Finding Local Information: American Cultures
Finding Local Information: American Cultures is a bibliographic
research guide to finding U.S. community-specific information in the context of the
built environment and with an emphasis on the San Francisco Bay Area and
California. This guide is intended especially for use by students of UC Berkeley City Planning 118 AC and Landscape Architecture 141 AC and focuses on resources in the UC
Berkeley libraries, local community, and on the web.
For further assistance, please consult the Environmental
Design Library reference staff, 210 Wurster Hall.
UC Berkeley faculty, registered students, and staff who are off campus may use items marked
UCB Only or UC Only by using The Library's off-campus access services.
Content reviewed: June 2010. Compiled by Deborah Sommer.
Deconstruct your topic
Deconstruct your topic to uncover its complexities and hidden conceptual connections, to focus your research, and to increase your search vocabulary. The more ways you have of describing and thinking about your topic, the more information you're likely to find. Another term for deconstructing a research question is 'concept mapping;' see the Rhode Island School of Design Library's excellent slide show, Concept Mapping, for a visual tutorial.
- Write down your topic. Be brief!
- Ask the 6 journalist's questions about your chosen topic: Who?, What?, Where?, When?, Why?, How?
Do your best to answer these questions. Remember to include alternative spellings.
Who designed/authorized/regulates the project? / Who are/were the client(s)? / Who paid for it? / Who are/were the intended users?
What type of land use is it? / What were /are the design/regulatory/financial/social constraints?
Where is the project located? (city, state, neighborhood, country)
When was it/will it be planned/approved/constructed? (date completed, century, historical period)
Why was the project approved or rejected?
How did/does the public/client/intended audience respond to the project?
- Pay attention to the questions you can't answer about your topic. Look for for the answers in the specialized reference sources in the following section.
- Add to your 'deconstruction notes' as you learn more about your topic.
- For additional ways to explore the concepts and social factors influencing your topic, see Finding Information on Buildings and Places http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/ENVI/research_buildings.html.
See also these topical research guides: American Cultural Landscapes and Social & Cultural Factors in Environmental Design.
Interpreting the Physical Environment
See Finding Information on Buildings & Places for stimulating questions to ask about places and tools to find answers. See Building and Landscape Types: a Guide to Information Sources for typology resources.
- Architecture everywhere: investigating the built environment
of your community, by Joseph A. Weber. Tucson, AZ: Zephyr Pr.,
- EnvDesign NA705 W43 2000
- Close-up, how to read the American city, Grady Clay, ed. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Pr., 1980.
- EnvDesign HT153 C585 1980
- Getting to know your 20th-century neighborhood, by Greta Terrell. Washington, DC: National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1996. Historic Preservation Information Booklet. Focuses on American neighborhoods developed from 1900-1950;
identifies architectural styles and landscaping trends.
- EnvDesign NA7208 T47 1996
- The Hieroglyphics of space: reading and experiencing the modern metropolis, Neil Leach, ed. London: Routledge, 2002.
- EnvDesign HT111 H45 2002
- Looking at cities, by Allan B. Jacobs. Cambridge,
MA: Harvard Univ. Pr., 1985. See especially Chapter 3, "Clues,"
pp.30-83. Very useful presentation of the physical indicators that
help the observer interpret an urban environment.
- EnvDesign HT166 J262 1985 Reserve & circulating
Observing and interpreting the urban environment: case
study, Prescott & South Prescott, Oakland, California, by Allan
B. Jacobs. Berkeley: Institute of Urban and Regional Development,
Univ. of California, Berkeley, 1982. Working paper no. 374. A
case study demonstrating techniques of community observation and anaylsis.
- EnvDesign HT393 C2 C25 W6 no.374
- What style is it?: a guide to American architecture, by John C. Poppeliers, S. Allen Chambers, Jr. Rev. ed. Hoboken,
NJ: John Wiley, 2003.
- EnvDesign NA705 P6 2003
Real places: an unconventional guide to America's generic
landscape, by Grady Clay. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Pr., 1994. Includes
124 common places, for example, bypass, district, hangout, lovers leap,
parade route, porno district, shortcut, and skyl ine.
