GWS 120: History of American Women

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 for Professor Barnes's class.

Off-campus Access to Library Resources

Before you can access Library resources from off campus make sure you have configured your computer with proxy server settings.

After you make a one-time change in your web browser settings, the proxy server will ask you to log in with a CalNet ID or Library PIN when you click on the link to a licensed resource.

Catalogs

To find books, DVDs, maps, sound recordings, manuscripts, and much more - everything except articles - use a library catalog.

OskiCat = UC Berkeley libraries

MELVYL= all UC campus libraries, including all UC Berkeley libraries

What's the difference?

For each item make sure you know the name of the physical library, call number, and whether or not it's checked out, library use only, etc.

Campus Library Map

Click on the image below to see a larger interactive version of the campus library map.

UC Berkeley Library campus map

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

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.

Library Hours

Hours on: 
Enter as mm/dd/yy 

For: 


To select individual libraries/units, hold down the Ctrl key while clicking.

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

Where's That Book?

PT9876.22.A6933 L8413 2010 

What is this number?

It's called a 'call number', and every book in the library has a unique one, which is printed on the spine of the book.

The call numbers tell you where the book is shelved, if you know how to read them.

call numbers

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.

The Research Process

Choose a topic.  

Do a brain dump: Note down what you already know about your topic, including

Fill in the gaps in your knowlege: get background information from encyclopedias or other secondary sources.  Wikipedia can be good here.

Select the best places/ databases to find information on your topicLook under the History Databases tab of this guide for article database suggestions. Or use a catalog like Oskicat or Melvyl to search for books and other resources.

Use nouns from your brain dump as search terms.

Evaluate what you find.  Change search terms to get closer to what you really want.

Refine Your Topic - Using the information you have gathered, determine if your research topic should be narrower or broader. You may need to search basic resources again using your new, focused topics and keywords. 

Take a look this short tutorial on beginning your research for more ideas.

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. 

Choosing a Discipline

So, how do you know what disciplines you should use?

  1. Look at the department your class is offered by.  That's a pretty obvious clue.
  2. Think about what other disciplines might discuss your topic.  For instance, a paper on Education in Chile could involve both Education and Latin American Studies. 

What do you do with this information?  Search in the article databases dedicated to those disciplines. Here's a list of databases for each discipline, by campus.

 

Read more

Types of History topics

Three kinds of topics   ||  Three research strategies

 

1. The evolution of Stokely Carmichael

          This is a kind of biographical topic, which is pretty easy to get started with because the search term is obvious, but the topic still needs to be narrowed to say something meaningful in a short [10 pp] paper

 

2. RFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis

         This is a political history topic, with a specific event in mind, and a specific individual.  This is an easy kind of topic to start researching because there are two very obvious search terms, and the time frame is self-defined.  However it still needs to be narrowed to say something meaningful in a short paper.

 

3.   Automobiles: Unions, Consumerism, and Social Change (1950s)

          This is a social history topic, not associated with a single person, or a single event. This is a little harder to research because you need to specify what you mean, in order to narrow the topic.  It helps to find the names of specific unions [in this case], and to consider what specific social changes you are interested in.

          You need to think: what kind of primary sources would give evidence of this/these social change/s?  How will you prove there really was an impact on society from this phenomenon?

 

What kind of topic do you have? 

 

Where to search & what words to use 

What kinds of evidence [i.e., primary sources] do you want to find?

 

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:

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.

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.

Primary Resources

The library has created a guide to searching for primary sources in Oskicat, including the best search terms you can use.

This is a list of a few of the many primary source databases in US History, in addition to Oskicat. more

Primary Source Databases

Go to the Library web site for a more extensive list of primary source databases for American History and for the complete list of primary source databases, follow this path:  Library home > Electronic Resources > Electronic resources types A-Z > Archival Collections and Primary Source Databases.

Some examples

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.

Oral Histories- Suffragists

The Bancroft Library's Regional Oral History Office [ROHO] interviewed early suffrage activitists at the ends of their lives.  The full text of some transcripts is available from the ROHO site. suffragists
Of course, these are all considered to be primary sources.

Searching - Examples

 To search, break your topic into components.  Enter one word or phrase (two or more words together) per row of search boxes.  Use as few terms as possible.

Narrowing:  think about places, people or groups, time periods, aspects or events that might help you narrow your topic

(* = truncation/wildcard symbol:  immigra* retrieves immigrant, immigrants, immigration, immigrating...some databases use a different symbol - consult Help screens)

Examples:

Library home > Articles > Article Databases by Subject > H > History > America:  History and Life

california   (select a field - optional)

indian* or native*  (select a field - optional)

statut* or legal or law*  (select a field - optional)

historical period:  year 1840 to 1900

Library home > Articles > General Article Databases > JSTOR

REMEMBER:  JSTOR doesn't include articles from the last 3-5 years!!!

Advanced Search

1.  immigra*

irish

2.  to narrow your search further, add another search term, or try searching for your terms in the titles of the articles:

immigra*   (item title)

irish (item title)

advanced search also allows you to limit to certain years of publication (1980-2010, for example), to specific disciplines (ex:  African American studies) etc.

 

Secondary Sources

Use a database efficiently

Databases allow you to search for articles by subjects, words in the text, authors, and more.  Use the UC e-links  button to find the article in full text or to search Melvyl for the print copy or to request it from another library.

