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COLWRIT 4B: History/Japanese American Internment -- The Bancroft Library: What are Primary Sources?

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Theresa Salazar

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Manuscripts and Archives- Definitions

DEFNITIONS

For more information on primary resources see:  http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/instruct/guides/primarysources.html

Archive and manuscript materials consist of a wide variety of forms, many requiring special conditions of use. They typically comprise correspondence, diaries, case files, business records, memoranda, circulars and other unpublished textual records. They may also, however, contain documents published in the course of organizational activities, such as reports, directories, posters, or advertisements. Modern archives also include photographs, films, sound recordings, microfilm, and increasingly electronic records. (The Bancroft Library processes and catalogs the different formats as separate groupings of materials – e.g. manuscript material is separated from pictorial materials.)

Archives:  The records of any corporate body, government agency, or group as well as records produced by an individual working for such an organization, created or accumulated in the course of daily activities, and saved by the creator because they are useful for continuing administration and activities of the organization and may be useful for later research, as they provide a vital historical record of the organization. (Examples of such records are: Calif. Dept. of Industrial Relations, Division of Immigration and Housing Records, Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records)

Historical and literary manuscripts:  The papers of  an individual, family, or a subject collection. Like archives, manuscript collections reflect the daily activities of the individuals represented in the collection. These materials are also collected by repositories because of their potential research value in reflecting the wide range of cultural, social, and political activities. (Examples of such records are: Yoshiko Uchida Papers, Wayne Collins Papers)

Pictorial Materials: Consists of photographs, paintings, prints, drawings, postcards, posters, etc. that provide visual documentation of a subject.

Oral Histories: The Regional Oral History Office is part of The Bancroft Library, and has many of their oral histories available on line: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/ROHO/collections/subjectarea/index.html

 

 

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