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About this Guide
Searching Library Catalogs
Use OskiCat to locate materials related to your topic, including books, government publications, and audio and video recordings, in the libraries of UC Berkeley. OskiCat will show you the location and availability of the items that we own.
Use Melvyl to locate materials related to your topic located at other campuses in the UC system, or worldwide. You can use the Request button to request an item from another library, if we don't own it.
Using Melvyl (but not OskiCat) you can find articles as well as books, easily format a citation for copying into a bibliography, and see images of book covers, when available. Melvyl will also show you the location and availablity of items that we own.
-correspondence -sources -diaries -personal narratives -interviews -speeches -documents -archives -early works to 1800 -newspapers
history victorian britain sources women 19th century personal narratives
U.S. History Microfilm Collections
The UC Berkeley Libraries has extensive microform (microfilm and microfiche) collections, containing valuable information for researchers. This list represents a small fraction of our collection.
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.
Part 1: Papers of Thomas Clarkson, William Lloyd Garrison, Zachary Macaulay, Harriet Martineau, Harriet Beecher Stowe & William Wilberforce from the Huntington Library; Part 4: The Granville Sharp Papers from Gloucestershire Record Office.
500 published and unpublished works by and about women in the Western United States during the 18th and 19th centuries, including diaries, autobiographies, biographies, personal histories, transcripts of oral interviews, and pioneer histories.
From the Smith Collection at Smith College, the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College, and other collections. Monographs and primary sources devoted to the history of women involved in medicine and science.
Research collections in American immigration. Series A: Subject Correspondence Files Part I: Asian Immigration and Exclusion, 1906-1913. Supplement to Part 1: Asian Immigration and Exclusion, 1898-1941. Part II: Mexican Immigration 1906-1930. Part III: Ellis Island, 1900-1933. Part IV: European Investigations, 1898-1936. Part V: Prostitution & "White Slavery," 1902-1933.
Part I: From the Archives of Tuskegee University collection: Annual Conference Proceedings and Organizational Records 1900-1919. Part II: From the Papers of Booker T. Washington papers at Library of Congress Correspondence and business records 1900-23.
From the holdings of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division: The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations. Ku Klux Klan Research File & General Research File
Over 350 periodicals from US and European libraries. Among the journals included are The Birth Control Review, Independent Suffragette, The Mother's Companion, Temperance Education Quarterly, and The War Worker.
The Bancroft Library
The Bancroft Library is one of the treasures of the campus, and one of the world's great libraries for the history of theAmerican West.
Some Bancroft materials are available online via Calisphere, which includes primary sources from many California libraries and museums.
Before you go:
1. Be prepared! Read secondary sources and know something about your topic.
2. Search OskiCat so you can bring call numbers with you. Use the Entire Collection pull-down menu in OskiCat to limit your search to the Bancroft Library only. (Remember that there are primary sources in many other campus libraries as well.)
If the item you want is in storage (the location is NRLF) and it's owned by The Bancroft Library, do not use the Request button in OskiCat. Instead, use the Bancroft's online request format least 72 hours in advance (they prefer a week.)
If you have 72 hours in advance, you can also use the online request form for Bancroft materials that are not in storage; that will speed things up when you arrive.
If the OskiCat record mentions a finding aid (an index) to a manuscript collection, you should use it to help you find what you need in the collection. If the finding aid is online, there will be a link from the OskiCat record. The finding aids that are not online are near the Registration Desk at the Bancroft Library.
3. Learn about the Bancroft's policies: read about Access (bring a quarter for lockers) and Registration (bring two pieces of ID). You may want to read about the new camera policy ($10/day, no flash) or about getting photocopies.
During your visit:
Store your belongings in the lockers provided, located on the right-hand side of the east entrance. Pass the security guard station and proceed up one level by stairs or elevator to the Reading Room and Seminar Rooms (3rd floor).
Check in at the Registration Desk, located on the left-hand side of the entrance to the Reference Center.
Go to the Circulation Desk, where you will fill out a form for the items you need. The items will be paged and brought to you. (Remember to bring call numbers, titles, etc. with you!)
For research-related questions, ask for assistance at the Reference Desk.
How to Get to the Bancroft Library
The Bancroft is open from 10am to 5pm Monday-Friday (closed on weekends and holidays; shorter hours during Intersession). Paging ends 30 minutes before closing; this means that if you want to use Bancroft materials until 5pm, you need to arrive and request your materials at the circulation desk before 4:30pm.
Want to find scanned articles from major U.S. newspapers, going 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.
Ad*Access Project Images and information for over 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955. Ad*Access concentrates on five main subject areas: Radio, Television, Transportation, Beauty and Hygiene, and World War II, providing a view of a number of major campaigns and companies through images preserved in one particular advertising collection available at Duke University.
DDRS (Declassified Documents Reference System) Over 75,000 documents and almost 500,000 pages of materials declassified via the Freedom of Information Act and regular declassification requests, making broad-based and highly targeted investigation of government documents possible. Nearly every major foreign and domestic event of these years is covered.
Digital National Security Archive (DNSA) Indexes over 35,000 declassified documents spanning fifty years of US national security policy. Also includes a chronology, glossary of names, events, special terms, and a bibliography for each collection developed around a specific event, controversy, or policy decision.
Rock and Roll, Counterculture, Peace and Protest A collection of original archival material from libraries in Britain and America covering issues such as youth culture, student protest movements, civil rights, women's rights, the Vietnam War, nuclear disarmament and popular culture in Britain and America from 1950 to 1975.
