HIST 101: Early America, before 1877

Questions? That's my job.

  • Lynn Jones

  •  

  • Office Hours: by appointment
  • Office Location: 212 Doe Library
  • Contact Info:

    510 768-7643

About this Guide

A guide to historical research on US topics before 1877.

Off-campus Access to Library Resources

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Interlibrary Borrowing

As a Berkeley student you are eligible to use books and articles from other libraries around the United States. 

Check OskiCat  to make sure UC Berkeley does not own the material you want.

Provide a full and accurate bibliographic citation, including author, title, place and date of publication, and series.  You can get citations from professors, from Melvyl, from other articles, from Google scholar.  Verify your citations before submitting them for ILL.

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You can also view/download a PDF map of library locations. For library contact information and building addresses, visit our directory.

Is it a scholarly source?

Your instructor wants you to use scholarly [or 'peer reviewed'] sources.  What does she mean?

Scholarship is always changing. Try to find the most recent scholarly sources you can.

 

Read more

This guide has been archived

Please note: this course guide was created during a previous semester, and is no longer being actively maintained. For a list of current course guides, please see http://lib.berkeley.edu/alacarte/course-guides.

Finding Primary Sources overview

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

Finding Newspapers

Newspapers are among the best sources for historians.  How do you find out which ones Berkeley has?

What about other local libraries-- what newspapers do they have?

Newspaper Databases:

 

Newspapers on Microfilm

Because of their fragility as they age, newspapers have traditionally been preserved by microfilming them.

Microfilm must be read on microfilm reader/printers.  The Newspaper and Microfilm Room in 40 Doe Library has them.  So does Bancroft Library. Newspaper films are arranged geographically within the News|Micro collection [floorplan.pdf]

Reader/printers allow you to read the films and those in News|Micro allow you to save pages to flash drives in .jpg and .pdf format.

Most newspapers do not have indexes.  How do you find articles by subject? By knowing the approximate date of the event you are studying.  If you don't know the date, you can use the index to a different newspaper as a way to find out.

Newspaper indexes you might want to use:

There are others.  Ask the Newspaper Microfilm staff for help.

Pre-1877 US publications

Early American Imprints is a major digital collection of American publications, 1639-1800.  You can search by subject words, or browse by genre, subject, author, place of publication, or language.

American State Papers A collection of more than 6,000 government publications including congressional and Executive Department materials. These papers cover the following broad subject areas: foreign relations, Indian affairs, commerce and navigation, military and naval affairs, the post-office department, and more.

American Periodical Series Online Contains digitized images of more than 1,100 periodicals. Includes special interest and general magazines, literary and professional journals, children's and women's magazines and many other historically significant magazines.

Harper's Weekly [aka Harpweek] Full-image reproductions of Harper's Weekly from its beginning in 1857 to 1912. Provides access to information about 19th and early 20th century advertising, illustrations, culture, history, literature, and notable figures.

Historical Annual Reports [of US businesses]

Of course, the library itself is full of pre-1877 US publications that you can find in Oskicat.

Nearby History Collections

How to Avoid Plagiarism

In order to avoid plagiarism, you must give credit when

Recommendations

 

This content is part of the Understanding Plagiarism tutorial created by the Indiana University School of Education.

Citation Management Tools

Citation management tools help you manage your research, collect and cite sources, and create bibliographies in a variety of citation styles.  Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, but any are easier than doing it by hand!

  1. Zotero: A free plug-in that works in your browser to keeps copies of pdfs and other research materials you find on the web: permits tagging, notation, full text searching of your library of resources, works with Word, and has a free web backup service.  Formats your bibliography and footnotes in many style sheets.
  2. RefWorks - free for UC Berkeley users. It allows you to create your own database by importing references and using them for footnotes and bibliographies. Use the RefWorks New User Form to sign up.
  3. EndNote: may be purchased from UC Berkeley's Software Central.

It's always good to double check the formatting -- sometimes the software doesn't get it quite right.