- EnvDesign E169 Z82 C57 1994; Moff E169 O4 C57 1994
[Stylistic] glossary, IN: The Guide to architecture
in San Francisco and northern California, by David Gebhard, et al. Rev. ed. Salt
Lake City: G.M. Smith, 1985, pp. 553-583. Guide to San Francisco
Bay Area architectural styles.
- EnvDesign NA735 S35 G831 1985 Reference Desk, Reference & circulating
- Interviewing for social scientists: an introductory resource
with examples, byHilary Arksey and Peter Knight. Thousand Oaks:
Sage Publications, 1999.
- EnvDesign & Main HM526 A75 1999
- Interviews: an introduction to qualitative research interviewing,
by Steinar Kvale. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 1996.
- EnvDesign HM48.9 K9 1996
- Learning from strangers: the art and method of qualitative
interview studies, by Robert S. Weiss. NY: Free Pr., 1995.
- EnvDesign & Main HN29 W42 1995
Researching Local History
- Discovering the history of your house and your neighborhood, by Betsy J. Green. Santa Monica, CA: Santa Monica Pr., 2002.
- EnvDesign E159 G686 2002 Reference
- Doing community history, prepared by the San Francisco
Community History Project. San Francisco: The Project, 1983.
- EnvDesign F869 S3 S305 1983 Reference
- Nearby history: exploring the past around you, by
David E. Kyvig and Myron A. Marty. 2nd ed. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Pr.,
2000. Excellent, well-organized manual.
- EnvDesign E180.5 N98 2000
- Public places: exploring their history, by Gerald
A. Danzer. Nashville, TN: American Association for State and Local History,
- EnvDesign E180 D36 1987
Community web sites are good sources of directories of contact people. Local telephone books can be helpful, too.
Finding Books & Related Materials
Start with Melvyl for the most comprehensive coverage of UC Berkeley library holdings. For additional tips, see the Guide to Library Catalogs.
Here are selected subject terms for searching the library catalogs. Remember that you can combine subjects or subjects and keywords.
Indians of North America
Racially mixed people
Alienation (Social psychology)
City and town life--[place name]
Community life--[place name]
[Ethnic or racial group], e.g.:
[Ethnic group]--Ethnic identity
Ethnic neighborhoods--United States
Hispanic American neighborhoods
[Religious or sexual orientation group]--Identity
Landscape architecture--Psychological aspects
Landscape architecture--Social aspects
[Racial group]--Racial identity
[Place name]--Social life & customs
Social values--United States
Suburban life--[place name]
Working class whites--United States
Here are examples of ways to search for specific areas or neighborhoods within a city:
Aquatic Park (Berkeley, Calif.)
Chinatown (San Francisco, Calif.)
Embarcadero (San Francisco, Calif.)
Haight-Ashbury (San Francisco, Calif.)
Hunters' Point Naval Shipyard
Mission Bay (San Francisco, Calif.)
San Antonio District (Oakland, Calif.)
South Berkeley (Berkeley, Calif.)
Telegraph Avenue (Oakland, Calif.)
Treasure Island (Calif.)
Finding Journal Articles
The selected indexes listed here may be helpful; in addition, the following lists of journal indexes and abstracts may be useful: Architecture, City Planning, Environmental Planning, and Landscape Architecture. To boost your article retrieval skills take a drop-in class at Moffitt Library. For UC Only or UCB Only indexes and databases, go to The Library's home page→ Find Information→ Articles.
Academic search complete via EBSCO - UC Only Indexes articles in more than 1,500 general interest journals and scholarly journals in the humanities, social sciences, and general sciences. Abstracts and full text available for many titles indexed. There are many book review citations, especially in the humanities and social sciences.
- Coverage: 1980--
- Alternative press index and archive via FirstSearch/OCLC - UCB Only Citations are drawn from roughly 380 alternative, radical, and left publications. Useful for identifying community-based and alternative public policy perspectives on housing, land use, the environment, etc., outside of the mainstream. Most journals aren't indexed elsewhere.
