Primary sources can be found in a variety of library tools:
- Catalogs: OskiCat and Melvyl
- Online book and text collections
- Primary Source databases provided by the Library
includes databases for finding newspaper articles, such as Historical Newspapers (ProQuest) or magazine articles, such as Reader's Guide
- Vetted sites on the web:
Learn more about your topic in advance:
- 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)
Searching OskiCat for Primary Sources
Search OskiCat for primary sources using keywords and adding terms that denote primary sources, such as:
-early works to 1800
Primary Source Databases
For the complete list of primary source databases, follow this path: Library home > Electronic Resources > Electronic resources types A-Z > Archival Collections and Primary Source Databases.
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.
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.
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).
Latin American Newspapers Series 1 (from the World Newspaper Archive)
This growing archive of Latin American newspapers contains more than 150,000 pages of content. New content is being added regularly and will eventually contain more than 1.5 million pages. Included in the collection are: Comercio from Peru; El Dictamen, Mexican Herald and Excelsior from Mexico; Prensa and Razon from Argentina; and more. Part of the World News Archive project from Readex/Newsbank.
Gateway to digitized images from the libraries and museums of 10 University of California campuses and more than 100 cultural heritage organizations in California. Includes more than 150,000 photographs, diaries, documents, oral histories and other resources. Serves as a single point of access for more than 300 UC-created websites and collections.
One stop shopping for U.S. congressional publications. Provides index and abstracts of congressional publications back to 1789, including full text Congressional Hearings from 1824-present, full text Committee Prints from 1830-present, full text Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports from 1916-present, full text United States Congressional Serial Set from 1789-1969, and legislative histories from 1970-present. For more information on how to find hearings, consult the Congressional Tutorials homepage
Searching Article Databases for Primary Sources
Library home > Electronic Resources > Electronic Resources Types A-Z > Archival Collections and Primary Sources > Historical Newspapers (ProQuest)
argentin* (citation and document text)
jorge rafael videla (citation and document text)
from: 1976 to 1983
Library home > Electronic Resources > Electronic Resources Types A-Z > Archival Collections and Primary Sources > Declassified Documents Reference System
issue date: 1976 to 1990
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.
Newspapers and Microforms Collection
If the library location in OskiCat says "Newspapers and Microforms" it is referring to the Newspapers and Microforms Collection, 40 Doe Library.
To get there, enter the north entrance of Doe Library (the side facing Memorial Glade and the East Asian Library). Walk straight ahead until you reach the marble stairs; do NOT take the stairs, but instead turn right and go down the hall until you see stairs to the basement. (There is an elevator around the corner). Once you go down the stairs or elevator, the entrance to the Newspapers and Microforms collection should be directly in front of you.
The collection's hours are 10-7 M-Th, 10-5 on Fridays. The collection is not open on weekends, and microfilm cannot be checked out.
There are a limited number of machines -- please plan ahead! Be sure to bring a flash drive so you can save scanned copies of the microfilm to your disk. Scanning is free, but printing from the microfilm reader/printers is 10 cents a page. You MUST use your Cal1 card to pay for printing.
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.
Don't hesitate to ask for help! The News/Micro staff are experts in the use of the machines.
How to Scan Microfilm
To save to a flash (USB) drive, make sure you have a flash drive before you start! The Library does not sell flash drives.
1. If necessary, turn power on in this sequence:
- Microfilm reader
- PC and monitor
2. On the reader, the "PC/PR" indicator should be set to "PC". If it is not, simultaneously hold the "PC/PR" and the "Shift" buttons down (for over a second). This action will toggle the reader between connections to the scanner (PC) and to the printer (indicated with a number).
3. Load microfilm/microfiche into the reader as usual. Locate the frame to scan and center it on the outlined frame on the reader screen.Read more
The Bancroft Library - Overview
The Bancroft Library is one of the treasures of the campus, and one of the world's great libraries for the history of the American West.
Some Bancroft materials are available online via Calisphere, which includes primary sources from many California libraries and museums.
How to Use the Bancroft Library
1. Be prepared! Read secondary sources and know something about your topic.
2. Before you go: Search OskiCat so you can bring call numbers with you. You can limit your OskiCat search to find materials at the Bancroft Library, instead of all campus libraries (choose "Bancroft Library" from the pulldown menu that says "Entire Collection."). Remember that there are primary sources in many other campus libraries as well.
Important: if the item is in storage ("NRLF") and owned by The Bancroft Library, do not use the Request button in OskiCat. Instead, use the Bancroft's online request form AT 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 materials 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, or you can search the Online Archive of California to find it. The finding aids that are not online are near the Registration desk at the Bancroft Library.
3. Learn how to use the Bancroft Library. Read about Access (bring a quarter for lockers!) and Registration (bring two pieces of ID!). Remember to bring call numbers, titles, etc. with you. You will fill out a form to present to the Circulation Desk, and materials will be paged and brought to you.
5. Ask for assistance at The Bancroft Library's reference desk.Read more