Using APA 6th? Purdue has produced this very handy quick guide. The fulltext of APA 6th is not available online, but we do have print copies in the EdPsych Library in reference and short term reserve at BF76.7 P83 2010

Zotero Tips

If you've never used Zotero before, use the QuickStart Guide to get started.

Change your preferences if you want  Zotero to

To use Zotero to find specific articles in our library's databases, set up the Open URL resolver with this link: http://ucelinks.cdlib.org:8888/sfx_local? 

An in-depth discussion of the relative virtues of Endnote and Zotero,

 

Find an Article from a Citation

Here's a citation for an article...how do you find the whole article?

Gaultney, J. F. (2010). The Prevalence of Sleep Disorders in College Students: Impact on Academic Performance. Journal of American College Health, 59(2), 91-97

This citation is for an article by J. F. Gaultney, published in 2010 in the Journal of American College Health, a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal. It's part of volume 59, issue 2 of this journal, and was printed on pages 91-97. There are several ways of determining if the article you're looking for is available at Berkeley, in electronic or printed format:

Option 1: Use Google Scholar to locate a citation for the article, and UC-eLinks to retrieve the full text.

Paste or type the citation into Google and pull down the Google Scholar tool. Here's how:

jing thumbnail

Remember to set up off-campus access if you're off-campus. Here's a brief video that shows what to do if you don't see UC-eLinks in your search results.

Note: Google Scholar does not cover all publishers, and many journals indexed by Google Scholar have partial coverage only (some years/volumes missing). Also, not all articles found through Google Scholar will be available online. If you can't find the full text of your article this way, read on for more options!

Option 2: Look up the journal title in OskiCat or Melvyl.

You can also search for the title of the journal (NOT the article title!) in either OskiCat or Melvyl.  They will tell you:

Click this link for a 45-second demo.

Read more

How to Narrow Your Topic

"I'm writing a paper on World War II." 

Often students start their research with a very general topic, even though they may realize the topic is too large to deal with in a 10-15 page paper.  Faculty and librarians tell them, "You have to narrow this down."  But how do you narrow a topic?

Ask yourself--

You can combine these ideas, "What were the major impacts of WWII on women in France, in the decade after the war?"

More ideas in our brief tutorial on topic selection and narrowing. 

Guide to writing history papers

Ask a Librarian 24/7 Chat

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You can type your question directly into this chat window to chat with a librarian. Your question may be answered by a reference librarian from Berkeley, from another UC campus, or another academic library elsewhere in the US.  We share information about our libraries to make sure you get good answers.

If the librarian can't answer you well enough, your question will be referred to a Berkeley librarian for follow-up.

Have fun chatting!

Research Advisory Service

Research Advisory Service for Cal Undergraduates

Book a 30-minute appointment with a librarian who will help refine and focus research inquiries, identify useful online and print sources, and develop search strategies for humanities and social sciences topics (examples of research topics).

Schedule, view, edit or cancel your appointment online (CalNetID required)

This service is for Cal undergraduates only. Graduate students and faculty should contact the library liaison to their department or program for specialized reference consultations.

What is This? Reading Citations...

Finding a citation in a bibliography (online or in print) is a great way to find more resources on your topic.

However, you have to be able to read the citation in order to find the item in the UCB Library.

The most common citations are for books, articles, and book chapters. Can you tell which citation below is for a book?  For a chapter?  For an article?

Read more

Library Workshop: Research 101

Unsure how to start a paper or research project? Think maybe you could stand to brush up ostudent with laptopn search strategies?

If this sounds familiar, Library Workshop: Research 101 has you covered. This interactive tutorial explores six stages of the research process. You can view it from start to finish, or focus on specific sections as needed:

1: Begin Your Research

Starting strategies, from choosing a topic to finding the right keywords.

2: Knowledge Cycle

The publication timeline, scholarly vs. popular sources, and differences in academic disciplines.

3: Finding Books

Search for books and other items in OskiCat, Cal's local library catalog.

4: Finding Articles

Locate and access articles in library research databases.

5: Make Citations

How to cite your sources correctly.

6: Basic Search

Common techniques for constructing searches that yield useful results.

7: Advanced Search

Specialized search strategies for targeting specific topics.

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