- Online coverage: 1991--
- Print ed.: 1969-- ; Doe Stack HM101 A12 A55
- AltPress watch via ProQuest - UCB Only A full-text resource that covers newspapers, magazines, and journals of the alternative and independent press. Good for environmental justice and environmental policy issues. East Bay Express is included starting 6/01.
- Coverage: 1995--
- America: history and life via EBSCO - UC Only Contains article abstracts and bibliographical citations of reviews and dissertations on the history and culture of the U.S. and Canada from prehistoric times to the present. Excellent index for American cultural history and popular culture.
- Online ed.: 1982--
- Print ed.: 1954-- ; Doe Stack E3 A43
- Anthropology plus via Eureka/RLG - UC Only Contains citations to articles and essays in the fields of anthropology and archaeology. Subjects covered include art history, landscape history, ethnohistory, geography, folklore, geology, and history. Useful subject terms include: cities and towns history [name of place]; city planning history; extinct cities; land settlement patterns [name of place]; and, urbanization history.
- Coverage: 1984--
- Avery index to architectural periodicals via CSA - UC Only | Video Tutorial Indexes
articles in 1,000+ periodicals in architecture, planning, urban design,
& related disciplines.
- Online ed.: 1890--
- Print ed.: 1890-1995, EnvDesign fNA8 C64 1973 Index
- Bibliography of native North Americans on disc (CD-ROM Network) - UCB Only Includes
70,000 citations from books, journal articles, essays, conference papers, and U.S. government documents covering 17 broad regions comprising 290 ethnic groups of native North America, from the 16th century to 1992.
- Online ed.: Library networked workstations
- Print ed.: Ethnographic Bibliography of North America, 1941-1990. Various editions and locations.
Black studies database - UCB Only Digital version of indexing from
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of The New York Public Library. Indexes over 150 journals, magazines,
newspapers, newsletters, pamphlets and reports relevant to the Black experience and the
- Coverage: 1948-1986
- -----. Black studies on disc (CD-ROM Network) - UCB Only Provides current access to the Catalog of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Index to Black Periodicals.
- Coverage: 2004-- ; Library networked workstations
- Chicano database via Eureka/RLG, Univ. of California. Indexes all types of materials on Mexican-American topics, and since 1992, materials on other Latino cultures.
- Coverage: 1967--
- Geography via Ovid
- UCB Only Covers the international literature in physical and human geography, providing access to information from over 2000 journals, monographs, books, conference proceedings reports, and theses.
- Coverage: 1990--
- HAPI online; Hispanic
American periodical index - UC Only
Includes citations to articles, documents, book reviews, and original literary
works in more than 500 social science and humanities journals on Latin America, the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, and
Hispanics in the U.S. Links to selected full-text
articles via Ingenta or JSTOR.
- Coverage: 1970--
- UCB Only Provides full-text access to domestic and
international scholarly & academic publications, in a wide range of subject areas, including
- Coverage: Varies
- International index
to Black periodicals (IIBP) - UCB Only
current and retrospective bibliographic citations and abstracts from 150+
scholarly and popular journals, newspapers and newsletters from the U.S.,
Africa, and the Caribbean, and full-text coverage of core Black
studies periodicals, 1998 forward.
- Coverage: Varies, 1910--
of planning literature. This excellent publication lists and abstracts
recent books and journal articles, arranged by subject, including community
development, discrimination, and urban sociology.
- Online ed.: 1997--
- Print ed.: 1985/86--; EnvDesign NA9000 J687 Index
- JSTOR - UCB Only A full-text archive of
interdisciplinary scholarly journal literature, including sociology, African-American
studies, and political science.
- Coverage: Varies
Left index - UCB Only Provides access to international leftist and radical scholarship, including
citations and abstracts and some full text from journals, books,
links to internet documents, etc. Topics include ecology &
environment, race & ethnicity, social & cultural theory, sociology,
- Coverage: 1982--
- Native North Americans on disc (CD ROM Network) -
UCB Only Includes
70,000 citations from books, journal articles, essays, conference papers,
and U.S. government documents covering 17 broad regions comprising 290
ethnic groups of native North America.