Voting America: United States Politics, 1840-2008 Provides cinematic and interactive maps, and analysis, of the Presidential elections in the US from 1840-2004. Focuses on election data to the county level (rather than state). Allows users to compare elections as well as recognize the significance of individual elections by geographic region, political party, voter turnout, voter demographics, and more.
America History & Life
Enter terms related to your topic in the search boxes. If you want to specify where in the record your term(s) should be searched, you can select a search field from the optional Select a Field drop-down list. Select a Boolean operator (AND, OR, NOT) to combine search boxes. AND is the default.
Boolean/Phrase searching is the default type of search and is recommended.
Choosing the option “linked full text” will only retrieve results that include links to the full text that reside within this database. This is NOT RECOMMENDED, since it doesn’t include the links to full text we provide through UC e-Links and will greatly limit the number of results you retrieve.
Some scholarly materials are not peer reviewed so unless you are limiting your search to articles, you might avoid checking this box.
This database lists content published since 1964, but you are able to limit your results to works published during certain years.
A unique feature of this database is that it also allows you to limit your search results to works about a particular period of time.
In addition to articles published in journals, the database includes listings for books, conference papers, disserations, and other scholarly materials.
You also have the ability to limit your search to a particular type of work, such as book reviews or dissertations.
Much of the content in the database is from English-language publications, but other languages are represented. The language limiter allows you to limit your results to just the languages you can read.
When accommodating variations in spelling, you can use wildcard characters represented by question mark ? or a pound sign #.
Use ? to replace a single character. Example: ne?t to find all citations containing neat, nest or next.
Use # when an alternate spelling may contain an extra character. Example: colo#r to find all citations containing color or colour.
Use the truncation symbol * (asterisk) to look for variant endings of a word. Example: comput* to find the words computer or computing.
Use “quotation marks” to search for an exact phrase.
You can also view a tutorial on Advanced Search in America: History and Life.
America: History and Life Includes bibliographic citations and abstracts on all aspects of U.S. and Canadian history, culture, and current affairs from prehistoric times to the present.
The database provides strong English-language journal coverage balanced by an international perspective on various topics and events. It contains abstracts and citations to journal articles, book/media reviews, and dissertations.
The database includes scholarly literature published since 1964.
General Article Databases
Now that you know the types of articles you need, you can choose a database, also known as a periodical index, to find them. Databases are collections of thousands of articles organized by subject. The Libraries have hundreds of databases covering every academic discipline. Some are multi-disciplinary, covering a broad range of subjects and including popular and scholarly sources, and others are subject-specific, and include scholarly and specialized articles. A complete list is available at Find Articles.
The following multi-disciplinary databases are good places to start your research:
Academic Search Complete A multidisciplinary index to articles in more than 10,900 journals and other publications in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Portuguese; full-text is available for over 5300 journals.
Google Scholar Lists journal articles, books, preprints, and technical reports in many subject areas (though more specialized article databases may cover any given field more completely). Some listings include links to related articles and to other sources that cite the item. Includes content from free resources (such as ArXiv.org and university websites) as well as subscription resources (such as electronic journals from selected publishers). Use the UC-eLinks option, when available, to find the UCB access to a publication.
JSTOR Includes over 1000 scholarly journals with access to more than 2 million articles. JSTOR is an archive which means that current issues (generally the most recent 3-5 years) of the journals are not yet available.
Alternative Press Index Includes more than 450 alternative, radical, and left magazines, newsletters, and journals in North America which report and analyze issues of cultural, economic, political, and social change. Approximately 90% of publications included are not indexed elsewhere. Indexes editorials, regular columns, essays, fiction; speeches, interviews, statistics, reprints; bibliographies, biographies, obituaries, memoirs; and reviews. Interfaces available for French, Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese. Alternative Press Index Archive provides coverage of materials from 1969 to 1990.
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).
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.
Scheduling a consultation
Some reference questions can't be easily answered over e-mail and I am happy to talk with you in person or over the phone if your question is more complex or if you'd like a more in-depth consultation. Trying to schedule appointments via email is time-consuming. Here are some alternatives:
1. Call me at 510-768-7059
2. Go to my bCal calendar and in the upper right corner choose the WEEK view. Locate a free slot between 9-5, Mon-Fri that works with your schedule. You can propose an appointment in bCal or contact me by email asking me to reserve that slot for you.
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.
If the librarian can't answer you well enough, your question will be referred to a Berkeley librarian for follow-up.
Have fun chatting!
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.
Printing and Scanning in the Libraries
All libraries on campus are equipped with "bookscan stations," which allow you to scan documents and save them to a USB drive, or to scan documents and then send them to a printer.
In order to scan documents, you must have the following:
A Cal 1 Card, with money loaded onto it (go here to make a deposit to your Cal 1 Card account). This is not the same as meal plan points! Your Cal 1 Card debit account is a separate fund on your card.
A USB drive (you cannot email a scanned document from a bookscan station; you must save your document to a USB drive)
Scanning and saving to a USB drive is 5 cents a page for students.
Scanning documents and sending them to the printer is 10 cents a page for students. Color printing is 60 cents a page.
In order to send documents to the printer from any of the public computers in the libraries, you must have the following:
A Cal 1 Card, with money loaded onto it (see above)
A document that's on the Web or attached to your email (the public computers in the libraries will not open files from a USB or other drive)
Printing is 10 cents a page for students(black and white). Color printing is 60 cents a page.
The UC Berkeley History Collection News blog will keep you informed of new digital collections, trials of resources, workshops, events related to History collections, and other news of interest to researchers in History. Options for accessing the blog include: