For immediate help on this subject and others contact the reference desk. For complex questions related to contact a subject bibliographer below.
For SDSU book holdings check the Library Catalog [ http://libpac.sdsu.edu ]. The Catalog is the online tool used for finding books and multimedia in the SDSU Library. Books can be searched by keyword, author, title, or subject.
An accompanying set of primary documents to supplement the essays in American Decades.
Presents key events of the year with both introductory essays and primary documents.
19 volume set covering 1493-1968. Includes illustrations, legal documents, and speeches.
Collection of selected primary sources begins at the Civil War.
Includes political speeches, Supreme Court rulings, and a few important religious and fictional texts.
A wealth of political and diplomatic primary sources, from pre-Revolution to Upton Sinclair.
Collections of primary source documents related to Greek and Roman government, religion, education, social life, and more.
The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library, with the purpose of offering permanent access for researchers, historians, and scholars to historical collections that exist in digital format. The Internet Archive includes texts, audio, moving images, and software as well as archived web pages.
A digital library, offering the full-text of books and other print library materials, formed by a partnership of academic research libraries. NOTE: SDSU Library users have search and preview access only. Full-text access is only available for works deemed to be in the public domain in the United States of America.
Searches the full text of books. Best results come from searching phrases.
Note: Use the "Find in a Library" link to see if SDSU owns the book. The SDSU zip code is 92182.
To find and order books from San Diego area libraries use Circuit [ http://circuit.sdsu.edu/ ] (San Diego) or Interlibrary Loan [ http://library.sdsu.edu/borrowing-other-libraries ].
American Memory provides free access to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience.
Materials accessible here are Cornell University Library's contributions to Making of America (MOA), a digital library of primary sources in American social history. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. This site provides access to 267 monograph volumes and over 100,000 journal articles with 19th century imprints. The project represents a major collaborative endeavor in preservation and electronic access to historical texts.
Calisphere is the University of California's free public gateway to a world of primary sources. More than 150,000 digitized items — including photographs, documents, newspaper pages, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, advertising, and other unique cultural artifacts — reveal the diverse history and culture of California and its role in national and world history.
These links connect to European primary historical documents that are transcribed, reproduced in facsimile, or translated. They shed light on key historical happenings within the respective countries and within the broadest sense of political, economic, social and cultural history. The order of documents is chronological wherever possible. These open access sources are readily available to all without fees or subscriptions.
Art, pottery, and sculpture of the Greek and Roman world. Includes detailed sketches and photographs, dictionary, and chronology.
Full text sources from ancient times and other periods, in the original language and English. Includes commentaries, dictionaries, grammars. Major collections for Greek annd Roman, Renaissance, and 19th century United States documents.
Includes pre-history, the Ancient Middle East, Egypt, Israel, Persia, Greece and the Hellenistic World, and Rome.
Public domain translations of classic plays, poems, epics, and philosophical works from Ancient Greek and Latin. Also includes some text in original Latin and some audio recordings of English translations.
The Digital Scriptorium is a growing image database of medieval and renaissance manuscripts that unites scattered resources from many institutions into an international tool for teaching and scholarly research.
ArchiveGrid is an important destination for searching through historical documents, personal papers, and family histories held in archives around the world. Thousands of libraries, museums, and archives have contributed nearly a million collection descriptions to ArchiveGrid. Researchers searching ArchiveGrid can learn about the many items in each of these collections, contact archives to arrange a visit to examine materials, and order copies.
To find archival and manuscript collections held in libraries, mark the checkbox next to "Archival Materials" in the Limit Type to: section. of the main search page.
Note: Note: WorldCat will be replaced by WorldCat Discovery on January 1, 2016.
The Online Archive of California (OAC) provides free public access to detailed descriptions of primary source collections maintained by more than 150 California institutions, including libraries, special collections, archives, historical societies and museums throughout the state. More than 20,000 finding aids are in the OAC.
Note: Detailed information about using OAC finding aids (also called collection guides) is available http://www.oac.cdlib.org/help/detailedhelp.html#guides.
A great introduction to historical research methods.
An excellent introductory guide for first-time researchers.
Referred to as "Slade." Includes Chicago, MLA, APA, and Columbia Guide to Online Style.
Citation management software available to the SDSU community.
View Special Collections & University Archives content for online at http://library.sdsu.edu/guides/sub2.php?id=266&pg=56
During your visit to Special Collections and University Archives, you may encounter some unfamiliar terms. Below are some definitions that should help you familiarize yourself with the research process.
Finding Aid: A finding aid is a detailed description of the contents of a collection of records. It is a tool created by archivists to help the researcher identify collections and individual items of interest. Finding aids establish biographical or historical context, describe the scope and contents of the collection, detail arrangement, and provide a list of boxes and/or folders that aid in the retrieval of materials.
Finding Aid Database (the FAD): The Finding Aid Database details the contents of all processed collections found in Special Collections and University Archives. Users can browse by collection title or subject, or search by keyword.
Reading Room: Our main research area - a quiet study space where Special Collections materials are requested and used. Researchers must register and review our User Guidelines when requesting materials for the first time.
Registration: All patrons that wish to use materials in Special Collections must fill out a brief registration form and provide a photo ID.