- Online ed.: 1984-- ; Library networked workstations
Sociological abstracts via CSA - UC Only Indexes journal articles, book chapters, & reviews from over 1,900 journals, books, book chapters, and reviews in the social sciences. Excellent source for public policy topics.
- Online ed.: 1963--
- Print ed.: 1952-- ; Main Stack HM15.5 S6 Library use only
Urban studies & planning - UCB Only Provides indexing to and full text of 12 journals
published by SAGE Publications and participating societies, some journals going back 37 years.
- Coverage: Varies
Here are selected readings about American communities. Use the subject headings in this guide to discover more.
- American dreamscape: the pursuit of happiness in postwar suburbia, by Tom Martinson. NY: Carroll & Graf, 2000.
- EnvDesign HT351 M37 2000
- The California cauldron: immigration and the fortunes of local communities, by William A.V. Clark. NY: Guilford Pr., 1998.
- EnvDesign F870 A1 C53 1998
- Center for Immigration Studies. Site includes many full-text publications on American immigration.
- City against suburb: the culture wars in an American metropolis, by Joseph A. Rodriguez. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1999. Focuses on the San Francisco Bay Area.
- EnvDesign HN80 S4 R63 1999
- Making the invisible visible: a multicultural planning history - UCB Only, Leonie Sandercock, ed. Berkeley: Univ. of California Pr.,
- EnvDesign HT166 M2464 1998
- Race and home ownership, 1900 to 1990, by William J. Collins, Robert A. Margo. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1999.
(National Bureau of Economic Research working paper no. 7277)
- Online access: http://papers.nber.org/papers/w7277.pdf
- Print ed.: Bus&Econ H62.5 U5 N351 no.7277
- Suburban nation: the rise of sprawl and the decline of the American Dream, by Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck. NY: North Point Pr., 2000.
- EnvDesign HT384 U5 D83 2000
- Towards cosmopolis: planning for multicultural cities, by Leonie Sandercock. NY: J. Wiley, 1998.
- EnvDesign HT166 S219 1997
- Urban enclaves: identity and place in America, by Mark Abrahamson. NY: St. Martin's Pr., 1996.
- Moffitt E184 A1 A24 1996
- Urban planning in a multicultural society, by Michael A. Burayidi. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2000.
- EnvDesign HT165.5 U75 2000
To find encyclopedias on a topic, in Melvyl search by subject, adding the term encyclopedia to your subject word(s).
- American immigrant cultures: builders of a nation, David Levinson, Melvin Ember, eds. 2 vols. NY: Simon & Schuster Macmillan, 1997.
- Doe Refe E184 A1 A63448 1997
- The Asian American encyclopedia, Franklin Ng, ed., NY: Marshall Cavendish Corp., 1995. 6 vols.
- Main-Library use only, S-S/EAsia-Ref E184 O6 A827 1995; Ethn Studies E184 A8 N52 Ref
- Encyclopedia of African-American culture and history: the Black experience in the Americas, Colin A. Palmer, ed. in chief. 2nd ed. 6 vols. NY: Macmillan Library Reference USA, 2006.
- Doe Refe & Moff Refe E185 E54 2006
- Encyclopedia of multiculturalism, Susan Auerbach, ed. 6 vols. NY: Marshall Cavendish Corp., 1994.
- Main E184 A1 E58 1994
- Gale encyclopedia of multicultural America, Robert
von Dassanowsky, contributing ed., 2nd ed. 3 vols. Detroit:
Gale Group, 2000.
- Moffitt Refe & Doe Refe E184 A1 G14 2000
Handbook of Hispanic cultures in the United States,
Nicolas Kanellos, Claudio Esteva-Fabregat, general eds., Houston: Arte
Publico Press, 1993-1994.
- Doe Refe & Moffitt Refe E184 S75 H365 1993; Ethn Studies E184 S75 H264 1993 v.4 Ref.
Harvard encyclopedia of American ethnic groups, Stephan
Thernstrom, ed. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Pr., 1980
- EnvDesign E184 A1 H35 Reference; Main & Ethn Stud E184 A1 H35
Latino America: a state-by-state encyclopedia,
Mark Overmyer-Velázquez, ed. 2 vols. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2008.
