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Primary Sources: The Guatemala Collection: Government and Church Documents for Sacatepéquez

picture of house, overlaid with The Guatemala CollectionThe Library has acquired the The Guatemala Collection: Government and Church Documents for Sacatepéquez (1587-1991).

Populated predominantly by indígenas (indigenous peoples) who speak Kaqchikel-Maya, Sacatepéquez Department offers an excellent window into Latin American and Native American history. Crucial to Guatemala’s colonial and national development, indígenas were largely discounted and denigrated. Despite such discrimination and disadvantages, many found ways to survive and thrive. Often converging at the nexus of modernization and tradition, the documents in this collection convey the complicated hybrid history of a nation striving to present itself as progressive and civilized in an Atlantic world that seldom associated those qualities with indigeneity. The Guatemala Collection houses a rich array of government, church, and civil documents that bear testimony to an indigenous population’s struggle and success with the changing social, economic, political, and religious dynamics of colonial and independent rule.

The Guatemala Collection comprises ten series. Across these ten series, the documents of the collection are organized into fifty-seven distinct classifications that include such themes as economy, agriculture, forced labor, complaints, crime, annual reports, natural disasters, municipal affairs, education, elections, military, public works, religion, public health, lands and estates, development, resignations and solicitations, regulations, festivities, and maps.

Language: Spanish


Primary Sources: Los Primeros Libros de las Americas

Logo for Primeros Libros de las Americas As the site explains, Los Primeros Libros de las Americas is “a digital collection of the first books printed in the Americas before 1601. These monographs are very important because they represent the first printing in the New World and provide primary sources for scholarly studies in a variety of academic fields. Of the 220 editions believed to have been produced in Mexico and 20 in Peru, approximately 155 are represented in institutions around the world.”

Resource: New Research Guide for France’s May ’68

Photo by Bruno Barbey of students and workers in Charlety stadium in Paris Les événements de mai 68 (the events of May ’68) or Mai 68 (May ’68) refer to the socio-political and cultural contestation that took place in France between May and June, 1968. Student protests at universities in Nantes, Brest and Nanterre were eventually joined by a general strike involving some 10 million workers, nearly 20 percent of the population. While the movement, or events, which lasted nearly 6 weeks failed to transform the state, it did have an indelible impact on French society, forever changing the social space and opening up a terrain for new social movements.

As May ’68 approaches its fiftieth anniversary, the Mai 68: Library Research Guide created by Claude Potts, Librarian for Romance Language Collections, serves as a starting point for interdisciplinary research of all levels into this specific historical moment and also commemorates the ways the movement opened up a broader discourse into social emancipation, including feminism, anti-racism, ecology, and gay rights. As home to the Free Speech Movement and the first large-scale protest against the Vietnam War in 1964, UC Berkeley has a special connection with May ’68, and the depth of our library collection on the topic is a testament to that transatlantic link.


(Photo by Bruno Barbey of students and workers in Charlety stadium in Paris. May 27th, 1968 retrieved from ARTstor.)

Trial: Presidential Recordings Digital Edition

Until March 31, 2018, the Library has trial access to Presidential Recordings Digital Edition, an online portal for annotated transcripts of telephone conversations of Presidents Johnson, Kennedy, and Nixon. Recordings and transcripts are presented together. The transcripts are searchable and browseable by administration, series, speaker, date, place, and duration.

Please contact me with your feedback on the value of this resource to researchers at UC Berkeley.

Primary Sources: British Labour Party papers, 1906-1969

The Library has acquired British Labour Party papers, 1906-1969, a module on the British Online Archives platform.

These papers cover the foundation of the Parliamentary Labour Party in 1906, then “follow the Party through Ramsay MacDonald’s Governments, two world wars, the first Harold Wilson Government and the early part of his second Government. The events in these records are a reflection of current events as much as of the Party itself. From the suffrage campaign for the electoral enfranchisement of women, to nuclear tests over the Pacific Ocean, through the Beveridge Report, the Trade Union Bill and the development of the United Nations. Early policies like the minimum wage would not pass for decades and Party discipline would be a challenge for every Party Leader. Those challenges existed alongside the removal of the right for employers to sue trade unions and the creation of social services. These papers have been arranged by year and divided into thematic groups for ease of analysis.”

Trial: Ogonek Digital Archive (DA-OGN) 1923-2017

The Library has set up a trial for the Ogonek Digital Archive 1923-2017.

