Locating Primary Sources
There are many access points to the vast collections of primary sources available to you.
Certain words and phrases will find primary sources in library catalogs. You can use these in OskiCat or Melvyl:
-early works to 1800
For specific search strategies, see the Library's guide to Finding Historical Primary Sources.
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)
Online Archive of California (OAC)
A searchable and browseable resource that brings together historical materials from a variety of California institutions, including museums, historical societies, and archives. Contains over 120,000 images; 50,000 pages of documents, letters, and oral histories; and 8,000 guides to collections. Images are organized into thematic and institutional collections, such as historical topics, nature, places, and technology.
Searchable descriptions of nearly a million historical documents, personal papers, and family histories kept in libraries, museums, and archives worldwide.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 tens of thousands of collections of primary source material housed in thousands of repositories across the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
One stop shopping for U.S. congressional publications. Provides index and abstracts of congressional publications back to 1789, including full text of published Congressional Hearings from 1824-present (unpublished until 1979), full text Committee Prints from 1830-present, full text Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports from 1916-present, full text United States Congressional Serial Set (and its various former titles) from 1789-present, and legislative histories from 1970-present.
ProQuest Legislative Insight
Provides access to more than 18,000 professionally researched legislative histories of US Law. Histories include the Public Law itself, all versions of related bills, law-specific Congressional Record excerpts, committee hearings, reports and prints, Presidential signing statements, and CRS reports. 1929-present
Provides open access to more than 15 million digital objects, including film material, photos, paintings, sounds, maps, manuscripts, books, newspapers and archival papers from more than 1500 European institutions. Europeana -- the European digital library, museum and archive -- launched in 2008 and is funded by the European Commission and its member states. This current prototype is one of many parallel projects of The European Library.
House of Commons Parliamentary Papers
Provides full-text access to thousands of 18th, 19th and 20th Century Parliamentary Papers. Includes all the "sessional papers" of the British Parliament: bills, reports of committees, papers presented by Royal Commissions and government departments, treaties and international agreements, command papers, and statistics.
Center for Research Libraries Online Catalog
CRL acquires and preserves newspapers, journals, documents, archives, and other traditional and digital resources from a global network of sources. UC Berkeley Library students, faculty, and other researchers have liberal access to these rich source materials through interlibrary loan, electronic delivery, and a growing collection of digitized material.
A more extensive list of online newspaper resources are available from the Library's Electronic Resources Finder. Some of these are only aggregated collections of links to U.S. and international newspapers, not all of them contain searchable, full-text articles.
An extensive collection of newspapers on microfilm is located in the Newspapers & Microforms department in Doe Library. Using OskiCat, you can locate newspapers by title, or if you don't have titles, by doing subject or keyword searches.
SUBJECT SEARCHING: Select "Subject Heading" as the search type and enter your search using one of the structures suggested below:
African American newspapers
KEYWORD SEARCHING: Combine search terms with AND and OR. Use * (truncation symbol) to search for multiple word endings. For example:
newspaper* and (poland or polish)
newspaper* and mexic*
(soviet or russia*) and newspaper*
NOTE: the above Boolean searches will produce results including both newspapers and books about newspapers, unless you limit your search to Newspapers/Microforms.
19th Century U.S. Newspapers
Images of both full pages and clipped articles for hundreds of 19th century U.S. newspapers. For each issue, the newspaper is captured from cover-to-cover, providing access to every article, advertisement and illustration.
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).
This site allows users to search and view newspaper pages from 1880-1922 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. To date, over 200,000 pages of California newspapers have been digitized.
U.S. History Microfilm Collections
The UC Berkeley Libraries has extensive microform (microfilm and microfiche) collections, containing valuable information for researchers. This list represents a small fraction of our collection.
Microfilm and microfiche owned by the UC Berkeley Libraries can be found through OskiCat; use Advanced Keyword Search to limit your search to "All Microforms." In the News/Micro collection, microfilm rolls and microfiche cards are shelved with their own numbering system; click here for a PDF of the collection's floorplan.
- Abolition and Emancipation. Marlborough, Eng.: Adam Matthew Publications, 1996.
