Primary Sources Online - Overview
The texts of primary sources are available online in two different ways:
- freely available on the Internet (example: American Memory from the Library of Congress, or The David Rumsey Map Collection). It is important to carefully consider how you find and evaluate primary sources on the Internet.
- available via library databases (example: Gerritsen Collection of Women's History Online) that may be used from any computer with access to the campus network. Off-campus access is limited to UCB faculty, staff and students; see Connecting from Off Campus for instructions for using the proxy server.
Comprehensive list of library databases of primary sources in US History
Comprehensive list of library databases of primary sources worldwide.
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.
Search this database by the historical event you are interested in. There are many oral histories of the Holocaust.
In the First Person
Indexes more than 2,500 collections of oral history from around the world. Coverage spans from the Protestant Reformation to the 2003 war in Iraq.
Times Digital Archive
Times Digital Archive
Full text of The London Times 1785 to 1985
Searching OskiCat for Primary Sources
Certain words and phrases [part of the Library of Congress Subject Headings thesaurus] will find primary sources in library catalogs. Note them down; they are your friends:
-early works to 1800
puerto rican* interviews
african american soldiers personal narratives
irish american* newspapers