Manuscript & Archives -- Definitions
LIBRARY RESEARCH USING PRIMARY SOURCES
Primary sources were either created during the time period being studied or were created at a later date by a participant in the events being studied. The University Library has a guide which describes the range of materials that can be considered Primary Resoures.
Archives: The records of any corporate body, government agency, or group as well as records produced by an individual working for such an organization, created or accumulated in the course of daily activities, and saved by the creator because they are useful for continuing administration and activities of the organization and may be useful for later research, as they provide a vital historical record of the organization. (Examples of such records are: Calif. Dept. of Industrial Relations, Division of Immigration and Housing Records, Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Records)
Historical and literary manuscripts: The papers of an individual, family, or a subject collection. Like archives, manuscript collections reflect the daily activities of the individuals represented in the collection. These materials are also collected by repositories because of their potential research value in reflecting the wide range of cultural, social, and political activities. (Examples of such records are: A. L. (Alfred Louis) Kroeber Papers, Carey McWilliams Papers, Vallejo Family Papers)
Archive and manuscript materials consists of a wide variety of forms, many requiring special conditions of use. They typically comprise correspondence, diaries, case files, business records, memoranda, circulars and other unpublished textual records. They may also, however, contain documents published in the course of organizational activities, such as reports, directories, posters, or advertisements. Modern archives also include photographs, films, sound recordings, microfilm, and increasingly electronic records. (The Bancroft Library processes and catalogs the different formats as separate groupings of materials – e.g. manuscript material is separated from pictorial materials.)
Pictorial Materials: Consists of photographs, paintings, prints, drawings, postcards, posters, etc. that provide visual documentation of a subject.
Oral Histories: The Regional Oral History Office is part of The Bancroft Library, and has many of their oral histories available on line: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/ROHO/collections/subjectarea/index.html