Doe Refe & Ethn Studies Reference E184 S75 O838 2008
General plans are an excellent source of local planning
information. General plans have many synonyms, among them comprehensive
plan, development plan, land-use plan, master plan, and urban plan. Simply
stated, a general plan is "the official statement of a municipal legislative
body which sets forth its major policies concerning desirable future physical
development..." (Kent, The Urban general plan, 1964).
Finding general plans (UC Berkeley, Library) A guide to finding general plans, with a California emphasis.
Sometimes the only record of a hot community issue is in the local media. In addition to the indexes listed here, some newspapers are available full text on the web; information regarding archives of older issues is sometimes available at these sites. For a list of online full-text American and international newspapers, go to the The Library's
home page→ Find Information→
News Article Databases.
- Access world news via
UCB Only Full-text database of articles from
national, and international newspapers and newswires, including many California papers such
as Contra Costa Times (1995-current), Fresno Bee (1986-current),
Santa Rosa Press Democrat (1994-current), Sacramento Bee (1984-current),
San Francisco Chronicle (1985-current), and San Jose Mercury News (1985-current).
Articles are available the day after publication.
- Online coverage: Varies
AltPress watch via ProQuest
- UCB Only A full-text resource
that covers newspapers, magazines, and journals of the alternative and
independent press. Good for public policy issues. East Bay Express
is included starting June 2001.
- Online coverage: 1995--
newspapers (News Link) Organized by place within broad
categories (e.g., dailies, business, alternative).
- Online coverage: Varies
newswatch via ProQuest- UC Only
coverage of approximately 200 newspapers and other periodicals published
by ethnic and minority presses in the U.S. Good resource for ethnic
community information. Indexed in English and Spanish.
- Online coverage: 1960--
Lexis-Nexis academic - UCB Only
Indexes more than 6,000 newspaper and journal titles,
including ethnic and regional newspapers, and provides some articles full text.
- Online coverage: Varies
New America media. Includes the full
text of many ethnic news media, many with English
translations, as well as NAM original articles.
- Online coverage: Varies
Statistics & Data
Here's a small selection of statistical resources. For a more comprehensive list, including some full text, see Statistics & Data for City Planning: United States (American focus with a California emphasis).
- ABAG data center (Association of Bay Area Governments) Great source of San Francisco Bay Area economic and demographic statistics. Here is a selection of the categories available. ---Population and demographics ---Land use and maps ---Real estate and housing.
factfinder (U.S. Census Bureau)Users can create a variety of tables, reports, or maps with information on their
Bay Area census (Metropolitan Transportation Commission & the Association of
Bay Area Governments) Very useful and well-designed site. Aggregates Census 2000 data for the nine Bay Area counties.
county profiles (Calif. Dept. of Finance) Compilation of
selected economic, social, and demographic data for California and its
- Print ed.: 1996--; Main Stack HA262 C68; latest in Doe Refe
demographics (Calif. Dept. of Finance, Demographic Research
Unit) Includes California demographic data, selected full-text
reports and papers, catalog of publications, etc.
government statistics (UC Berkeley, Library) A directory of useful links to
social and demographic data, including the U.S. Census Bureau.
Projections...: forecasts for the San Francisco Bay Area
to the year..., population, households, income, employment. Association
of Bay Area Governments. Oakland: ABAG. Provides a wealth of demographic
data and projections for the 9-county region, each county and city.
- EnvDesign HD5726 S4 P72 latest Reference Desk; Reference
- Racial and ethnic diversity, by Cheryl Russell. 6th ed.
Ithaca, NY: New Strategist Publications, 2002. Consists of updated statistical profiles drawn primarily
from 2000 Census data.
- EnvDesign E184 A1 R87 2006 Reference
local codes and charters (UC Berkeley, Institute of Governmental
Studies Library) Comprehensive directory of online full text California
municipal codes and charters.
codes online (Seattle Public Library) Comprehensive
directory of links to full-text American municipal codes on the
- Earth Sciences & Map Library (UC Berkeley) The largest collection of maps in northern California and one of the largest university map collections in the United States. Supplementing its superb collection is an excellent comprehensive directory of online map collections and resources.