Liladhar Pendse sent me this description of the resource: Ogonek is one of the oldest weekly magazines in Russia, having been in continuous publication since 1923. Throughout its illustrious history Ogonek has published original works by such Soviet cultural luminaries as Vladimir Mayakovsky, Isaac Babel, Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, the photographer Yuri Rost, and others. It first saw the rise of its stock under the editorial guidance of Mikhail Koltsov, a star Soviet reporter, who oversaw the growth of Ogonek from a readership of 25,000 in 1923 to nearly half a million within a mere two year period, turning it into one of the most influential and widely read Soviet publications of the period. Its popularity was left intact even after Koltsov’s arrest on the eve of the WWII in 1938. It is safe to say however, that the magazine would not become the cultural force it became, were it not for the editorial tenure of Anatoli Sofronov, the noted Soviet poet and playwright. Under Sofronov’s at times controversial and at times bromidic leadership Ogonek became an important outlet for some of the most well-known and respected Soviet writers, visual artists, photographers and reporters. Although under Sofronov Ogonek grew steadily, it came to experience the peak of its popularity at the hands of its new editor Vitaly Korotich, who assumed the editorship of the magazine after the passing of Sofronov in 1986 at the height of Perestroika. Korotich, inspired by the newfound political liberties turned the journal into a lively space for edgy political commentary, criticism, and satire. After undergoing financial and creative crisis in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, which saw a steep decline in readership, Ogonek has now rediscovered its creative zest under a new leadership and management, once again becoming an important forum for cultural and political intellectual exchanges.

The trial is active until April 4, 2018. Note that the archive is a work in progress and not all content has been added yet.

Event: Bancroft Roundtable: California’s Place in Anti-Slavery Litigation on the Eve of the Civil War

The second Bancroft Library Roundtable talk of the spring semester will take place in the Lewis-Latimer Room of The Faculty Club at noon on Thursday, March 15. Alexandra Havrylyshyn, J.D. and Ph.D. candidate in Jurisprudence and Social Policy at UC Berkeley and Bancroft Library Study Award recipient, will present “California’s Place in Anti-Slavery Litigation on the Eve of the Civil War.”


Between 1846 and 1851 New Orleans trial judge John McHenry ruled in favor of nearly twenty enslaved petitioners who sought freedom on the basis of having touched free soil. These rulings directly contravened Louisiana state legislation, but McHenry reasoned that they were in keeping with higher sources of law: constitutional, federal, and international. He migrated to California, and his personal and legal papers are now preserved in The Bancroft Library. Havrylyshyn’s presentation will explore McHenry’s political identification and the ways that anti-slavery litigation influenced California before the start of the Civil War.

We hope to see you there.

José Adrián Barragán-Álvarez and Kathi Neal

Bancroft Library Staff

Trial: John Johnson Collection: An Archive of Printed Ephemera

Theater costume plateUntil April 1, the Library has trial access to the John Johnson Collection, An Archive of Printed Ephemera.  This resource provides high-quality images of thousands of items selected from the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera housed at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, England. The collection offers “unique insights into the changing nature of everyday life in Britain in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. Categories include Nineteenth-Century Entertainment, the Booktrade, Popular Prints, Crimes, Murders and Executions, and Advertising.”


Event: Opening of Library Exhibit ” “Vida y Resistencia en el Territorio Mapuche, Chile”

flier for event This Friday, March 9, the Library will open an exhibit co-sponsored by the CLAS working group, the Wallmapu Support Committee. “Vida y Resistencia en el Territorio Mapuche, Chile” (Life and Resistance in the Mapuche Territory) can be viewed on the 3rd floor of Moffitt Library from March 9 – June 30, 2018.

The opening event is scheduled Friday from 5 pm – 6:30 pm in 303 Doe Library. There will be a short musical performance and some presentations by Chilean and Mapuche community members from the Bay Area.

UC ClioMetric History Project

UC ClioMetrics Project

UC ClioMetric History Project
Zach Bleemer, Project Director
Thursday, March 8
D-Lab (Barrows 371)

Zach Bleemer2018 is the sesquicentennial of the University of California. To celebrate this milestone, UC Berkeley’s Center for Studies in Higher Education has partnered with the UC Office of the President to create the UC ClioMetric History Project (uccliometric.org), a massive data repository documenting the university system’s history. The project encompasses interactive displays visualizing 150 years of UC’s students, faculty, courses, and budgets as well as research-ready collections of data now available for use.

This presentation is part of the DH Forum series sponsored by the DH Working Group. Refreshments will be served. 

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