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History Collection

Current Trial: Churchill Archive

A trial of the Churchill Archive is available to the UC Berkeley community until April 21, 2017. The URL to access the trial is www.churchillarchive.com.

The Churchill Archive includes more than 800,000 pages of original documents, produced between 1874 and 1965, ranging from Winston S. Churchill’s personal correspondence to his official exchanges with kings, presidents, politicians, and military leaders.

To learn more about using the archive, there is a video available at: http://www.churchillarchive.com/take-a-tour

Please contact Jennifer Dorner at jdorner@berkeley.edu with your feedback about this resource.

Trial: Four primary source modules from ProQuest

The Library will soon be acquiring four additional primary source collections from ProQuest. In the meantime, we have set up trial access to them until March 16.

FBI Confidential Files and Radical Politics in the U.S., 1945-1972

Under the leadership of J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI vigorously investigated and tracked the activities of Communist groups, Communist-front groups, and other radical organizations in the United States. This module consists of records of the FBI and the Subversive Activities Control Board from 1945-1972. Highlights of this module include J. Edgar Hoover’s office files; documentation on the FBI’s so-called “black bag jobs,” as they were called before being renamed “surreptitious entries”; and the “Do Not File” File. The “Do Not File” file consists of records that were originally supposed to be destroyed on FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s order, however, through both intended and inadvertent exceptions to this order, large portions of these files survived. Another key collection in this module consists of the records of the Subversive Activities Control Board (SACB). The SACB files constitute one of the most valuable resources for the study of left-wing radicalism during the 1950s and 1960s.

Southern Life and African American History, 1775-1915, Plantation Records, Part 2

 The records presented in Southern Life and African American History, 1775-1915, Plantation Records: Part 2, come from the holdings of the University of Virginia and Duke University. One of the extraordinary collections from the University of Virginia, especially for the study of slavery, is the papers of General John Hartwell Cocke. The papers of the Berkeley family from 1653 to 1865 are exceptional for the 18th and 19th centuries on such matters as land and crop sales, slave and medical accounts, and family and overseers’ correspondence. The massive collection from the wealthy Bruce family is valuable for overseer correspondence and business records as well as for personal correspondence, women’s diaries, and slave records. Other collections from University of Virginia include correspondence from overseers; documents on slave sales, runaway slaves, discipline, diet, health, and the work loads of adults and children; plantation management, and westward migration to Arkansas and Louisiana prior to the Civil War. Major collections from the Duke University holdings document plantation life in the Alabama, as well as South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. Records from Alabama and Mississippi depict the opening of the southern frontier in response to the cotton boom of the early 19th century. Among the exceptional collections are the Henry Watson papers and the Clement Claiborne Clay papers from Alabama, and the John Knight and Duncan McLaurin collections from the Natchez area in Mississippi. Another major collection from the Duke holdings is the William Patterson Smith Collection. William Patterson Smith, along with his brother Thomas operated a mercantile firm in Gloucester, Virginia

 Student demonstrations, political unrest, coup d’etats, assassinations, political trials, meetings and visits of foreign leaders, economic and agricultural assistance, disputes over the use of international waters, international trade, military conflicts. These are just a small sampling of the subjects covered by Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files on the turbulent 1960s around the world. The U.S. State Department Central Files are an important source of American diplomatic reporting on political, military, social, and economic developments throughout the world in the 20th century. Concentrating exclusively on those U.S. State Department Central Files Central Files that have not been microfilmed by the National Archives or distributed by other publishers, the U.S. State Department Central Files Central Files in History Vault contain a wide range of materials from U.S. diplomats in foreign countries: reports on political, military, and socioeconomic matters; interviews and minutes of meetings with foreign government officials; important letters, instructions, and cables sent and received by U.S. diplomatic personnel; and reports and translations from foreign journals and newspapers. The Africa and Middle East files document a number of fascinating issues. The Africa files cover the brutal civil war between Biafra and Nigeria in the late 1960s, the 1964 Rivonia trial of Nelson Mandela and seven leaders of the African National Congress, violent protest against the South African government coupled with police crackdowns on the resistance, the troubled relationship between the U.S. and the apartheid regime, and the first years of independence in Ghana and the Congo. The files on Egypt offer considerable detail on the Egyptian political structure which was dominated by Gamal Abdel Nasser in the 1960s. Political issues are also covered in extensive detail in the files on Iran, Iraq, and Israel. Documents on Iran follow Ali Amin’s tenure as prime minister and his succession by Asadollah Alam. In Israel, State Department personnel tracked developments in the Knesset (Israeli Parliament), the political fortunes of important members of the Israeli government, and the fragile security situation faced by Israel. The countries covered in this module are: Biafra/Nigeria; Congo; Egypt; Ghana; South Africa; Iran; Iraq; Israel; Lebanon; Palestine; Saudi Arabia; the Persian Gulf States (Aden, Bahrein, Kuwait, Muscat & Oman, Qatar, Trucial Sheiks); and Yemen.

 Women at Work during World War II consists of two major sets of records documenting the experience of American women during World War II: Records of the Women’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor, and Correspondence of the Director of the Women’s Army Corps. Records of the Women’s Bureau consist of two major series. The first series documents the role of the Women’s Bureau as an investigative agency, as a clearinghouse for proposed changes in working conditions, and as a source of public information and education. Items in this first series include reports of the bureau director to the secretary of labor, records of bureau-sponsored conferences, and speeches and articles by women officials of the bureau. The second series of Women’s Bureau records consists of a detailed study on the treatment of women by unions in several midwestern industrial centers, complete with extensive background interviews and other research materials; community studies conducted nationwide on the influx of women to industrial centers during the war; and subject files and correspondence on women’s work in war industries, including issues like equal pay and child care. The Correspondence of the Director of the Women’s Army Corps dates from 1942–1946 and documents the women who joined and served in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC, known as the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps [WAAC] from May 1942 until July 1943) during World War II. Every topic of importance to the WAC is covered in the correspondence, with an emphasis on issues such as recruiting, public support for the WAC, personnel matters like discipline and conduct, and race.