- Maps worldwide Searchable international online collection of aerial photographs.
- MSR maps (Microsoft Co.) Formerly TerrraServer-USA, the site offers free, public access to online maps and aerial photographs of the United States.
- Thomas Bros. maps: Excellent street maps in book form. Volumes for Bay Area counties are available at the Environmental Design Library Reference Desk. Other volumes available in the Earth Sciences/Maps Library.
Also called fire insurance maps, Plat maps show a variety of details, including actual lot boundaries, special uses, building materials and building footprints. For a perspective on ways to use plat maps for research, see Cathy Moulder's article, Fire insurance plans as a data source in urban research: an annotated bibliography of examples, in Art reference quarterly, V.1:3, 1993. See also Plat Maps--California.
- Digital Sanborn maps, 1867-1970 (UMI) - UCB Only Site provides digital access to more than 660,000 large-scale maps of more than 12,000 American towns and cities. The maps "are large-scale plans containing... information such as the outline of each building, the size, shape and construction materials, heights, and function of structures, location of windows and doors. The maps also give street names, street
and sidewalk widths, property boundaries, building use, and house and block numbers."
- Fire insurance maps (UC Berkeley, Library)
Links to description of and indexes to fire insurance maps.
- -----. Fire insurance maps in the Library of Congress: plans of North American cities and towns produced by the Sanborn Map Company: a checklist, compiled by the Reference and Bibliography Section, Geography and Map Division. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress: U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1981.
- EnvDesign HG9771 U54 1981 Reference; Earth Sci HG9771 U54 1981 Reference with microforms
historical city maps (Univ. of Texas, Austin) Digitized maps from the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection at the Univ. of Texas at Austin.
Plat maps--California (Sanborn Insurance Company): Available on microfilm. Originals of various dates and cities are available at the Library of Congress, Bancroft Library, Oakland Public Library, and the California Historical Society.
- Sanborn fire insurance maps: California 1884-1952 | Index
- Earth Sci Microfilm 31073
- Sanborn maps of California, 1911-1991 | Index
- Earth Sci Microfilm 77648
- San Francisco Maps, courtesy of San Francisco Genealogy. Guide and links to historic, street and other maps.
- Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, San Francisco, California, 1899/1900, courtesy of San Francisco Genealogy. The black and white maps presented here are from six volumes that covered San Francisco in 1899 and 1900. To locate a specific location, consult the various indexes to locate the correct Map Sheet. Then select the appropriate link.
- Insurance maps of Berkeley, California, Sanborn Map Company. NY: The Co., 1911. Includes Albany and parts of Emeryville and Oakland.
- EnvDesign fffG1529 B6 S3Rare v.2 only, 1911 corrected to 1933
- Catalog of aerial photography (UC Berkeley, Library) Searchable catalog of the Earth Sciences & Map international aerial photo collection, with special strength in California images. Site also includes links to other campus aerial photo collections.
- Earth Sciences & Map Library (UC Berkeley) has an excellent collection of aerial photos of California, 1939--present. A master index is available in the Earth Sciences Library. Some digitized aerial photos of the San Francisco Bay Area are available online.
Using Images for Research
- Image-based research: a sourcebook for qualitative researchers, Jon Prosser, ed. Bristol, PA: Falmer Pr., 1998.
- EnvDesign GN347 I43 1998
- Visual methodologies: an introduction to the interpretation of visual materials, by Gillian Rose. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2001.
- EnvDesign & Main Stack P93.5 R67 2001
- Access to archival databases (AAD) (U.S. Natl. Archives & Records Administration) Searchable databases of records in the U.S. National Archives: print, still photos, film, video, etc. Can retrieve digital copies of selected textual documents, photographs, maps, and sound recordings.
- American landscape and architectural design, 1850-1920, Harvard Univ. This collection of approximately 2,800 lantern slides represents an historical view of American buildings and landscapes built during the period 1850-1920. Offers views of cities, specific buildings, parks, estates and gardens. In addition to photographs, views include plans, maps, & models. Also indexed in the American Memory project.
