Contact Your Librarian

  • Jennifer Dorner

  • Office Hours: By appointment
  • Office Location: 212/218 Doe Library
  • Contact Info:

    510.768.7059 or Skype ucblib.jdorner
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About the History Collection

The Library maintains a research-level collection to support the research and teaching of the history department, as well as many other disciplines and programs with historical interests. The History Department is comprehensive in the thematic and methodological emphasis that render the study of history one of the most capacious of all academic callings. Although in recent years the department's strengths in cultural, intellectual, and political history have been the most widely noticed, the department's distinction in social, economic and international kinds of history has been recognized thoughout the world. The collection ranges across virtually all of the major geographical and chronological fields recognized by the discipline.

Collection Description

Berkeley’s historical collections are concentrated chiefly in the humanities and social sciences which are housed in the Gardner (MAIN) Stacks of the Doe Library. The collections are very strong in microfilm editions of important research materials, including personal papers, government documents, newspapers and organizational records. More specialized historical materials can be found in over 20 subject specialty libraries on campus, including the Education-Psychology, Environmental Design, Public Health, Anthropology, Business, and Law Libraries. In addition, the Bancroft Library’s holdings include original manuscripts, photographs, and fine first editions.

Purchase Recommendation Form

If you'd like to recommend an item to be added to the collection, please use the Purchase Recommendation Form.

History Collection News

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Visit the blog to read all the History Collection news or find out how to subscribe to the RSS feed.

Campus Links

Primary Sources by Type

The Library has over 1000 collections of digital resources, organized in the Electronic Resource Finder (ERF) by type and subject. The links below will bring you to those collections designated as most useful for research in history, but your research may require a review of the ERF that doesn't limit by subject.

Archival Collections and Primary Source Databases
These collections are often organized by theme or historical period and may include multiple types of primary source documents. There is some overlap between the resources listed here and those in the following lists.

Atlases, Maps and Gazetteers
The most extensive collection of maps owned by the Library are housed in the Earth Sciences & Maps Library, located in 50 McCone Hall.

The collections listed here are primarily in English. To locate early books in other languages, check the ERF listings by subject for the specific language (ex: Spanish & Portuguese).

Government Information Sources - California/Regional
Some state and local government documents are located in the Gardner Stacks, but the largest collection can be found in the Institute of Governmental Studies Library located in 109 Moses Hall.

Government Information Sources - United States/Federal
Use these to find publications and other information by and about the federal and/or US government. The Government Documents Librarian has created an extensive guide to finding publications created by different agencies and branches of government.

Government Information Sources - Foreign/International
Use these to find publications and other government information by and about individual foreign countries, the global community collectively, and international bodies. The government documents librarian provides more information directing you to documents produced by international organizations or governments in different regions.

Image and Sound Databases
Use these to find photographs, paintings, films and other materials in audio or visual format. The Media Resources Center, located on the first floor of Moffitt Library, is the UC Berkeley Library's primary collection of materials in audio and visual formats. These formats include videocassettes, DVDs, compact audio discs, audiocassettes, and online (streamed) audio and video.

Use these to find newspaper articles, broadcast transcripts, wire service stories, etc. The International Coalition on Newspapers (iCON) Project, housed at the Center for Research Libraries, provides a database of more than 20,000 newspaper titles from over 150 countries dating back over 350 years. This is a useful source for identifying the titles of newspapers from a region during a given time period. As a member of CRL, UC Berkeley Library can borrow microfilm copies of these newspapers for you through Interlibrary Loan.

Use these to find statistical tables, numeric data, demographic information, public opinion polls, etc. The Data Lab in Doe Library offers assistance to UC Berkeley students, staff, and faculty in locating and using numeric data. In addition, the Lab and maintains workstations with Stata, SAS, SPSS, R, Stat/Transfer and ArcGIS software. Hours, contact information, and guides to finding data are found on the Lab website.

Locating Primary Sources

There are many access points to the vast collections of primary sources available to you.

Certain words and phrases will find primary sources in library catalogs.  You can use these in OskiCat or Melvyl:

advanced keyword search -correspondence
-personal narratives
-early works to 1800

For specific search strategies, see the Library's guide to Finding Historical Primary Sources.

Your searches will be more successful if, in your preliminary research, you identify specific:


Online Archive of California & Calisphere

oac home page

Guides to over 20,000 collections housed in 200 libraries, archives, historical societies, special collections and museums across California are searchable at the  Online Archive of California (OAC). Analogous to catalog records for books, collection guides (also known as finding aids) are the descriptive records used to find, understand, and locate archival resources and unique materials. They help users learn more about the scope of a collection so they know if it is likely to meet their research needs.

calisphere home page

Digitized versions of photographs, documents, newspapers, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, and other cultural artifacts that are contributed by these California institutions to the OAC make up the content included in Calisphere.

