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Searchable descriptions of nearly a million historical documents, personal papers, and family histories kept in libraries, museums, and archives worldwide.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.