- American memory (U.S. Library of Congress)Multimedia collections of digitized documents, photographs, recorded sound, moving pictures, and text from the Library of Congress' Americana collections, representing a rich archive of images and text on U.S. urban history.
Archives of American gardens, Smithsonian Institution,
Washington, D.C. The Archive contains thousands of photographic images,
which are searchable through the Smithsonian's
manuscripts, and photographs catalog.
heritage project (UC Berkeley, Library) A "digital" archive containing photographs,
pictures, and manuscripts from the collections of the Bancroft Library.
Includes many historical images of San Francisco Bay Area places.
- Historic American building survey/Historic American engineering
record, U.S. National Park Service. The HABS/HAER collections
contain more than 363,000 measured drawings, large-format photographs,
and written histories for more than 37,000 historic structures and sites
dating from the 17th to the 20th century. See also California HABS.
- Image sources
for the built environment (UC Berkeley, Library) A list of links to
web sites of images of the built or designed environment.
- San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection (San
Francisco Public Library) Copies of the images may be ordered;
many are available for use with proper permission. These images are only
a portion of the total holdings of the San Francisco Public Library.
Image Resources: HABS/HAER
- Historic American buildings survey (HABS) [microfiche].
Organized by state. Collections include photographs and written historical
and descriptive data. Search the catalogs for title Historic American
Buildings survey [name of state].
- EnvDesign MICROFICHE call number varies
- -----. Historic American buildings survey: California:
measured drawings... [photocopy] Historic American Buildings
Survey (HABS). 4 vols. 1934. Photocopy from the microfilm
copy in the Library of Congress.
- EnvDesign NA730 C2 H49 Reference
- -----. Historic American buildings survey (HABS). California [microfiche]. Teaneck, NJ: Somerset House, 1980.
Photographs and written historical and descriptive data.
- EnvDesign MICROFICHE.5224
American building survey/Historic American engineering record - HABS/HAER(U.S.
Library of Congress, American Memory) Contains searchable digitized
images from the HABS/HAER collections.
Indexes to HABS/HAER
- America preserved: a checklist of historic
buildings, structures, and sites recorded by the Historic American Buildings
Survey/Historic American Engineering Record. 60th anniversary ed. Washington,
D.C: Library of Congress, Cataloging Distribution Service, 1995. Indicates
types of illustration and documentation included in records for historic
buildings, neighborhoods, and sites, e.g., photogrammetric images, measured
- EnvDesign E159 A37 1995 Reference
- HAER checklist: 1969-1985. By state and county, a list of images in the
Historic American Engineering Record collection, including factories, bridges,
and other "non-building" structures.
- EnvDesign E159 H1361 1985 Reference
- California architecture: historic American
buildings survey (HABS), by Sally B. Woodbridge. San Francisco:
Chronicle Books, 1988. Includes a "Catalogue of buildings included
in the Historic American Buildings Survey of California," pp.105-269.
- EnvDesign NA730 C2W65 1988 Reference
Design Archives (UC Berkeley, College of Environmental Design) The
collections include the work of most of the San Francisco Bay Region’s
historically significant architects and landscape architects, represented
by drawings, plans, specifications, photographs, audio-tapes, personal
papers, etc. Access is by appointment only.
- List of collectionshttp://www.ced.berkeley.edu/cedarchives/listcoll.html
finding aids: Finding aids describe the contents of archival collections; online finding
aids are frequently enhanced with selected digitized images from those collections. The Online Archive
of California offers a convenient list of the Environmental
Design Archives' finding aids.
to current urban documents - UCB OnlyNY:
Greenwood Pr. The key national resource for local government publications
of the U.S. Online edition contains citations to and the full
text (PDF format) of local government publications from approximately
500 cities and counties in the U.S. and Canada. The Index
is a good source of locally generated socioeconomic statistics, public
health and social service planning, and business and physical infrastructure
- Online ed.: 2000-- ; available from The Library's home page→ Find Information→ Articles.
