Researching Local Topics
Researching local topics may require you to go beyond the resources of the Doe and Moffitt Libraries and even beyond the resources that are available through the Library's web site. Important collections of local resources are available in libraries across campus, especially in the Environmental Design Library, the Bancroft Library, the Ethnic Studies Library and the Institute of Governmental Studies Library. There is a very extensive guide on Finding Local Information at http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/ENVI/locinfoAC.html.
Researchers looking for information on local topics often start with newspapers. The selection of newspaper databases listed below cover more recent news. Newspapers not included in these databases may be available in microfilm and located in News & Washington local newspapers. Most are available on microfilm and are housed in the Newspapers & Microfilm collection on the lower level of Doe Library. Others in print or on microfilm may be located in the Bancroft Library or in the Institute of Governmental Studies Library.
To determine whether we own a specific newspaper and its location, search OskiCat for the title of the newspaper (example: Chicago Defender).
If you don't know the title of the newspaper, another option is to search OskiCat for newspapers by subject or by city. Go to the Advanced Keyword Search page in OskiCat and choose "Subject" from the first drop down menu. Then fill in the blank search box with keywords for your topic. Some examples might be:
african americans los angeles newspapers
chinese american newspapers san francisco
Articles related to your topic may also have appeared in magazines or scholarly journals. One place to start searching is in the interdisciplinary databases listed below. If those aren't sufficient, you can locate many other databases by title, discipline or type from our Electronic Resources page. Use the search feature to find what resources we have related to California.
The Bancroft Library
The Bancroft Library is one of the treasures of the campus, and one of the world's great libraries for the history of theAmerican West.
Some Bancroft materials are available online via Calisphere, which includes primary sources from many California libraries and museums.
Before you go:
1. Be prepared! Read secondary sources and know something about your topic.
2. Search OskiCat so you can bring call numbers with you. Use the Entire Collection pull-down menu in OskiCat to limit your search to the Bancroft Library only. (Remember that there are primary sources in many other campus libraries as well.)
- If the item you want is in storage (the location is NRLF) and it's 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 Bancroft materials that are 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. The finding aids that are not online are near the Registration Desk at the Bancroft Library.
3. Learn about the Bancroft's policies: read about Access (bring a quarter for lockers) and Registration (bring two pieces of ID). You may want to read about the new camera policy ($10/day, no flash) or about getting photocopies.
During your visit:
- Store your belongings in the lockers provided, located on the right-hand side of the east entrance. Pass the security guard station and proceed up one level by stairs or elevator to the Reading Room and Seminar Rooms (3rd floor).
- Check in at the Registration Desk, located on the left-hand side of the entrance to the Reference Center.
- Go to the Circulation Desk, where you will fill out a form for the items you need. The items will be paged and brought to you. (Remember to bring call numbers, titles, etc. with you!)
- For research-related questions, ask for assistance at the Reference Desk.
How to Get to the Bancroft Library
The Bancroft is open from 10am to 5pm Monday-Friday (closed on weekends and holidays; shorter hours during Intersession). Paging ends 30 minutes before closing; this means that if you want to use Bancroft materials until 5pm, you need to arrive and request your materials at the circulation desk before 4:30pm.
The Bancroft Library is on the second floor of Doe, on the east side (the side closest to the Campanile). See a floor plan of Doe Library 2nd floor (pdf).
Printing and Scanning in the Libraries
All libraries on campus are equipped with "bookscan stations," which allow you to scan documents and save them to a USB drive, or to scan documents and then send them to a printer.
In order to scan documents, you must have the following:
- A Cal 1 Card, with money loaded onto it (go here to make a deposit to your Cal 1 Card account). This is not the same as meal plan points! Your Cal 1 Card debit account is a separate fund on your card.
- A USB drive (you cannot email a scanned document from a bookscan station; you must save your document to a USB drive)
- Scanning and saving to a USB drive is 5 cents a page for students.
- Scanning documents and sending them to the printer is 10 cents a page for students. Color printing is 60 cents a page.
In order to send documents to the printer from any of the public computers in the libraries, you must have the following:
- A Cal 1 Card, with money loaded onto it (see above)
- A document that's on the Web or attached to your email (the public computers in the libraries will not open files from a USB or other drive)
- Printing is 10 cents a page for students (black and white). Color printing is 60 cents a page.
Have more questions? There's more info here.