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.
Click on the image below to see a larger interactive version of the campus library map.
1. Read an introduction to the campus libraries for undergraduates.
2. Set up your computer for off campus access to library databases.
4. Each library has its own hours and they may change on holidays and between semesters - click on the calendar for each library to view a month at a time.
5. Information about citing your sources and links to guides for frequently used citation styles here.
"It's all free on the Internet, right? Why should I go through the library's website to find sources for my paper?"
The Web is a great source for free, publicly available information. However, the Library pays for thousands of electronic books, journals, and other information resources that are available only to the campus community. Through the Library website, you can access hundreds of different licensed databases containing journal articles, electronic books, maps, images, government and legal information, current and historical newspapers, digitized primary sources, and more.
You access these resources through the Internet, using a browser like Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer -- but these databases are not part of the free, public Web. Resources like Lexis-Nexis, Web of Science, Academic Search Complete, and ARTstor are "invisible" to Google. You will not see results from most library databases in the results of a Google search.
Before digital storage became easy and cheap, microfilm was a way for libraries to maintain large collections of newspapers, government documents, and historical documents while saving physical storage space. The UC Berkeley Libraries still have extensive microform (microfilm and microfiche) collections, containing valuable information for researchers.
Since each roll of microfilm contains thousands of tiny images of the original pages of a document, you'll need a microfilm reader to magnify the images enough to read them. The UC Berkeley Newspapers and Microforms Department (40 Doe Library) has machines that read, print, and scan images from microfilm and microfiche.
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.
If the library location in OskiCat says "Newspapers and Microforms" it is referring to the Newspapers and Microforms Collection, 40 Doe Library.
To get there, enter the north entrance of Doe Library (the side facing Memorial Glade and the East Asian Library). Walk straight ahead until you reach the marble stairs; do NOT take the stairs, but instead turn right and go down the hall until you see stairs to the basement. (There is an elevator around the corner). Once you go down the stairs or elevator, the entrance to the Newspapers and Microforms collection should be directly in front of you.
The collection's hours are 10-7 M-Th, 10-5 on Fridays. The collection is not open on weekends, and microfilm cannot be checked out.
There are a limited number of machines -- please plan ahead! Be sure to bring a flash drive so you can save scanned copies of the microfilm to your disk. Scanning is free, but printing from the microfilm reader/printers is 10 cents a page. You MUST use your Cal1 card to pay for printing.
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.
Don't hesitate to ask for help! The News/Micro staff are experts in the use of the machines.
To save to a flash (USB) drive, make sure you have a flash drive before you start! The Library does not sell flash drives.
1. If necessary, turn power on in this sequence:
2. On the reader, the "PC/PR" indicator should be set to "PC". If it is not, simultaneously hold the "PC/PR" and the "Shift" buttons down (for over a second). This action will toggle the reader between connections to the scanner (PC) and to the printer (indicated with a number).
3. Load microfilm/microfiche into the reader as usual. Locate the frame to scan and center it on the outlined frame on the reader screen.Read more
The Library has two sets of COINTELPRO collection microfilm. The first set is the more complete one; it includes 30 reels, on such topics as White hate groups, Black nationalist groups, the Socialist Workers Party, and the New Left. This collection is shelved in the Newspapers/Microforms room as MICROFILM.18097.JK (there is a special system of numbering for microfilm in the UCB Library). This collection does NOT have an index, but all the reels are labeled with the topics included on that roll. There is a partial index available on the Internet.
Here is a breakdown of the topics in this collection:
The second set of COINTELPRO documents is limited only to the documents concerning Black nationalist groups; it contains 8 reels. This collection is numbered separately, MICROFILM 78807. As far as library staff knows, this material duplicates the Black nationalist material included in the more complete collection, but there is an advantage to using it -- there is a printed index to the contents of the rolls. The index is shelved in the Newpapers/Microforms room (MICROFILM 78807 NEWS).
To find the location of the microfilm, or the location of the printed guide, ask a News/Micro staff member or consult this floorplan [PDF].
Want to find articles from major newspapers from the World War II time period? You can do this through an easy-to-use online database: ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Search for keywords (like Richmond or women war workers) and limit your search by time period.
Trying to use Historical Newspapers from off-campus? Be sure to set up off-campus access. Use of this resource is restricted to UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff.
Citation management tools help you manage your research, collect and cite sources, organize and store your PDFs, and create bibliographies in a variety of citation styles. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, but all are easier than doing it by hand!
Tip: After creating a bibliography with a citation management tool, it's always good to double check the formatting; sometimes the software doesn't get it quite right.
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.
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.
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!
"There are no dumb questions!"
That's the philosophy of reference librarians, who are here to save you time and trouble. If you get stuck, you can talk to a reference librarian at any campus library.
Unsure how to start a paper or research project? Think maybe you could stand to brush up on 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:
Starting strategies, from choosing a topic to finding the right keywords.
"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?
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.
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