LEGALST 195A/H195A: Legal Studies Honors Thesis

Contact Your Librarian

  • Jill Woolums
  • Office Hours: 9-5
  • Office Location: Education Psychology Social Welfare Library, 2600 Tolman Hall
  • Contact Info:


About this Guide

This guide contains links and resources that will assist in researching and writing a Legal Studies thesis.

Books Social Sciences

Books. Search the UC Libraries' catalogs to find both e-books and books in print at UCB. The Oskicat catalog searches the UC Berkeley collection.  Melvyl searches the UC-wide collections.  UC has purchased several e-book collections that can be searched individually. See UCB's e-book collections for those that are strong in the social sciences, such as APA ebooks, Oxford Scholarship Online, ebrary, and Springer.  Use UC's excellent Interlibray Loan service for anything you can't find.

Find Dissertations

Find Dissertations by searching Dissertations and Theses (Dissertation Abstracts) Full Text, which indexes graduate dissertations from over 1,000 North American, and selected European, graduate schools and universities from 1861 to the present. Dissertations published since 1980 include brief abstracts written by the authors and some feature 24-page excerpts. The database offers full text for most of the dissertations added since 1997 and some full text coverage for older graduate works.Also see Find Dissertations and Theses for other specialized sources.

Dissertations completed at UC Berkeley can be found in OskiCat, using the feature allowing you to limit to dissertations/theses.Older dissertations not available full text may be obtained through Interlibrary Loan or using the "Request" option in Melvyl.

Article Databases

To search legal studies in relation to other subjects, such as psychology, social welfare and poverty, business, art history, music, healthcare, consult the subject –based resources on the Library’s Subjects A-Z webpage.    In addition to Doe Library, there are many subject-specific libraries at Berkeley.  You might want to visit one, such as the Education Psychology Library, Social Welfare Library, Public Health Library, Business Library, Music Library, or East Asian Library to peruse their collections and/or to consult with a Librarian specialist.


Researching the law involves discovering judicial cases, statutes and codes, executive orders, congressional hearings, legislative history, administrative regulations and much more.  Although many resources are available via open access online through government and other portals, the UCB Library has purchased several resources that permit more in-depth and historical research.

Gov Info

Although much government information can be found via open access government portals online (such as, the UCB Library has purchased additonal resouces for more in-depth and historical reseasrch. In addition to the following resources, be sure to check the Library's Government Information webpages as well as the Government Studies Library website.

Data and Statistics

These links will guide you to various sources for statistics and data.  If you are interested in manipulating a dataset on your own, please visit the Doe Library's Data Lab in 189 Doe.


Librarian Contact in Bancroft
Theresa Salazar, Curator of Western Americana

Introduction to Library Research Using Primary Sources

Bancroft Collections of relevance

The Bancroft Library has substantial holdings related to politics and government in California and the American West. These include all genres and formats including manuscript and archival collections, photographs and other pictorial materials, oral histories, sound recordings and videos, selected Government Documents, pamphlets and ephemera, along with books. The Bancroft Library is the largest special collections on the UCB campus, and includes both primary and secondary resources.

The collections include the papers of politicians such as Senators Alan Cranston, Thomas Kuchel, William Knowland, Hiram Johnson; of Representatives such as Meldon Levine, Robert Matsui, Thomas Lantos; of Governors such as Edmund (Pat). Brown, Culbert Olson, George Pardee, as well as many other local and nationally significant politicians.

We also have substantial holdings related to the law, including the papers of Lawyers: Charles Garry Legal Files, National Lawyer’s Guild Records, Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute Collections. There are pictorial materials associated with these collections, including photographs and court room drawings.

The collection also includes the Spanish/Mexican land grant cases for California which were adjudicated after the Mexican American war. These include the maps (or diseños) that were produced as part of the case file.

The Bancroft Library has many collections that relate indirectly to politics and the law including our substantial environmental collections, urban and city planning records, labor related collections, records related to agriculture and other industries in the American West, and many relevant collections. The Bancroft Library also hourse the Japanese American Evacuation and Relocation Papers from WWII and the NAACP (West Coast Region) records, along with many other collections related to ethinic groups in California and the West.

University Archives are also part of The Bancroft Library. These records include the Office of the President for the University of California and the records of The University of California, Berkeley.

The Regional Oral History Office (ROHO) is a part of The Bancroft Library. They have produced oral histories related to many individuals involved in State government as well as oral histories related to prominent individuals involved with legal issues. The oral histories produced by this office can be accessed online through their website:

Finding Resources in The Bancroft Library

Electronic access -- All formats can be searched on the University of California Berkeley Library’s online catalog Oskicat, The catalog description will include information the creator, extent of collection, subjects, any restrictions as to use, collection specific notes, and also will indicate location of material (onsite, NRLF). More extensive groupings of materials, including manuscripts and pictorial material may have detailed finding aids that will provide more detailed information about the contents of the collection. Patrons can order material online, which will be held at the Bancroft for one week at a time, and can be renewed throughout the semester. See:


California – Politics and Government.
Governors – California.
Legislators – California.
United States – Congress – Senate.
United States – Congress – House of Representatives.
Law—Political aspects – California.
Judges – California.
Freedom of speech.
University of California, Berkeley. Students – Political activity.
Academic freedom.
Loyalty Oath – California.
Legal ethics – California.
Obsenity (Law) – United States.
Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945.
Japanese Americans --Civil Rights
Water rights – California.
Suffrage – California.