- Print ed.: 1972-- ; EnvDesign JS13 A12M85 Index; Index & full text documents on microfiche
in Institute of Governmental Studies Library
- SPIRO (UC Berkeley, College of Environmental Design, Architecture Visual Resources Center). The visual
online public access catalog to approximately 16% of the Architecture Slide
Library's collection of over 200,000 35mm slides. The collection
is available to UCB faculty and graduate students.
Local Guides & Sources
Here is a sample of available web sites and print materials that will help you find information about specific places in California. Check the library catalogs for the availability of additional print resources.
- San Francisco architecture: the illustrated guide to over
1,000 of the best buildings, parks and public artworks in the Bay Area,
by Sally B. Woodbridge and John M. Woodbridge. San Francisco: Chronicle
- EnvDesign NA735 S35 W64 1992 Reference Desk
Francisco Bay Area architects & architecture: resources (UC
Berkeley, Library) Bibliographic research guide to the built
environment of the San Francisco Bay Area.
- Berkeley neighborhoods, 1950. Berkeley: Berkeley City Planning Commission, 1950. Includes maps.
- EnvDesign NA9127 B4 A25 Reference Desk & circulating
- The Jack London District Association
- Neighborhood profiles [Oakland]. Oakland: Oakland Citizens Committee for Urban Renewal (OCCUR). Includes profiles of selected Oakland neighborhoods: Central East Oakland, Chinatown, Elmhurst, Fruitvale, North Oakland, Oakland Hills [1998 only], San Antonio, and West Oakland. Each brief profile includes a land use map, district characteristics, community concerns, a neighborhood history, etc.
- EnvDesign HN80 O2 N4 1988 & 1998 Reference Desk
- Oakland district handbook, by Nancy Curns. [San Francisco?]: Coro Foundation, 1984.
- EnvDesign JS1248 C8 1984a Reference Desk
- Profiles of community planning areas: San Francisco's eastern neighborhoods, by San Francisco Planning Dept. San Francisco, CA: The Dept., 2002.
- EnvDesign HT168 S4 S28 2002 Reference Desk
- San Francisco neighborhood profiles. [San Francisco]: San Francisco Planning Dept., 1997.
- EnvDesign HA730 S4 S3 1997 Reference Desk
Historical Societies & Museums
Local libraries and historical societies are often excellent sources of community-level information and images.
agencies (American Association for State and Local History)
Directory of web links to state historical agencies and societies, many
of which provide links to local historical societies.
cultural directory (California State Historical
Society) Includes links to California historical agencies.
- Bay Area historical societies (selected list):
Local & UC Berkeley Campus Libraries
- Libraries on the web: USA public libraries http://www.lib-web.org/Public_main.html
public library directory (PDF) (Calif. State Library) http://www.library.ca.gov/lds/docs/CaliforniaPublicLibraryDirectory.pdf
- Bay Area community libraries (selected list):
- University of California, Berkeley Libraries (selected list):
230 Kroeber Hall
- Anthropology and ethnography collections http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/ANTH/
- The Bancroft
Western Americana non-circulating collections; primary source material, including images
S352 Haas School of Business
- Includes real estate materials http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/BUSI/
Doe Reference Center
2nd Floor, Doe Library - Reference service for state, federal, & international
governmental publications http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/doemoff/reference.html
- Earth Sciences
& Map Library
50 McCone Hall
- Includes maps, atlases, aerial photos, plat maps, etc.
- Environmental Design Library 210 Wurster Hall - City planning, urban design, environmental planning,
architecture, and landscape architecture http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/ENVI/
- Ethnic Studies Library
30 Stephens Hall
- Asian American, Chicano, Native American studies, and
comparative ethnic studies collections http://eslibrary.berkeley.edu/
of Governmental Studies Library
109 Moses Hall
- American public policy non-circulating collections,
with an emphasis on California & the SF Bay Area http://www.igs.berkeley.edu/library/
- Public Health
1 University Hall
- Supports the School of Public Health http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/PUBL/
- Social Welfare
227 Haviland Hall
- Supports the School of Social Welfare http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/SOCW/