Current Trial: Early European Books

Early European Books traces the history of printing in Europe from its origins through to the close of the seventeenth century (1450s-1701), offering full-colour, high-resolution facsimile images of rare and hard-to-access printed sources. This resources focuses on European languages other than English, including Dutch, Danish, Italian, Latin, and French. Of interest to book historians, the scans are of the entire physical object and pages (rather than just the text), including marginalia and binding. You can search by country of publication, language, page features (illustration, musical notation), and source library, and you can include historical and linguistic variants in your search. Books can be browsed in an online Flash-based viewer or downloaded as JPEGs or PDFs.

The trial will last until March 16th, 2017.

Please send your comments and feedback to Stacy Reardon (sreardon at berkeley)

Event: Bancroft Round Table, Thursday 2/16

Bancroft Library’s first Round Table of the semester will take place in the Lewis-Latimer Room of The Faculty Club at noon on Thursday, February 16. Cathy Cade, documentary photographer, will present “Views of the Women’s Liberation and Feminist Movements of the 1970s and 1980s: Selections from the Cathy Cade Photograph Archive.”


Cathy Cade was introduced to the power of documentary photography as she participated in the Southern Freedom Movement of the 1960s. In the years that followed, she took an array of images that depict the women’s liberation movement, union women, trades women, lesbian feminism, lesbian mothering, lesbians of color, LGBT freedom days, fat activism, and the disability rights movement. Cade will speak of her personal experiences with social justice causes and the connections between these movements and communities. She will feature highlights drawn from her extensive photograph archive acquired by The Bancroft Library over the past several years.

We hope to see you there.

José Adrián Barragán-Álvarez and Kathi Neal

Bancroft Library Staff

Trial: The Digital Karl Barth Library

The Digital Karl Barth Library – http://bart.alexanderstreet.com

The Digital Karl Barth Library supports a new generation of research into the works of one of the 20th century’s most influential theologians. The collection includes the original German version and the English translation of Karl Barth’s magnum opus, The Church Dogmatics, in its entirety. Also included is Barth’s Gesamtausgabe, which includes hundreds of letters, sermons, lectures, conversations, and academic writings.

For more information about the content included in this collection, click HERE.
For general help, including navigation instructions and search tips, click HERE.

The trial will run through March 8th.

Please send your comments and feedback to me at dorner@berkeley.edu

Workshop: Learn Zotero

Zotero is a free, easy to use tool for collecting and organizing citations and formatting bibliographies. I will be offering drop-in workshops on the basics of Zotero in 405 Moffitt:

Friday, February 17  12:00 – 1:00

Tuesday, February 21 4:00 – 5:00

Wednesday, February 22 4:00 – 5:00

No registration is required. If you want to use your own laptop for this workshop, please refer to the Zotero installation instructions at http://bit.ly/2b3PYwd


Event: Friday, 2/10 Maps & More: Mapping the Dakota Access Pipeline

The Earth Sciences & Map Library will have its first Maps & More pop-up exhibit of the semester this Friday, February 10, from 11:00 – Noon.

Flier for event


Primary Sources: Foreign Office Files for the Middle East (updated)

The Library now has all three modules of the online resource Foreign Office Files for the Middle East, which include 1971-1974: The 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Oil Crisis; 1975-1978: The Lebanese Civil War and the Camp David Accords; and 1979-1981: The Iranian Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War.

The content is sourced from the British Government records at the UK National Archives. The following Foreign and Commonwealth Office file classes are included in their entirety:

CO 935/1-25            Middle East General, 1920-1956
FO 402/1-33            Afghanistan, 1922-1957
FO 406/1-84            Eastern Affairs (Middle East), 1812-1946
FO 407/1-237          Egypt/Sudan, 1839-1958
FO 416/1-113          Persia, 1899-1957
FO 423/1-70            Suez Canal, 1859-1947
FO 424/1-297          Turkey, 1841-1957
FO 437/1-9              Jordan, 1949-1957
FO 464/1-12            Arabia, 1947-1957
FO 481/1-17            Iraq, 1947-1969
FO 484/1-11            Lebanon, 1947-1957
FO 487/1-11            Middle East General, 1947-1957
FO 492/1-11            Israel/Palestine, 1947-1957
FO 501/1-10            Syria, 1947-1956

Selections from the Prime Minister’s Office files (PREM) and Defence Intelligence files (DEFE) are also included.

Primary Sources: British Poor Schools in the Nineteenth Century, 1812-1901

Recently added to our collection of British Online Archives are the reports of British Poor Schools in the Nineteenth Century, 1812-1901. The compiled reports were printed and then microfilmed — this resource is a digitized version of the microfilm.  

These reports cover the history of poor schools and the societies that ran them in Britain, including schools from the Anglican and Wesleyan denominations as well as secular and Catholic schools, and chart the rise of education for the poor from the industrial revolution to the Victorian era.

Webinar: East India Company database

Adam Matthew has put together a webinar on the East India Company resource.

Guest Speakers include:

Dr Kate Boehme, University of Sussex – 18:00
Penny Brook, Head of the India Office Records, The British Library – 31:08

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