These two websites exist because they serve two very different user needs. For research-oriented users who want to go beyond what is available online and locate the actual, physical item, the OAC is the best starting point. For users whose primary interest is to view digitized images and documents, Calisphere is a place to explore online content. In addition, Calisphere provides K-12 educators with a subset of content organized and aligned with California Content Standards.

[Content adapted from CDL's Digital Special Collections.]

New Print Titles

The 15 most recent items (not including e-books or journals) added to our history collections in the Gardner (MAIN) stacks are listed below while the full list of materials cataloged in the past 60 days can be viewed in html or subscribed to as an rss feed. Click on a link below to find the item in OskiCat.


**Links open in a new window**

History Journal Articles

Other Useful Databases

Online Collections of History Journals

Additional Sources

Directory of History Journals
Looking for a place to publish your article? The American Historical Association hosts a searchable list of peer-reviewed English-language journals that publish in all fields of history. Search by keyword, choose a subject category from the provided list or browse journals by title. Search results include the journal's description and a link to the journal's web site.


Writings on American History Some of the content has been digitized and is available from HathiTrust at http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/003920757. Read at Google Read at Google

Annual bulletin of historical literature The catalog record provides links to both recent and older issues of this journal. Read at Google Read at Google

Google Scholar

google scholar

Google Scholar provides easy access to a lot of full text content paid for by The Library, as well as other scholarly or professional content available freely on the Web. Their Help pages describe more fully what is included in this resource.

With a Google account you can exploit special features in Google Scholar.

Set up a Google Scholar Alert to be automatically notified when new articles are added to Google on topics of interest. Do your search in Google Scholar. Look in the green toolbar for the envelope icon, and click it.  New items will be sent to your email account as they are found by Google.

Ever wanted to trace an article’s impact? Google now permits searching within citing articles. Do a Google Scholar search. Click on the "Cited by" link under a citation and select the "Search within articles citing..." checkbox.

Book Reviews in History

In general, there is a substantial time lag between the publication date of a book and the appearance of a serious review, and another lag between the appearance of the review and the indexing of that review in a database. Knowing the date of the publication is a critical factor in determining what database/source will yield the best results.

Finding Reviews of Older Books

Print Resources

Book Review Digest: 1905-1974. Bronx, NY, H.W. Wilson, 1976
Doe Reference Z 1219 .C95 Suppl. Periodical Indexes

Combined Retrospective Index to Book Reviews in Humanities Journals, 1802-1974. Woodbridge, CT, Research Publications, 1982-84
Doe Reference Z 1035 .A1 .C62 1982 Periodical Indexes

Combined Retrospective Index to Book Reviews in Scholarly Journals, 1886-1974. Arlington, VA, Carrollton Press, 1979-1982
Doe Reference Z 1035 .A1 .C63 Periodical Indexes

Giving to the Library

The Library welcomes gifts in all forms. Many private donors have made contributions toward the acquisition of research materials for the use of Berkeley faculty and students. This support is very important in sustaining the excellence of our collections and services.

The following types of gifts may be considered:

Memorial and Honorific Gifts
Contributions given in memory or in honor of a person are welcomed. Commemorative gifts are welcome to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and other significant events.

Named Endowment
Endowment funds may be established with a gift of $50,000 or more. These funds provide the library with an annual income in perpetuity and have a lasting impact on maintaining world class collections. The University invests its endowments carefully to achieve a healthy rate of return that provides for both current needs and long-term growth. If desired, a special book plate can be created and placed in each book.

Cash Gifts for Book Purchases
Cash contributions of any amount are welcomed as they will support the purchase of new books in the discipline of History. They can be made directly to the Library using the online form. In the special instructions or designations for this gift section, you may specify a particular collection.

Book Donations
Gifts of scholarly materials and the results of research have historically represented a significant element in the development of Berkeley's outstanding research collections. We welcome individual gifts, but due to space and staff limitations, we must be judicious in accepting large contributions. Donations of recently published books are welcomed. New book purchases will be checked to ensure titles aren’t already on order.

Please contact Dirk Kennedy to discuss your donation.

Contribute By Mail
All checks should be made payable to the UC Regents (specify it is for the History Collection) and mailed to:

Jennifer Dorner
History Librarian

212 Doe Library
University of California 
Berkeley, CA 94720-6000

For more information on gifts to the Library, please visit http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/give/makeagift.html.

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