you will fill out a form for the items you need. The items will be paged and brought to you. (Remember to bring call numbers, titles, etc. with you!)
For research-related questions, ask for assistance at the Reference Desk.
How to Get to the Bancroft Library
The Bancroft is open from 10am to 5pm Monday-Friday (closed on weekends and holidays; shorter hours during Intersession). Paging ends 30 minutes before closing; this means that if you want to use Bancroft materials until 5pm, you need to arrive and request your materials at the circulation desk before 4:30pm.
Guides to over 20,000 collections housed in 200 libraries, archives, historical societies, special collections and museums across California are searchable at the Online Archive of California (OAC). Analogous to catalog records for books, collection guides (also known as finding aids) are the descriptive records used to find, understand, and locate archival resources and unique materials. They help users learn more about the scope of a collection so they know if it is likely to meet their research needs.
Digitized versions of photographs, documents, newspapers, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, and other cultural artifacts that are contributed by these California institutions to the OAC make up the content included in Calisphere.
These two websites exist because they serve two very different user needs. For research-oriented users who want to go beyond what is available online and locate the actual, physical item, the OAC is the best starting point. For users whose primary interest is to view digitized images and documents, Calisphere is a place to explore online content. In addition, Calisphere provides K-12 educators with a subset of content organized and aligned with California Content Standards.
Chinese in California, 1850-1925 Illustrates nineteenth and early twentieth century Chinese immigration to California through about 8,000 images and pages of primary source materials.
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.
Accessible Archives Provides access to the Pennsylvania Gazette (1728-1800), the paper called 'The New York Times of the 18th Century', Godey's Lady's Book (1830-1898), the Philadelphia magazine intended to entertain, inform and educate the women of America, and a collection of Philadephia papers. Offers social, political and cultural perspectives of colonial America, the American Revolution, and the New Republic.
North American Women's Letters and Diaries Include approximately 150,000 pages of published letters and diaries by more than 1000 women. Represented are all age groups and life stages, all ethnicities, many geographical regions. Also includes biographies and an extensive annotated bibliography.
American Civil War: Letters & Diaries 100,000 pages of published memoirs, letters and diaries on almost every aspect of the war by approximately 1,920 authors. Includes writings by politicians, generals, slaves, landowners, farmers, seamen, wives and spies. Descriptions of historical characters and events, glimpses of daily life in the army, anecdotes about key events and personages. Provides both the Northern and Southern perspective. Materials originate from all regions of the country.
American Memory Motion Pictures Collections (Library of Congress) A gateway to primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States. The site offers more than 7 million digital items from more than 100 historical collections. Includes a sampling of early American films, including works by the Edison Company, recordings of vaudeville and other popular entertainments, early animated films; recordings of early 20th Century presidents, and scenes of American work and leisure, 1894-1915.
Voting America: United States Politics, 1840-2008 Provides cinematic and interactive maps, and analysis, of the Presidential elections in the US from 1840-2004. Focuses on election data to the county level (rather than state). Allows users to compare elections as well as recognize the significance of individual elections by geographic region, political party, voter turnout, voter demographics, and more.
American State Papers A collection of more than 6,000 government publications including congressional and Executive Department materials. These papers cover the following broad subject areas: foreign relations, Indian affairs, commerce and navigation, military and naval affairs, the post-office department, and more. (Archive of Americana allows cross-searching of several databases: Early American Imprints , Series I and II; Early American Newspapers; American State Papers; US Congressional Serial Set.)
Historical Newspapers (ProQuest)
Want to find scanned articles from major U.S. newspapers, going back to the mid-19th century? You can do this through an easy-to-use online database: ProQuest Historical Newspapers. This database includes articles from the Chicago Defender (1905-1975), the Chicago Tribune (1849-1987), Los Angeles Times (1881-1987), the New York Times (1851-2007), the San Francisco Chronicle (1865-1922), the Wall Street Journal (1889-1993), and the Washington Post (1877-1994).