Finding aids -- Because manuscript and archival collections are unique gatherings of materials, a finding aid in the form of an inventory, box list, or other summary of the intellectual organization of the collection is often available to help a researcher determine the contents of the materials. Finding aids provide an overview of how the collection is organized in order to facilitate access. It often will include a biographical or historical note about the creator, and include a scope and content note about what is in the collection, as well as indicate the size of the collection. Most of these are available in-house, but increasingly they are becoming available on the Internet. Access to the finding aid is essential to understanding the true content of a collection and for determining whether it is likely to satisfy a scholar's research needs.


The OAC, part of the California Digital Library (CDL) is a digital information resource that facilitates and provides access to materials such as manuscripts, photographs, and works of art held in libraries, museums, archives, and other institutions across California. The OAC includes a single, searchable database of "finding aids" to primary sources and to their digital facsimiles which are selectively available. Describing primary sources in detail, finding aids are the guides and inventories to collections held in archives, museums, libraries and historical societies. Access to the finding aid is essential for understanding the content of a collection and for determining whether it is likely to satisfy your research needs. OAC home page: 

CALISPHERE, is a website that allows patrons to search for selected images available on the OAC.

Citation Help

Citation Management.
Three citation management tools widely used at UC Berkeley are RefWorks, Endnote, and Zotero.  Each organizes citations and produces quick and easy bibliographies in many citation styles, including APA 6th..  These tools provide for other common styles also, such as Chicago, MLA or Turabian.  Learn about citation and writing tools on the EDP Library's Citation Management webpage.

RefWorks is free for UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff. From many of UC’s databases, importing citations is seamless and easy.  Create correctly cited bibliographies, footnotes, and in-text citations.  New users can sign up at RefWorks.  Find tutorials and tips for using RefWorks on the EDP Library webpage.

Zotero is a free plug-in that works exclusively with the Firefox browser.  Sign up and view this tool at

EndNote is software that must be purchased.  It’s available from UC Berkeley’s Software Central.  Find tutorals and tips for using EndNote via the Library webpage.

APA Style
APA Style is the most common style used in the Social Sciences. For the full manual, which exists only in print, use the APA Publication Manual 6th edition to be found in the reference collection of Doe Library or the EDP Library.   Consult your instructor to be sure he or she wants APA Style and not another, such as Chicago Style, MLA Style, or Turabian Style.  For more information and tutorials about APA style see the EDP Citation webpage or consult the Doe/Moffitt Guides.

ART Citation Linker

Have a citation? Go directly to the article!  Use Citation Linker.

Get immediate access to journal articles, books and other publications (or request them when they are not available) by entering a title and other citation information.

When a publication is available online: The UC-eLinks window will provide a link to the publisher's web site that should contain the full text of the publication if UC (systemwide or your home campus) subscribes to the electronic version of the publication.

When a publication is not available online: The UC-eLinks window will offer other options such as the ability to check campus library holdings in the Melvyl Catalog (and where you can sometimes find that items ARE available online), or to Request the item via Interlibrary Loan (ILL) if UC (systemwide or your home campus) does not subscribe to the electronic version of the publication.

Citation How To

"Ethics, copyright laws, and courtesy to readers require authors to identify the sources of direct quotations and of any facts or opinions not generally known or easily checked."--
Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition (Chicago: Chicago Univ. Press), p. 594

Why cite sources?
Whenever you quote or base your ideas on another person's work, you must document the source you used. Even when you do not quote directly from another work, if reading that source contributed to the ideas presented in your paper, you must give the authors proper credit.

Citations allow readers to locate and further explore the sources you consulted, show the depth and scope of your research, and give credit to authors for their ideas. Citations provide evidence for your arguments and add credibility to your work by demonstrating that you have sought out and considered a variety of resources. In written academic work, citing sources is standard practice and shows that you are responding to this person, agreeing with that person, and adding something of your own. Think of documenting your sources as providing a trail for your reader to follow to see the research you performed and discover what led you to your original contribution.

Read more


What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty, violating the Berkeley Campus Code of Student Conduct. The campus issues a guide to understanding plagiarism, which states:

"Plagiarism means using another's work without giving credit. You must put others' words in quotation marks and cite your source(s). Citation must also be given when using others' ideas, even when those ideas are paraphrased into your own words."

Plagiarism is a serious violation of academic and student conduct rules and is punishable with a failing grade and possibly more severe action. For more information, consult the following UC Berkeley websites:

Off Campus Access

You can access UCB Library resources from off campus or via your computer or mobile device using one of two simple methods.

(NOTE: Using EndNote? Use VPN, not the Proxy Server)

Proxy Server
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. See the setup instructions, FAQ, and Troubleshooting pages to configure your browser.

VPN (Virtual Private Network)
After you install and run the VPN "client" software on your computer, you can log in with a CalNet ID to establish a secure connection with the campus network

Ask a Librarian 24/7

linked chat widget image

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.

How Do I Make an Appointment?

Thesis research and writing can very specific and a single library session may not provide you with all the information you need.  You are more than welcome to contact a Librarian to ask a question, set up an appointment, or get more help with anything related to the Library and research. 

To schedule a Research Advisory appointment with one of the Librarians specializing in legal studies, political science, education, psychology or social welfare, click HERE or email Jill Woolums directly.

News Resources

Here are some general news and newsmedia databases.  For a full listing of the Library's news resources, check this list.

Related Guides

Email Guide Owner
Subcribe to RSS RSS Feed
add to bookmark Bookmark This

Go To Full Version