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Searchable descriptions of nearly a million historical documents, personal papers, and family histories kept in libraries, museums, and archives worldwide.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.
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.
Primary Source Databases
This list represents resources available from the Library's collection of digital archival collection and primary source databases that may be useful to you. Depending on your topic, you may find other resources on that list more helpful.
Foreign Relations of the United States
MAIN (GARDNER) STACKS JX233 .A3
AccessUN: The Readex Index to United Nations Documents
Indexes United Nations (UN) documents and publications including Official Records, UN journals, reports, treaties, conferences, draft resolutions, declarations, meeting records, UN Sales Publications, and UN Treaty Series. Contains the full text of several thousand UN documents.
Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports
Information from thousands of foreign media sources, including political speeches, television and radio broadcasts, newspapers, periodicals, and more, offering an extensive collection of military, political, scientific and technical reports from countries around the world, translated into English. The original mission of the FBIS was to monitor, record, transcribe and translate intercepted radio broadcasts from foreign governments, official news services, and clandestine broadcasts from occupied territories. Coverage is global with the exception of the FBIS Annexes (a supplementary publication created by the U.S. intelligence community to benefit analysts and policy makers from April 1974 through September 1996) and Western European regional broadcasts.
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.
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.
Provides direct access to more than 2 million digital objects, including film material, photos, paintings, sounds, maps, manuscripts, books, newspapers and archival papers. Europeana -- the European digital library, museum and archive -- began in July 2007 and is funded by the European Commission and its member states. This current prototype is one of many parallel projects of The European Library.
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.
Confidential Print: Latin America, 1833-1969
Covers the South and Central America, plus the non-British islands of the Caribbean, from just after the final Spanish withdrawal from mainland America in the 1820s to the Cold War in the 1960s. Covering revolutions, territorial changes and political movements, foreign financial interests, industrial and infrastructural development (including the building of the Panama Canal), wars, slavery, immigration from Europe and relations with indigenous peoples, amongst other topics. The series originated out of a need for the Government to preserve all of the most important papers generated by the Foreign and Colonial Offices. Some of these were one-page letters or telegrams; others were large volumes or texts of treaties. All items marked Confidential Print were printed and circulated immediately to leading officials in the Foreign Office, to the Cabinet and to heads of British missions abroad. Cross search with other Adam Matthews resources (Confidential Print: Africa and Foreign Office Files: China) by going to Archives Direct: Sources from the National Archives, UK.
Confidential Print: Middle East
Covers such events as the Egyptian reforms of Muhammad Ali Pasha in the nineteenth century, the Middle East Conference of 1921, the Mandates for Palestine and Mesopotamia and the Suez Crisis in 1956, to the partition of Palestine, post-Suez Western foreign policy and the Arab-Israeli conflict. This collection originated out of a need to preserve the most important papers generated by the Foreign and Colonial Offices. These documents range from single-page letters or telegrams to comprehensive dispatches, investigative reports and texts of treaties. All items marked "Confidential Print" were printed and circulated immediately to leading officials in the Foreign Office, to the Cabinet, and to heads of British missions abroad. These historical documents inform the volatile situation in the region today. Cross search with other Adam Matthews resources (Confidential Print: Africa and Foreign Office Files: China) by going to Archives Direct: Sources from the National Archives, UK.)