HIST 7B : Harper's Weekly - McEachern

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About this Guide

A course guide for History 7B students who are using the digitized version of Harper's Weekly as their 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This guide has been archived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.

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?"

Library logo

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.

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.

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.

The Research Process

Choose a topic.  It's OK if it's vague, or too broad; you can get more specific later.

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 (online or in print) or other secondary sources.  Wikipedia can be good here.

Select the best search tools to find information on your topicLook under the Finding Articles tab of this guide for article database suggestions, or click here to see all the article databases available for your subject.  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. 

For more ideas, take a look this short tutorial on beginning your research!

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.

OskiCat and Melvyl

To find booksoskicat banner, DVDs, maps, sound recordings, manuscripts, and much more - everything except articles - use a library catalog. At Cal, we have two catalogs: OskiCat and Melvyl.

What's the difference?  More details here.

For each item you find in OskiCat or Melvyl, make sure you know which campus library it's located in, what its call number is, and whether or not it's checked out, library use only, etc.

Call numbers are on the spine of the book; learn how to read them so you can find what you need on the shelves.

Finding Magazine and Journal Articles

The Cal libraries have access to thousands of scholarly journals and hundreds of popular pictures of journalsmagazines, both electronically in and in printed format.

Not sure of the difference between a scholarly journal and a popular magazine? Journals contain articles written by experts (university professors, professional researchers) for other experts in the same field of study. Journal articles are usually very specialized and can be more difficult to read, if you are not already knowledgeable in the subject area. Magazines contain articles written by journalists or freelance writers, intended for the general public. Always check with your instructor to see if magazine articles are acceptable to use as sources for your paper!

Some good general resources for electronic magazine and journal articles are Academic Search Complete and JSTOR.

Academic Search Complete contains information about thousands of articles in magazines AND journals; limit your search to Scholarly/Peer Reviewed Journals to see only scholarly journal articles. Click "Linked Full Text"  linked full text or "PDF Full Text"  pdf full text to read the whole article. All subject areas are included in Academic Search Complete.

JSTOR is an interdiscplinary (all subject areas) article database that includes only scholarly articles, from thousands of different scholarly journals.

Historical Newspapers (ProQuest)

Want to find scanned articles from major U.S. newspapers, historical newspapergoing back to the mid-19th century?  You can do this through an easy-to-use online database: ProQuest Historical Newspapers.  This database includes articles from the Chicago Defender (1905-1975), the Chicago Tribune (1849-1987), Los Angeles Times (1881-1987), the New York Times (1851-2007), the San Francisco Chronicle (1865-1922), the Wall Street Journal (1889-1993), and the Washington Post (1877-1994).

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.

History Article Databases

Google Books

Google Books contains millions of scanned books, from libraries and publishers worldwide. You can search the entire text of the books, view previews or "snippets" from books that are still in copyright, and read the full text of out-of-copyright (pre-1923) books.  Want to read the entire text of an in-copyright book?  Use Google Books' Find in a Library link to locate the book in a UC Berkeley library, or search OskiCat to see if UC Berkeley owns the book.

Why use Google Books?

Library catalogs (like OskiCat) don't search inside books; using a library catalog, you can search only information about the book (title, author, Library of Congress subject headings, etc.).  Google Books will let you search inside books, which can be very useful for hard-to-find information.  Try it now:

Google Book Search

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.

Formatting Citations

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.

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!

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

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