MEDIAST 140: History of Social Movement Rhetoric

Primary Sources

Primary sources can be found in a variety of library tools:

For specific search strategies, see the Library's Guide to Finding Historical Primary Sources

Learn more about your topic in advance:

  • names of relevant individuals and organizations
  • dates of events
  • places
  • what terminology was used at the time by participants and observers? (ex:  negro or colored instead of african american)

Use the bibliographies of secondary sources and reference sources to find citations to specific primary sources; search OskiCat to locate them on campus, or ask for assistance at the Library.

Primary Source Databases

  • Sixties: Primary Documents and Personal Narratives
    Documents the key events, trends, and movements in 1960s America. Includes 70,000 pages of letters, diaries, and oral histories; more than 30,000 pages of posters, broadsides, pamphlets, advertisements, and rare audio and video materials. Enhanced by dozens of scholarly document projects, featuring annotated primary-source content that is analyzed and contextualized through interpretive essays by historians.
  • Rock and Roll, Counterculture, Peace and Protest
    A collection of original archival material from libraries in Britain and America covering issues such as youth culture, student protest movements, civil rights, women's rights, the Vietnam War, nuclear disarmament and popular culture in Britain and America from 1950 to 1975.
  • Documents from the Women's Liberation Movement
    Online archival collection documenting various aspects of the Women's Liberation Movement in the United States. Focuses specifically on the radical origins of the movement.
  • Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 (WASM)
    Contains 110 document projects and archives with almost 4,200 documents, more than 1,000 images, with more than 2,200 primary authors. Collects and analyzes documents and almost images on the history of women and social movements in the United States between 1600 and 2000. Also includes links to other websites and a dictionary of social movements and organizations.
  • Discovering American Women's History Online
    A gateway of digital collections of primary sources (photos, letters, diaries, artifacts, etc.) that document the history of women in the United States.
  • Readers' Guide Retrospective
    Covers more than 500 leading American magazines and journals from 1890 to 1982.
  • Book Review Digest Retrospective: 1905-1982
    Some 1.5 million reviews of more than 300,000 books. For access to book reviews written since 1983, search Book Review Digest Plus which can be searched separately or simultaneously.
  • Book Review Index
    More than 5 million citations to book reviews from thousands of publications.

Primary Sources on the Internet

A few selected examples of primary sources on the Internet

American Social History Online
Provides access to 175 digitized library collections related to U.S. social history.

Amistad Digital Resource - Civil Rights Era (scroll down to Archives) 

Civil Rights Digital Library

Discovering American Women's History Online

Browse by Time Period

Eyes on the Prize:  Primary Sources

From the web site for the PBS series.

Free Speech Movement Digital Archive

Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement

both from UC Berkeley's Bancroft Library


Searching OskiCat for Primary Sources

Examples of techniques for finding primary sources:

Search OskiCat for primary sources using keywords and adding terms that denote primary sources, such as:

-personal narratives


black panther* newspapers
civil rights movement* personal narratives
malcolm x speeches

Search by individuals or organizations as authors:

(author)  savio, mario
(author)  sncc

Search by keywords and limit by date of publication

feminis* or women's liberation

year of publication:  1960 to 1970  


Searching Article Databases for Primary Sources

Mainstream Historical Newspapers

Library home > Electronic Resources > Electronic Resources Types A-Z > Archival Collections and Primary Source Databases > Historical Newspapers (ProQuest)

advanced (tab)

free speech movement (citation and document text)

date range:  from 10/1/1964 to 12/31/1964

hm, let's keep all those terms together:

"free speech movement" (citation and document text)

date range:  from 10/1/1964 to 12/31/1964

that name wasn't in common use yet!  use terms from the time period

    protest* or sit-in  (citation and document text)
     berkeley  (citation and document text)

date range:  from 10/1/1964 to 12/31/1964  

another possibility:

politic* (citation and document text)
berkeley (citation and document text)
student* (citation and document text)

date range:  from 10/1/1964 to 12/31/1964  

Alternative Press

The Sixties:  Primary Sources and Personal Narratives 1960-1974 

Browse > Browse Historical Events

or, click on Underground Press for specific newspapers

Library home > News Article Databases > Alt Press Watch (1970 - onwards)



Last Update: March 12, 2014 21:03