Guide: MICROFILM 77764.guide
- Part 1: Papers of Thomas Clarkson, William Lloyd Garrison, Zachary Macaulay, Harriet Martineau, Harriet Beecher Stowe & William Wilberforce from the Huntington Library; Part 4: The Granville Sharp Papers from Gloucestershire Record Office.
- Advice Literature in America. Marlborough, Eng.: Adam Matthew Publications, 2001.
Guide: MICROFILM 78513.guide
- Part I: The Schlesinger Collection of Etiquette and Advice Books;
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.
- American Immigrant Autobiographies: Manuscript Autobiographies from the Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota. Frederick, MD: UPA, c1989.
Guide: MICROFILM 71258 guide
- American Women's Diaries: Southern Women 19th Century .
New Canaan, CT : Readex, [1988-1990].
- American Women's Diaries: Western Women. New Canaan, CT: Readex, .
BANC FILM 1976
Guide: BANC FILM 707
- 500 published and unpublished works by and about women in the Western United States during the 18th and 19th centuries, including diaries, autobiographies, biographies, personal histories, transcripts of oral interviews, and pioneer histories.
- Archives of the Settlement Movement. Woodbridge, CT: Research Publications, 1989-1990.
- Parts I-IV
- History of Science, Health, and Women. Woodbridge, CT: Primary Source, .
Guide: MICROFILM 78378.guide
- From the Smith Collection at Smith College, the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College, and other collections. Monographs and primary sources devoted to the history of women involved in medicine and science.
- Immigrant in America. Woodbridge. CT: Research Publications, 1983-1988.
Guide: MICROFILM 78024.guide
- The collection is based on the holdings of The New York Public Library, Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, Philadelphia, and The Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota.
- Margaret Sanger Papers: The Smith Collection. Bethesda, MD: University Publications of America, c1994.
- Native Americans Reference Collection: Documents Collected by the Office of Indian Affairs. Bethesda, MD: UPA, c1991.
- Part I- 1840-1900
Part II- 1901-1940
- Papers of the NAACP. Frederick, Md: University Publications of America, [c1982].
- Papers of the Association against the Prohibition Amendment and the Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform. Wilmington, Del.: Scholarly
Guide. MICROFILM.77734 guide
- Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs; Central Classified files, 1907-1939. Bethesda, MD: UPA, c1995.
- Series C Part 1 and 2.
- Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Bethesda, MD: University Publications of America, c1992.
- Research collections in American immigration.
Series A: Subject Correspondence Files
Part I: Asian Immigration and Exclusion, 1906-1913.
Supplement to Part 1: Asian Immigration and Exclusion, 1898-1941.
Part II: Mexican Immigration 1906-1930.
Part III: Ellis Island, 1900-1933.
Part IV: European Investigations, 1898-1936.
Part V: Prostitution & "White Slavery," 1902-1933.
- Records of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, 1895-1992. Bethesda, MD: UPA, c1993-c1994.
Guide: MICROFILM.71276. guide
- Part I: Minutes of National Conventions, Publications, and President's office correspondence.
Part II: President's Office Files 1958-1968
- Records of the National Negro Business League. Bethesda, MD: UPA, c1994.
- Part I: From the Archives of Tuskegee University collection: Annual Conference Proceedings and Organizational Records 1900-1919.
Part II: From the Papers of Booker T. Washington papers at Library of Congress Correspondence and business records 1900-23.
- Social and Cultural Construction of Girls. Woodbridge, CT : Primary Source Gale .
Guide: MICROFILM 78379 guide
- From the Smith Collection at Smith College, the Schleinger Library at Radcliff College and other collections.
- Stetson Kennedy Collection, 1916-1950. Schomburg Center collections.
- From the holdings of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division: The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations.
Ku Klux Klan Research File & General Research File
- U.S. Hispanic Heritage: newspapers, literature, personal papers, correspondence. Leiden, The Netherlands: IDC Publishers, .
Guide: MICROFILM 78404.guide
- Voices from Ellis Island. Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, c1987.
Guide: MICROFICHE.24312 guide
- An Oral History of American Immigration: A Project of the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Foundation, 1988.
- Women's Periodicals; 18th Century to the Great Depression. Woodbridge, CT: Research Publications, 1991-1992.
- Over 350 periodicals from US and European libraries. Among the journals included are The Birth Control Review, Independent Suffragette, The Mother's Companion, Temperance Education Quarterly, and The War Worker.