Searching principles:

sample primary source

 

THE JEANETTE RANKIN BRIGADE: WOMAN POWER?

 A lot of energy and a good few months of our early formation period were spent preparing an appropriate action for the Brigade peace march in Washington, D.C., the largest gathering of women for a political purpose since the heydey of Jeanette Rankin (the first woman elected to Congress from Montana in 1919). The brigade was a coalition of women's groups united for a specific purpose: to confront Congress on its opening day, Jan. 15, 1968, with a strong show of female opposition to the Vietnam War.

However, from the beginning we felt that this kind of action, though well-meant was ultimately futile. It is naive to believe that women who are not politically ween, heard, or represented in this country could change the course of a war by simply appealing to the better natures of congressmen. Further, we disagreed with a women's demonstration as a tactic for ending the war, for the Brigade's reason for organizing AS WOMEN. That is, the Brigade was playing upon the traditional female role in the classic manner. They came as wives, mothers and: mourners; that is, tearful and passive reactors to the actions of men rather than organizing as women to change that definition of femininity to something other than a synonym for weakness, political impotence, and tears.

So that we came as a group not of appeal to congress, but to appeal to women not to appeal to congress. Rather we believed that such a massive gathering should be used to devise ways to build up real political strength.

To drive this home, we felt that a dramatic action would be least offensive and most effective. In addition to a speech written and delivered to the main body of the convention on Jan. 15, and reprinted below, we staged an actual funeral procession with a larger-than-life dummy on a transported bier, complete with feminine getup, blank face, blonde curls, and candle. Hanging from the bier were such disposable items as S & H Green Stamps, curlers, garters, and hairspray. Streamers floated off it and we also carried large banners, such as "DON'T CRY: RESIST " Kathy Barrett of the Pageant Players, a New York street theatre group, worked with others on simple but effective costumes for the funeral entourage. We had a special drum corps with kazoo, and a sheet of clever songs written by Beverly Grant and others. regal Dobbins wrote a long funeral dirge lamenting woman's traditional role which encourages men to develop aggression and militarism to prove their masculinity. There were several related pamphlets, including one written by Kathie Amatniek which elaborated on the following Progression:

TRADITIONAL WOMANHOOD IS DEAD.

TRADITIONAL WOMEN WERE BEAUTIFUL...BUT REALLY POWERLESS.

"UPPITY" WOMEN WERE EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL...BUT STILL POWERLESS.

SISTERHOOD IS POWERFUL!

HUMANHOOD THE ULTIMATE!

Finally, by way of a black-bordered invitation we "joyfully" invited many of the 5,000 women there to attend a burial that evening at Arlington "by torchlight" of Traditional Womanhood, "who passed with a sigh to her Great Reward this year of the Lord, 1968, after 3,000 years of bolstering the egos of Warmakers and aiding the cause of war..."

The message inside read:

Don't Bring Flowers...Do be prepared to sacrifice your traditional female roles. You have refused to hanky-wave boys off to war with admonitions to save the American Mom and Apple Pie. You have resisted your roles of supportive girl friends and tearful widows, receivers of regretful telegrams and worthless medals of honor. And now you must resist approaching Congress Flaying these same roles that are synonymous with powerlessness. We must not come as passive suppliants begging for favors, for power cooperates only with power. We must learn to fight the warmongers on their own terms, though they believe us capable only of rolling bandages. Until we have united into a force to be reckoned with, we will be patronized and ridiculed into total political ineffectiveness. So if you are really sincere about ending this war, join us tonight and in the future.

Later, 500 women split off in disgust from the main body of the convention to call a counter congress. Although predictable under the circumstances, nevertheless it was unexpected. We were not really prepared to rechannel this disgust, to provide the direction that was so badly needed. There was chaos. The women were united only in their frustration, some calling for militancy of any kind at that late date, others for more orgnatization for the future. They were all keenly disappointed, and fully aware of their impotence.

It was a great moment. But we lost it. And we learned the value of spontaneity, of quick and appropriate political action, the value of learning to size up a situation and act on it at once, the importance of unrehearsed speaking ability. For I think one good guiding speech at the crisis point which illustrated the real causes underlying the massive discontent and impotence felt in that room then, would have been worth ten dummies and three months of careful and elaborate planning.

The measure of that impotence was the very fact that the number of marchers was, for the first time in years, accurately reported: the march was no threat at all to the Establishment. By the same token general coverage of such a large march was slight or nonexistent, handled by minor reporters who had to work or wring some human interest value or slight sexual titillation from the fact that a few younger women could be spotted at this dull and hennish hotel teaparty.. Bu' where minor reporters failed, Ramparts suceeded. They had to use odd agile photography distorted quotations, and a whole lot of incorrect facts, granted, but suceed they did. (Even Life couldn't have done better, had they been interested in trying.)

Letters of protest poured in from women in radical groups around the country. But Ramparts just chuckled patted the little women on the cheeks published a few (out of context) and went on its more important radical business.

Despite all this discouragement and the small returns on all our labors, the Washington experience was not entirely wasted. We learned alot. We found out where women, even the so called "women radicals" were really at. We confirmed our worst suspicions, that the job ahead, of developing even a minimal consciousness among women will be staggering, but we also confirmed our belief that a real women's movement in this country will come, if only out of the sheer urgent and immediate necessity for one.

Shulamith Firestone


 http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/wlm/notes/#rankin

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

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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.

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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!

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