Trying to use Historical Newspapers from off-campus? Be sure to set up off-campus access. Use of this resource is restricted to UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff.
-correspondence -sources -diaries -personal narratives -interviews -speeches -documents -archives -early works to 1800 -newspapers
history victorian britain sources women 19th century personal narratives
Microfilm & Microfiche
Before digital storage became easy and cheap, microfilm was a way for libraries to maintain large collections of newspapers, government documents, and historical documents while saving physical storage space. The UC Berkeley Libraries still have extensive microform (microfilm and microfiche) collections, containing valuable information for researchers.
Since each roll of microfilm contains thousands of tiny images of the original pages of a document, you'll need a microfilm reader to magnify the images enough to read them. The UC Berkeley Newspapers and Microforms Department (40 Doe Library) has machines that read, print, and scan images from microfilm and microfiche.
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.
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.
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.
Audience Research Inc., a Gallup Poll affiliate directed by David Ogilvy, was commissioned by David O. Selznick and other Hollywood producers to furnish data that would objectively record what the public wanted to see in the movies.
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.
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.
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.
The collection includes titles from A Bibliography of Anti- Slavery Literature in America, Bibliotheca Americana: A Dictionary of Books Relating to America From its Discovery to the Present Time, and the holdings of the Library of Congress.
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
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.
Citation Management Tools
Citation management tools help you manage your research, collect and cite sources, organize and store your PDFs, and create bibliographies in a variety of citation styles. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, but all are easier than doing it by hand!
Zotero: A free plug-in for the Firefox browser: keeps copies of what you find on the web, permits tagging, notation, full text searching of your library of resources, works with Word, and has a free web backup service. Zotero is also available as a stand-alone application that syncs with Chrome and Safari, or as a bookmarklet for mobile browsers.
RefWorks - web-based and free for UC Berkeley users. It allows you to create your own database by importing references and using them for footnotes and bibliographies, then works with Word to help you format references and a bibliography for your paper. Use theRefWorks New User Form to sign up.
EndNote: Desktop software for managing your references and formatting bibliographies. You can purchase EndNote from the Cal Student Store.
Tip: After creating a bibliography with a citation management tool, it's always good to double check the formatting; sometimes the software doesn't get it quite right.
Chicago Manual of Style
The Chicago Manual of Style includes two slightly different documentation systems: (1) notes and bibliography (NB) and (2) author-date. The notes and bibliography style is preferred by many in literature, history, and the arts.
In the NB system, you mark within your paper where you have cited something by adding a number, which refers to a detailed reference either at the bottom of the page (footnote) or at the end of the paper (endnote). These notes indicate the specific place in your source you are referencing.
The bibliography includes complete information for each item, with the items arranged in alphabetical order by author's last name.
Purdue's Writing Lab provides an example of a paper formatted using Chicago NB style.
Some reference questions can't be easily answered over e-mail and I am happy to talk with you in person or over the phone if your question is more complex or if you'd like a more in-depth consultation. Trying to schedule appointments via email is time-consuming. Here are some alternatives:
1. Call me at 510-768-7059
2. Use bCal to find my calendar (email@example.com) and locate a free slot between 9-5, Mon-Fri. You can propose an appointment in bCal or contact me by email asking me to reserve that slot for you.
3. If you don't use bCal yet and you have a gmail address, you can send that to me and I'll grant you access to my calendar.
Ask a Librarian 24/7 Chat
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You can type your question directly into this chat window to chat with a librarian. Your question may be answered by a reference librarian from Berkeley, from another UC campus, or another academic library elsewhere in the US. We share information about our libraries to make sure you get good answers.
If the librarian can't answer you well enough, your question will be referred to a Berkeley librarian for follow-up.
Book a 30-minute appointment with a librarian who will help refine and focus research inquiries, identify useful online and print sources, and develop search strategies for humanities and social sciences topics (examples of research topics).
This service is for Cal undergraduates only. Graduate students and faculty should contact the library liaison to their department or program for specialized reference consultations.