Locating Primary Sources
There are many access points to the vast collections of primary sources available to you.
Certain words and phrases (part of the Library of Congress Subject Headings classification system) will find primary sources in library catalogs. You can use these in OskiCat or Melvyl:
-early works to 1800
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)
Organizations with manuscript collections make their collections accessible with finding aids. The tools below allow you to search the finding aids by topic, helping you identify collections available around the world that may inform your research. The Online Archive of California includes finding aids from historical societies, government agencies, libraries in California, including Bancroft Library, and is your best choice for locating archival collections in California.
Searchable descriptions of nearly a million historical documents, personal papers, and family histories kept in libraries, museums, and archives worldwide.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 over 206,200 collections of primary source material housed in thousands of repositories across the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Primary Source Databases
This list represents resources available from the Library's collection of digital archival collection and primary source databases that may be of interest to those exploring Cold War history. Depending on your topic, you may find other resources on that list more helpful.
AccessUN: The Readex Index to United Nations Documents
Indexes United Nations (UN) documents and publications including Official Records, UN journals, reports, treaties, conferences, draft resolutions, declarations, meeting records, UN Sales Publications, and UN Treaty Series. Contains the full text of several thousand UN documents.
American Memory: Historical Collections for the National Digital Library
Consists of more than 7 million digital items from more than 100 historical Library of Congress collections. The primary source and archival materials relating in the project cover topics from art and architecture to performing arts to technology and applied sciences.
American Presidency Project
Contains all major publications of the U.S. Office of the President, including: Public Papers of the President, Inaugural Addresses, Executive Orders, Signing Statements, and other information such as radio addresses, party platforms, videos of debates, and popularity polling data. This project was developed by two political science professors at UCSB.
California Loyalty Oath Digital Collection
3500 pages of electronic text, more than 30 pictorial images, and 15 audio clips, which document the California Loyalty Oath controversy.
Conditions and Politics in Occupied Western Europe, 1940-1945
Records political life in Occupied Western Europe available to the British Government during World War II from the original intelligence reports received by the British Foreign Office. Indexed by year and section, from the occupied states of Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and the Vatican, and the neutral countries -- Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Includes a day-by-day chronology of the war, photographs and posters from The National Archives and film footage of Special Operations Executive (SOE) agents in France from the Imperial War Museum.
CQ Historic Documents Series
A collection of historic documents covering significant events of the year, going back to 1972. Documents include presidential speeches, international agreements, Supreme Court decisions, US government reports, scientific findings and cultural discussions. Contains more than 32,000 print pages. Part of the CQ Electronic Library collection.
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.
Provides direct access to more than 2 million digital objects, including film material, photos, paintings, sounds, maps, manuscripts, books, newspapers and archival papers. Europeana -- the European digital library, museum and archive -- began in July 2007 and is funded by the European Commission and its member states. This current prototype is one of many parallel projects of The European Library.
Sixties: Primary Documents and Personal Narratives
Documents the key events, trends, and movements in 1960s America. Includes 70,000 pages of letters, diaries, and oral histories; more than 30,000 pages of posters, broadsides, pamphlets, advertisements, and rare audio and video materials. Enhanced by dozens of scholarly document projects, featuring annotated primary-source content that is analyzed and contextualized through interpretive essays by historians.
World Scholar: Latin America and the Caribbean
Include a comprehensive range of contemporary and historical documents for the region, providing research across the humanities, both for current Latin America and the Caribbean and as a historical perspective back through the colonial period.
Data and Statistics
These links will guide you to various sources for statistics and data. If you are interested in manipulating a dataset on your own, please visit the Doe Library's Data Lab in 189 Doe.
Proquest Statistical Datasets
Provides fast and easy one-stop shopping to more than 5.3 billion (and growing) data points from licensed and public domain datasets. Sources of data include local, state and international governments and organizations. Allows for customization of the data by selecting subjects, variable of interest, and the ability to view your data in side-by-side tables, charts and even maps. Also provides quick graphs and chats for statistics in the news.
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
Consortium of 325 institutions working together to acquire and preserve social science data. Maintained at University of Michigan, ICPSR receives, processes, and distributes data on social phenomena in 130 countries. Includes survey data, census records, election returns, economic data, and legislative records.
American Factfinder (U.S. Census Bureau)
Interactive, searchable database used to find population, housing, industry and business statistics from the U.S. Census. Data collected in Census 2000, the 1990 Census of Population and Housing, the American Community Survey and the 1997 Economic Census. Allows uses to compile census data into tables, maps and downloadable files, which can be viewed or printed.
RAND State Statistics
Statistics include: business & economics; population and demographics; education; community; health & socioeconomic; government finance; census; politics & public opinion. Also includes an online index to RAND public policy and research publications.
An independent, non-partisan, media-sponsored public opinion news service. Each year the poll covers a wide range of political and social topics examining California public opinion.
Roper Center for Public Opinion Research
Contains domestic and international survey data. The Center's Public Opinion Location Library (iPOLL) gives online access to a database including poll questions asked in US from 1936 to present.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Presents up-to-date U.S. economic statistical information in areas such as 'Inflation and Spending' and 'International Statistics.' Also available are the latest numbers for the Consumer Price Index, unemployment rate, and the Producer Price. Provides past and current statistics for the U.S. economy as a whole; regional economic data can be obtained by clicking the state on a color-coded map.
California Statistical Abstract
Compilation of data on social, economic, and physical aspects of the State. The contributor for each table is given at the bottom of the table and may be contacted for more details or an explanation of the data.
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.