The library has created a guide to searching for primary sources in Oskicat, including the best search terms you can use.
This is a list of a few of the many primary source databases in US History, in addition to Oskicat. more
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).
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
Includes Associated Press's current-year photo report and a selection from a 50-million image print and negative library dating from 1844-present. Currently contains about 700,000 photos, most of which are contemporary images made since late 1995.
Readers' Guide Retrospective
Covers more than 500 leading American magazines and journals from 1890 to 1982.
Nation Digital Archive
Full text access to The Nation, a weekly news magazine covering U.S. politics and society since 1865.
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.
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.
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.
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.