Skip to main content

You can still access the UC Berkeley Library’s services and resources during the closure. Here’s how.

IAS 150: Commodities and Cultures in the Making of the World Economy: Finding Books


JSTOR. Full-text access to scholarly journals and now books from a wide range of disciplines. Current issues from journals (the most recent 3-5 years) are generally not available in JSTOR

Project Muse. Digitized scholarly journals and books in the humanities and social sciences. Topics include history, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, economics and many others. 

Cambridge Core Ebooks. Selection of current e-books from Cambridge University Press.

Oxford Scholarship Online. Cross-searchable library containing the full text of books in many subjects from 2008 to present.

Taylor & Francis Ebooks.  Collection of e-books from across the sciences and social sciences disciplines, including development studies.  Not all content displayed is available.

Finding Books on Commodities

The primary tool for finding books is Oskicat.  You may also search Google Books to read some of the text before retrieving the item from the shelves.  If you are not sure it is a good idea to start with a keyword search.  Keep your initial search simple and then explore.

 If you find an item you like click the subject heading to retrieve specific books for the commodity, for example the name of the commodity or its associated industries (such as trade or production). Remember to consider different usages and spellings of words over time and across countries (e.g. oil vs. petroleum).

Some sample subject searches include You may also use language limites and date sorting to help you refine your results. Often but not always University Press books are a good place to start.

Sugar trade -- West Indies -- History
Tea trade -- History
Chocolate industry -- History
​Tobacco -- History
Coffee -- History
Coal trade -- Great Britain -- History
United Fruit Company -- History

Sample Sources

Below are some sample books owned by the library on commodities - note the cutesy titles. To find additional titles look at subject headings or do a search for the commodity name in Oskicat and limit to the Doe Reference collection.