United Farm Workers - Research Guide

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About this Guide

Guide to Research about the United Farm Workers

Background Sources

Official web page of the United Farm Workers of America

Examples of sources of background information (click on titles to view OskiCat catalog records)

The Mexican American experience:  an encyclopedia

Encyclopedia of the Mexican American civil rights movement

Dictionary of Mexican American history

Encyclopedia of U.S. labor and working-class history

Historical encyclopedia of American labor

For more sources, browse the reference collections of Doe Library and the Ethnic Studies Library, or ask for research assistance.



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.

Call numbers are on the spine of the book; learn how to read them so you can find what you need on the shelves.

Searching Library Catalogs

Examples of searches in OskiCat or MELVYL:

keywords:  united farm workers
                     delano strike*
                     migrant agricultural labor* united states
                     migrant agricultural labor* california
                     alien labor mexican

* = truncation/wildcard symbol (immigra* = immigrant, immigrants, immigration, immigrating, etc.)

limit as needed by format (ex:  DVD, sound recording, manuscript), language, etc.

author:  united farm workers   (to retrieve materials created by the UFW)
author:  chavez, cesar


SMS and QR Codes in OskiCat

You can now text yourself a call number or use a QR code reader to find the location of an item in the UCB Library. Just click on a title in your OskiCat search results, and both options will be displayed on the right.

SMS and QR image

Article Databases

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

Selected Article Databases

Search Results

UC-eLinks - Find Article Text/Location

Once you've searched a database to find articles, you may need to use UC-eLinks orange logo 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:

UC e-Links image

For more information, here's a tutorial on using UC-eLinks.

Finding Primary Sources - Overview

To find primary sources you may search:

For more information, see the Library's Guide to Finding Historical Primary Sources

Searching the Catalogs for Primary Sources

Search OskiCat for primary sources using keywords and adding terms that denote primary sources, such as:

-personal narratives


united farm worker* interviews
united farm worker* periodicals
migrant agricultural labor* sources

Also search by author:  united farm workers
                     author:   chavez cesar


United Farm Workers - Microfilm Collections

Microfilm allows libraries to have filmed copies of materials we might not otherwise have, due to space considerations.  Materials that have been microfilmed may include one-of-a-kind manuscript collections, newspapers, or large collections of books or documents.

Microfilm must be read on a microfilm reader; these machines are usually available at the appropriate campus library.  You should be able to make photocopies and sometimes can make digital scans, depending on the machine.

Use secondary sources to narrow down your topic and identify dates, names of people and organizations, and types of sources.  If the collection has a guide, use it to identify which rolls of film you need to view.  Some guides are printed and can be found in the Newspaper/Microforms Room; some are online; some are available both in printed and online forms.

Please note:  the Newspaper/Microforms Room has limited hours; check before you go!

Click on the titles of the collections to view the OskiCat record (including the call number) of each item.

Collections of the United Farm Workers of America.  Series 1, Office files of the President...

     online guide to the collection

Collections of the United Farm Workers of America. Series 2, Papers of the United Farm Workers of America Work Department, 1969-1975

     (significant portions of the collection are in Spanish)

Papers of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee 1959 - 1966

     printed guide available in the Newspaper/Microforms Room microfilm guides section,
     call number  Microfilm 79323 guide 

     online guide to the collection

FBI file on Cesar Chavez and United Farm Workers

     printed guide available in the Newspaper/Microforms Room microfilm guides section,
     call number Microfilm 77773 guides

     online guide to the collection

Cesar Chavez and United Farm Workers [electronic resource]/Federal Bureau of Investigation

     online sources!

Other Resources

Farmworker Movement Documentation Project

Life of Philip Vera Cruz:  Childhood in the Phillippines; Working and Studying in the United States; Labor Organizer; Labor Leader (1982) (oral history)

Chicano Studies/Labor-related videos and DVDs at the Media Resources Center

Getting Assistance with Your Research

Ask for assistance at a library reference desk, especially the Ethnic Studies Library, Doe Library or Moffitt Library.

Other ways to ask for help:  phone, e-mail, specialized chat services, etc.

Ask a Librarian 24/7 Chat

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You do allow embedded content.

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 (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.

Related Subject Guides

Related Course Guides

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