Primary sources: Primary sources are materials that provide first-hand documentation or knowledge, usually of people, places, events or time periods. Primary sources enable the researcher to trace a research subject to its origin, potentially supporting new interpretations or revealing previously undocumented knowledge of that subject. Just a few examples of primary sources include diaries, oral histories, fossils, DNA, correspondence, speeches, interviews, court cases, or scientific studies. Secondary sources build upon or extrapolate information derived from primary sources, and the distinction between the two can be quite fluid depending on one's area of study. In most contexts, however, a primary source is understood to be a point of origin, or a piece of raw data, for a research subject.
Bookeye: The Bookeye is the overhead scanner in the Special Collections Reading Room. Using a simple touch screen, users can choose from a variety of image options, including Color/Grayscale/Black and White and JPEG/TIF/PNF/PDF (searchable). Images may be saved to a USB drive or emailed directly to the user from the machine. Printing costs $.10/page and is available in the Reading Room. Permission at the front desk is required for all scans.
Manuscript: A handwritten and/or unpublished document. Examples include letters, diaries, commonplace books or notebooks, and ledgers. A manuscript collection is a collection of personal or family papers, mostly made up of unpublished documents.
Archives: An 'archive' refers to a collection of materials created or recieved by a person, family, or organization in the course of their affairs, and preserved because of enduring artifactual or intellectual value. The term 'archives' can also refer to the building or department where such collections are held, also known as a repository.
Processed/Unprocessed Collections: Processed collections have been organized and described by an archivist. Unprocessed collections are awaiting organization and description, and are not typically available for consultation. All processed collections are described in the Finding Aid Database (FAD).
Keywords: special collections, archives, finding aids
Primary source documents are frequently collected in published books. To find these collections in the library catalog, follow these steps.
1. Brainstorm some keywords and phrases about your topic. If you were researching women's suffrage in America, for example, some good keywords and phrases might be "suffrage," "women," "feminis*," "nineteenth amendment," "vote*," or "activis*".
2. At the Advanced Search, pair your keyword with some of them common words found in subject headings for primary sources. These include:
* personal narratives
3. If you want to impose any limits on your search, such as as location or language, choose them in the options box. Then click Submit.
4. Browse your results and click on titles which sound relevant or useful to your topic.
Keywords: primary sources
• What type of document is it? Who created it and why?
• When was the document created? What physical details reveal this?
• What was/is the purpose of the document?
• What was the creator's situation or intention at the time of creation? What is the creator's relationship to the document? What evidence shows this?
• Are there inconsistencies or ambiguities in the document? Does it make an argument? If so, is it supported or warranted? What makes it reliable or unreliable?
• What does the document reveal about the period during which it was created?
• What research questions could this primary source answer?
• What else would you like to know about this document or its topic? How could you find the answers to those questions?
Keywords: special collections, archives
Keywords: special collections
Archival research can seem scary or impossible at first, but once you get started it can be lots of fun. Use these tips to find archival collections related to your topic.
1. Use the Finding Aid Database.
The Finding Aid Database allows researchers to keyword search the finding aids of over 250 archival/manuscripts collections in Special Collections. [A finding aid is a detailed description and listing of an archival or manuscripts collection. It is a tool created by archivists to help the researcher identify collections of interest, and boxes or folders of interest within those collections. Finding aids establish biographical or historical context, describe the scope and contents of the collection, detail arrangement, and provide a list of boxes and/or folders.] Your keyword might be found in a biographical or historical note, a scope or content note, a note about the arrangement of the collection, or in the title of a box or folder in the collection.
2. Use the Special Collections Research Guides.
These research guides classify our book, archival/manuscript, and ephemera collections into their main topics. Explore the tabs above to see these subject guides.
If you are looking for collections related to San Diego history, follow this link.
3. Search the library catalog.
Most of our processed archival/manuscript collections have brief catalog records in the library catalog.
4. Ask a librarian.
Make an appointment with a librarian in Special Collection to discuss your project. We can match you with the collections that will be most productive for your research. Archival research can be daunting, but we can help you with a one-on-one research tutorial. Click on the Main tab for contact info.
Keywords: special collections
Special Collections and University Archives houses rare, fine, unique, and valuable books, periodicals, manuscripts, and documents which require security and care in handling. Other valuable historical materials such as photographs, prints, postcards, memorabilia, scrapbooks, and oral histories are also held in Special Collections. Our materials are easy to find in the library catalog.
1. At the Advanced Search, type in your keyword(s).
2. Under Location, select Special Collections.
3. You can limit your search by Material Type, Language, and even Year Range.
4. Sort the Search Results by Relevance, Year, or Title. The Year option is particularly helpful for Special Collections materials.
5. Browse results.
Example: If you were looking for primary sources from or about the Civil War, type the keywords "civil war" and "United States" into the keyword search boxes (with quotes). Highlight "Special Collections" under Location. Click on Search. Results include archival collections, maps, and books. Sort your results by year, and go to the last page to view sources produced during or around the Civil War (1861-1865) held in Special Collections. Try adding keywords like "speech," "correspondence," "letters," or "narrative" to refine your search.
Keywords: special collections