HIST 7B : COINTELPRO Papers - Keo

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About this Guide

A guide for students in Siti Keo's sections of History 7B, focusing on the COINTELPRO papers as a source base.

This guide has been archived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.

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Starting Points

1.  Read an introduction to the campus libraries for undergraduates.Campanile and Golden Gate Bridge

2.  Set up your computer for off campus access to library databases.

3.  Need a map of the campus libraries? Doe and Moffitt floor plans are here.

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.

Beyond the Web

"It's all free on the Internet, right? Why should I go through the library's website to find sources for my paper?"

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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.

Want to find out more? Get started exploring the Library's electronic resources, or find out how to get access to licensed resources from off-campus.

Microfilm & Microfiche

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and cheap, microfilm was a way for libraries to maintain large collections of newspapers, government documents, and historical documents while saving physical storage space.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.

Loading Microfilm: The Movie!


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This short video from the University of Kansas Libraries shows a very similar microfilm reader to the ones owned by UC Berkeley -- but it is not exactly the same. If you have any questions, please ask the staff of the Newspapers and Microforms collection!

How to Scan Microfilm

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 COINTELPRO Collection

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:

Description of this collection in OskiCat

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).

Description of this collection in OskiCat

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].

Historical Newspapers (ProQuest)

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.

historical newspaper

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.

Formatting Citations

Citation Management Tools

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!

  1. Zotero: Free software that keeps copies of what 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. Zotero is available as a stand-alone application that syncs with Chrome and Safari, or as a bookmarklet for mobile browsers.
  2. RefWorks - web-based and free for UC Berkeley users. It allows you to create your own database by importing references and using them for footnotes and bibliographies, then works with Word to help you format references and a bibliography for your paper. Use the RefWorks New User Form to sign up.
  3. EndNote: Desktop software for managing your references and formatting bibliographies. You can purchase EndNote from the Cal Student Store

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

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.

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

Have fun chatting!

All Questions Welcomed!

"There are no dumb questions!" student at reference desk

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

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.

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. 

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