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You can access UCB Library resources from off campus or via your laptop or other mobile device using one of two simple methods:
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.
The Library Prize for Undergraduate Research recognizes excellence in undergraduate research projects that show evidence of significant inquiry using the library, its resources, and collections and learning about the research and information-gathering process itself.
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.
1. Find a topic that interests you or find a primary source or type of primary source that interest you. You can browse through primary source databases (see Primary Sources tab), do some general searching in OskiCat (see Secondary Sources tab), or look through an encyclopedia (see below).
2. Look for background information about your topic (encyclopedias, etc.; see below)
3. Look for secondary sources (see Secondary Sources tab - search OskiCat, maybe some article databases)...look for names, dates, places, events, titles of sources...look through bibliographies...all this will help you find primary sources
4. Look for primary sources (see Primary Sources tab) - think about what kinds of sources the Library might have? Search OskiCat, and article databases if appropriate, along with some primary source databases as appropriate.
Encyclopedia of American Studies (online)
The Bancroft Library is one of the treasures of the campus, and one of the world's great libraries for the history of the American West.
Some Bancroft materials are available online via Calisphere, which includes primary sources from many California libraries and museums.
How to Use the Bancroft Library
1. Be prepared! Read secondary sources and know something about your topic.
2. Before you go: Search OskiCat so you can bring call numbers with you. You can limit your OskiCat search to find materials at the Bancroft Library, instead of all campus libraries (choose "Bancroft Library" from the pulldown menu that says "Entire Collection."). Remember that there are primary sources in many other campus libraries as well.
Important: if the item is in storage ("NRLF") and owned by The Bancroft Library, do not use the Request button in OskiCat. Instead, use the Bancroft's online request form AT 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 materials 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, or you can search the Online Archive of California to find it. The finding aids that are not online are near the Registration desk at the Bancroft Library.
3. Learn how to use the Bancroft Library. Read about Access (bring a quarter for lockers!) and Registration (bring two pieces of ID!). Remember to bring call numbers, titles, etc. with you. You will fill out a form to present to the Circulation Desk, and materials will be paged and brought to you.
5. Ask for assistance at The Bancroft Library's reference desk.Read more
To find books, DVDs, maps, sound recordings, manuscripts, and much more - everything except articles - use a library catalog.
OskiCat = most UC Berkeley libraries
MELVYL = all UC campus libraries, including all UC Berkeley libraries
What's the difference? more details here
For each item make sure you know the name of the physical library, call number, and whether or not it's checked out, library use only, etc.
Search OskiCat for both primary and secondary sources. Examples:
(keywords) indian boarding school*
(keywords) "wild west"
* = truncation symbol/wildcard for variant word endings
ex: immigra* = immigrant immigrants immigration etc.
look at the titles and official subject terms and find other terms:
(keywords): chicago world's fair
(subject): century of progress international exposition
if you know the name of a person or organization, search it both as an author and as a topic:
author: sinclair, upton
author: united states food and drug administration
Try out these OskiCat features:
Search an article database to find citations (title, author, title of journal, date, page numbers) for articles on a particular topic. The Library gives you access to over 200 article databases covering different disciplines.
1. Think about which academic disciplines might write about your topic. Examples: literature, film, anthropology, history...
2. Find the appropriate article database by subject (academic discipline or department). Look for "Recommended" databases.
Library home > Articles > Article Databases by Subject
Library home > Articles > Article Databases by Subject > H > History > America: History and Life (scholarly secondary sources)
frontierland (select a field - optional)
disneyland (select a field - optional)
women (select a field - optional)
homestead* (select a field - optional)
Historical period from: 1840 to 1880
Once you've searched a database to find articles, you may need to use to link to a PDF or html file if the full text is not immediately available. Each database is a bit different, but a good rule of thumb is this: when you see the Uc-eLinks icon click on it to view your article access options, which can range from full text to a call number to an Interlibrary Loan request:
For more information, here's a tutorial on using UC-eLinks.
Library home > Articles > General Article Databases > JSTOR
Everyone Loves JSTOR:
Primary sources can be found in a variety of library tools:
Learn more about your topic in advance:
Search OskiCat for primary sources using keywords and adding terms that denote primary sources, such as:
puerto rican* interviews
african american soldiers personal narratives
irish american* newspapers
add primary source subheadings:
women homestead* diaries
limit by date of publication:
limit by format:
(pull down "entire collection" menu to:) music scores
(or): sound recordings
really fancy search hardly anyone knows about:
genre/form: dime novels
See a more complete list of library databases of primary sources in American History
In order to avoid plagiarism, you must give credit when
This content is part of the Understanding Plagiarism tutorial created by the Indiana University School of Education.
If you've never used Zotero before, use the QuickStart Guide to get started.
Change your preferences if you want Zotero to
To use Zotero to find specific articles in our library's databases, set up the Open URL resolver with this link: http://ucelinks.cdlib.org:8888/sfx_local?
An in-depth discussion of the relative virtues of Endnote and Zotero,
The UCB Library Guide to Citing Your Sources discusses why you should cite your sources and links to campus resources about plagiarism. It also includes links to guides for frequently used citation styles. Also:
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.
You already know that you should evaluate anything you find on the Internet. Here are some reminders of what to look for.
Use the Advanced Search for more searching options.
Remember that Google Books search results do not necessarily include the full text of the book; some include no text at all, some include a limited preview (only some pages of the book).
When you use Google Scholar, make sure to update your Scholar Preferences (see below) so you'll be able to use UC e-links to find the UC Berkeley library locations/online availability of the articles.
Step 1: If you haven't already done this, set up your proxy server access by following the directions at http://proxy.lib.berkeley.edu/. When you get to a point where you are accessing resources that the Library pays for, you will be prompted for your CalNet ID and password. For more help see: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/doemoff/tutorials/proxy.html
Step 2: Change your “Scholar Preferences.” Access these by clicking on the small icon in the upper right of the screen.
Step 3: In search box next to "Library Links," type in University of California Berkeley and click on “Find Library”
Step 4: Check all the boxes next to "University of California Berkeley"
Step 5: Click on "Save Preferences" at bottom of page
Other ways to get help: in person, by e-mail, using specialized chat services
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 (examples of research 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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