Primary Source Searching - Names
One of the most powerful ways to find primary sources in the Library is to use the names of people. An essential part of your background reading should be to note down names of people involved in your topics.
Names can be searched in the catalogs [Oskicat and Melvyl] in specialized ways: as authors or as subjects. Even people you do not consider authors in the conventional sense may be listed as authors, if:
- their correspondence is available
- their manuscripts are available
- interviews with them are available
- their diaries are available
- published versions of these are available
When searching for primary sources, it's a good idea always to search those names as authors, as well as keywords. Works where the person is listed as an author will always be primary sources.
Early Modern Europe Databases
These databases include primary sources.
Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)
Contains over 150,000 items published in Great Britain and its colonies, including those in North America, during the 18th Century. The resource is thus a rich source of information about the American and French Revolution, scientific and medical advances, literature, law, religion, industry, and all aspects of life in the 18th century.
Searchable and browseable database offering extensive access to the web of correspondence between the greatest thinkers and writers of the long eighteenth century and their families and friends, bankers and booksellers, patrons and publishers. Coverage includes letters and documents, document sources such as manuscripts and early printed editions, scholarly annotations, and links to biographies, dictionaries, encyclopedias, newspapers, and other online resources.
The Bibliotheque Nationale de France's digital library provides free electronic access to one of the world's largest collections of digitized books, periodicals, documents, manuscripts, images and audio-visual resources. One can browse (Decouverte), search (Recherche), or explore thematic groupings of materials (Dossiers).
Electronic Text Collections in Western European Literature
Lists literary texts freely available on the Internet in Western European languages other than English.
Eighteenth Century Journals
Consists of the full-texts of important and often rare journals and newspapers printed between the late seventeenth and early nineteenth century in Great Britain. The collections cover all aspects of British life including history, science, music, society, literature and theater.
Early English Books Online (EEBO)
Indexes over 125,000 volumes of early works printed in England or in English. These works constitute a significant portion of items included in the English Short Title Catalog. It contains most of the works indexed in Pollard & Redgrave's Short-Title Catalog (1475-1640), Wing's Short-Title Catalog (1641-1700) and the Thomason Tracts (1640-1661) collection.
Finding Primary Sources overview
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
- Vetted sites on the web:
Primary Sources in Oskicat
There are tens of thousands of historical primary sources in Oskicat. To narrow your searching to primary sources, try this.
- Use Advanced Keyword Search
- Pull down the "Subject" limiter in the left side box.
- Enter your main search term. It could be a topical word, like Auschwitz or Holocaust.
- In the next row, again pull down the "Subject" limiter in the left side box. Enter one of these specific 'primary source' search words:
- personal narratives
The results should be a list of primary sources on your topic, each of which is a book in the Berkeley library.