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Finding Historical Primary Sources: Search Tools

A guide to finding primary sources in history at the UC Berkeley Libraries

UC Library Search

UC Library Search infographic about what is included

 

UC Library Search is the University of California’s unified discovery and borrowing system. 

Access it directly or from the Library's homepage to find most UC books, articles, media, archival collections, and more. 

You can also:

  • Narrow your search results using filters (ex: peer review status, date, and language).
  • Save and export records to email or citation management software.
  • Save searches and create/enable alerts or RSS feeds for update notifications.
  • Log in to view and manage your:
  • Saved records, saved searches, and search history.
  • Requested, borrowed, and Interlibrary Loan items.
  • Messages, blocks, fines, and fees.

See the UC Library Search user guide and ask for research help 24/7 for more information.

Searching Article Databases for Primary Sources

To find magazine, journal or newspaper articles: use an article database. Article databases allow you to search for articles by topic, author, etc. Some (not all) article databases link to the full text of articles.

Primary Source Databases at UCB Library

Look carefully at the description of each database. Note:

  • what years of publication are included
  • what types of materials are included
  • does the database cover a particular academic discipline (such as History) or whether it is interdisciplinary

In some article databases you may click on either the image button or the                              button, which will help you locate the full text of the article online or the physical location of the journal or newspaper on campus.

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). Collection guides, also known as finding aids, are descriptive guides to archival (primary source) collections. These collections may be physically located in archives or digitized on the web. The guides 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.