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.
ArchiveGrid Searchable descriptions of nearly a million historical documents, personal papers, and family histories kept in libraries, museums, and archives worldwide.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.
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.
Selected Primary Source Collections
California Digital Newspaper Collection Offers over 200,000 pages of California newspapers spanning the years 1849-1911: the Alta California, 1849-1891; the San Francisco Call, 1893-1910; the Amador Ledger, 1900-1911; the Imperial Valley Press, 1901-1911; the Sacramento Record-Union, 1859-1890; and the Los Angeles Herald, 1905-1907. Additional years are forthcoming, as are other early California newspapers: the Californian; the California Star; the California Star and Californian; the Sacramento Transcript; the Placer Times; and the Pacific Rural Press.
ProQuest Congressional 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of congressional publications back to 1789, including full text of published Congressional Hearings from 1824-present (unpublished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.
Digital National Security Archive (DNSA) Indexes over 35,000 declassified documents spanning fifty years of US national security policy. Also includes a chronology, glossary of names, events, special terms, and a bibliography for each collection developed around a specific event, controversy, or policy decision.
DDRS (Declassified Documents Reference System) Over 75,000 documents and almost 500,000 pages of materials declassified via the Freedom of Information Act and regular declassification requests, making broad-based and highly targeted investigation of government documents possible. Nearly every major foreign and domestic event of these years is covered.
Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports Information from thousands of foreign media sources, including political speeches, television and radio broadcasts, newspapers, periodicals, and more, offering an extensive collection of military, political, scientific and technical reports from countries around the world, translated into English. The original mission of the FBIS was to monitor, record, transcribe and translate intercepted radio broadcasts from foreign governments, official news services, and clandestine broadcasts from occupied territories. Coverage is global with the exception of the FBIS Annexes (a supplementary publication created by the U.S. intelligence community to benefit analysts and policy makers from April 1974 through September 1996) and Western European regional broadcasts.
Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Electronic Index Indexes the FBIS Daily Reports issued by the US Government covering political, economic, scientific, and cultural issues and events throughout the world. Translations of broadcasts, news agency transmissions, newspapers, periodicals, and government statements from various nations are the sources of this information. Reports since 1996 can be found in WorldNews Connection.
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.
Contemporary Women's Issues Indexes a wide range of journals, hard-to-find newsletters, reports, pamphlets, fact sheets, and guides covering a broad array of gender-related issues such as violence, economic development, health, the military, education, human rights, and law. Covers sources published by organizations around the world.
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.
General Article Databases
Databases are collections of thousands of articles (and often book chapters, book reviews, conference proceedings, dissertations, and other items) 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:
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.
Project MUSE Several hundred scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences. Topics include literature and criticism, history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, economics and many others.
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.
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.
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.
You do allow embedded content.
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 Google Books, 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) 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.
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. More OskiCat help.
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. Detailed Melvyl help.
Using Melvyl (but not OskiCat) you can find articles as well as books, and easily format a citation for copying into a bibliography. Melvyl will also show you the location and availablity of items that we have on our campus.
In every catalog you use, not the name of the physical library, call number, and whether or not the item is checked out, library use only, etc.
Call numbers are usually located on the spine of the book; learn how to read them so you can easily find what you need on the shelves.
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.
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.
Campus Library Map
Click on the image below to see a larger interactive version of the campus library map.
You can also view/download a PDF map of library locations. For library contact information and building addresses, visit our directory.
Doe, Main Stacks, Moffitt Library Floorplans
Looking for a location or call number in Doe, Main Stacks or Moffitt? Try the floorplans, or ask for assistance!
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:
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. Go to my bCal calendar and in the upper right corner choose the WEEK view. Locate a free slot between 9-5, Mon-Fri that works with your schedule. You can propose an appointment in bCal or contact me by email asking me to reserve that slot for you.
Starting February 19, every Wednesday from 1-3 I will also be available to answer your questions in the History Department's office.
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.