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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.
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.
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.
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.
Newspapers 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.
Statistics 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:
-correspondence -sources -diaries -personal narratives -interviews -speeches -documents -archives -early works to 1800 -newspapers
Your searches will be more successful if, in your preliminary research, you identify specific:
names of relevant individuals and organizations
dates of events
what terminology was used at the time by participants and observers? (ex: negro or colored instead of african american)
Online Archive of California (OAC) A searchable and browseable resource that brings together historical materials from a variety of California institutions, including museums, historical societies, and archives. Contains over 120,000 images; 50,000 pages of documents, letters, and oral histories; and 8,000 guides to collections. Images are organized into thematic and institutional collections, such as historical topics, nature, places, and technology.
ArchiveGrid Searchable descriptions of nearly a million historical documents, personal papers, and family histories kept in libraries, museums, and archives worldwide. Includes information on how to examine and order copies.
ProQuest Congressional One stop shopping for U.S. congressional publications. Provides index and abstracts of congressional publications back to 1789, including full text of published Congressional Hearings from 1824-present (unpublished
until 1979), full text Committee Prints from 1830-present, full text Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports from 1916-present, full
text United States Congressional Serial Set (and its various former titles) from 1789-present, and legislative histories from 1970-present.
ProQuest Legislative Insight Provides access to more than 18,000 professionally researched legislative histories of US Law. Histories include the Public Law
itself, all versions of related bills, law-specific Congressional Record
excerpts, committee hearings, reports and prints, Presidential signing statements, and CRS reports. 1929-present
Europeana Provides open access to more than 15 million digital objects, including film material, photos, paintings, sounds, maps, manuscripts, books, newspapers and archival papers from more than 1500 European institutions. Europeana -- the European digital library, museum and archive -- launched in 2008 and is funded by the European Commission and its member states. This current prototype is one of many parallel projects of The European Library.
House of Commons Parliamentary Papers Provides full-text access to thousands of 18th, 19th and 20th Century Parliamentary Papers. Includes all the "sessional papers" of the British Parliament: bills, reports of committees, papers presented by Royal Commissions and government departments, treaties and international agreements, command papers, and statistics.
Center for Research Libraries Online Catalog CRL acquires and preserves newspapers, journals, documents, archives, and other traditional and digital resources from a global network of sources. UC Berkeley Library students, faculty, and other researchers have liberal access to these rich source materials through interlibrary loan, electronic delivery, and a growing collection of digitized material.
Online Archive of California & Calisphere
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.
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.
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
America: History and Life America History & Life is the best database to use when looking for academic journal articles
in the field of American and Canadian history. It indexes over 2,000 journals published worldwide and includes all key English-language historical journals; selected historical journals from major countries, state, and local history journals; and a targeted selection of hundreds of journals in the social sciences and humanities.
Historical Abstracts Historical Abstracts is the best database to use when looking for academic journal articles in the field of modern world history (after 1450). It indexes over 2,000 journals, as well as historical book reviews and dissertations, published worldwide about all aspects of world history (excluding US and Canada). Articles covered were written from 1954 to the present
Bibliography of British and Irish History (BBIH) Lists books, articles in books, articles in some 700 journals; covers historical writing dealing with the British Isles, and with the British Empire and Commonwealth, during all periods for which written documentation is available - from 55BC to the present. It is the successor to the Royal Historical Society Bibliography of British and Irish History, available online from 2002 to 2009. To access database, click on Enter databases, then click on Bibliography of British and Irish History.
International Medieval Bibliography (IMB) Indexes over 4500 periodicals and 5000 conference proceedings, essay collections, Festschriften, edited volumes, conference proceedings, and exhibition catalogues covering all aspects of the middle ages (400-1500 A.D.) in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.
ITER: Gateway to the Renaissance Indexes over 300 journal titles to create a bibliography of articles, essays, books and reviews related to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (400-1700). Includes a number of databases useful to the fields of classical, medieval, and Renaissance studies such as Iter Italicum, a catalog of Renaissance humanistic manuscripts found in libraries and collections around the world, International Directory of Scholars, International Directory of Renaissance and Reformation Associations and Institutes, and Scholars of Early Modern Studies (volume 34).
History of Science, Technology, and Medicine Indexes books, journals, proceedings, and dissertations worldwide about research in the history of science, medicine, technology, and related fields. Subjects covered include agriculture, biology, construction, chemistry, energy, engineering, geology, linguistics, mathematics, medicine, music, philosophy, physics, social sciences, town planning, transport engineering, and zoology.
Victorian Database Online Indexes over 500 journals, books, and dissertations concerning Victorian Britain (defined as 1830-1914), in every field of nineteenth-century British studies including: painting, architecture, and music; philosophy and religion; histories of England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and the British Empire; military and naval history; politics, commerce, and economics; sociology, women's studies, law, and education; science, technology, and medicine; and literature, drama, poetry, prose, and fiction. This is an online version of the Cumulative Bibliography of Victorian Studies.
Other Useful Databases
American Periodicals Periodicals published between 1740 and 1940, including general interest magazines, literary and professional journals, children's and women's magazines and other periodicals
C19: The Nineteenth Century Index Comprehensive coverage of nineteenth-century books, periodicals, official documents, newspapers and archives. C19 Index draws on the Nineteenth Century Short Title Catalogue, The Wellesley Index, Poole's Index and Periodicals Index Online to create integrated bibliographic coverage of over 1.4 million books and official publications, 64,891 archival collections and 15.6 million articles published in over 2,500 journals, magazines and newspapers.
Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) Contains over 180,000 items published in Great Britain and its colonies, including those in North America, during the 18th Century. This database complements the materials found in Early English Books Online (EEBO), which covers 1475-1700. The resource is thus a rich source of information about the American and French Revolutions and the Age of Reason, scientific and medical advances, literature, law, religion, industry, and all aspects of 18th Century life in Britain and its colonies.
Eighteenth Century Journals Consists of the full-texts of important and often rare journals and newspapers printed between the late seventeenth and early nineteenth century in Great Britain. The collections cover all aspects of British life including history, science, music, society, literature and theater. There is minimal overlap with EEBO, Early English Newspapers and ECCO.
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. For more sophisticated search capabilities, go directly to JSTOR advanced search.
Project MUSE 250 scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences. Topics include literature and criticism, history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, economics and many others.
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 GoogleRead at Google
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.
America: History and Life SEARCH TIP: Use Advanced Search. Search for book author's name or the book title and use the limiter Publication Type: Review.
Historical Abstracts SEARCH TIP: Use Advanced Search. Search for book author's name or the book title and use the limiter Publication Type: Review.
JSTOR Around sixty core history and history of science journals are included in this full text multi-subject index. Full back files are available for all titles. However, coverage for recent dates- approximately the past five years, is not available on this database. To check coverage dates see Browse Journals.
SEARCH TIP: On the Advanced Search screen limit your search to Reviews by checking the box at the Narrow Your Search to--These types: Review. Author search results: book and review authors.
Project MUSE Another multi-subject full text index; history is one of many humanities subjects covered by this database. Project Muse is useful for reviews published since 1993. To check coverage dates see Browse Journals.
SEARCH TIP: From the Search screen use the pull down menu to select Author Reviewed or Title Reviewed.
Finding Reviews of Older Books
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
Periodicals Archive Online (formerly PCI Full Text) Good coverage of American, British, and some continuential European periodicals from the 19th and 20th centuries.
SEARCH TIP: Search for the title in Article Title Keyword and under Scope select Book Reviews Only.
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.