Primary source: Public Housing, Racial Policies, and Civil Rights

Pictures of children engaged in activities in housing projectPublic Housing, Racial Policies, and Civil Rights: The Intergroup Relations Branch of the Federal Public Housing Administration, 1936-1963 includes directives and memoranda related to the Public Housing Administration’s policies and procedures. Among the documents are civil rights correspondence, statements and policy about race, labor-based state activity records, local housing authorities’ policies on hiring minorities, court cases involving housing decisions, racially-restrictive covenants, and news clippings. The intra-agency correspondence consists of reports on sub-Cabinet groups on civil rights, racial policy, employment, and Commissioner’s staff meetings.
For a better understanding of the scope and arrangement of this colletion, consult the guide that was created for the original microfilm publication.

Primary Source: FBI Files on Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking at a podium at the March on Washington
By White House Staff Photographers. Public Domain,

Full text access to the FBI’s file on the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. is available on the GALE platform. “The 44,000-page case file … documents the bureau’s role in finding Ray and obtaining his conviction. The file also includes background information amassed by the FBI on Dr. King’s social activism.”

Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century: Federal Government Records, on the Proquest platform, includes the two FBI files on Martin Luther King, Jr. Part 1
“details the heavy surveillance and painful harassment that J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI directed against America’s foremost civil rights leader throughout the 1960s.” Part 2 consists of verbatim transcripts and detailed summaries of telephone conversations between King and one of his most trusted confidants, Stanley D. Levinson.


Primary Sources: Decolonization: Politics and Independence in Former Colonial and Commonwealth Territories

Pokela leader of the PACThe Gale digital archive Decolonization: Politics and Independence in Former Colonial and Commonwealth Territories includes primary sources related to the complex process of decolonization across 60 former colonial territories and Commonwealth nations in the 20th century.  The core content consists of over 250,000 pages of rare pamphlets, newsletters, correspondence, posters, and other ephemera produced by political parties, pressure groups, trade unions, and grassroots movements. This includes the Political Pamphlets collection from the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, African Trade Union pamphlets from Nuffield College at Oxford, and the Marjorie Nicholson Papers on international trade unionism.

This archive is structured into thematic sections that address different facets of decolonization. These sections cover topics such as the rise of nationalist movements, key figures who led their nations to independence, and the residual impacts of colonial rule including economic dependencies and the development of new national identities. Additionally, it explores the involvement of international bodies like the United Nations in supporting decolonization efforts.


Primary Sources: Environmental History: Conservation and Public Policy in America, 1870-1980

Environmental History: Conservation and Public Policy in America, 1870-1980 is a digital archive from Gale that provides access to  sources documenting the emergence of conservation movements and the rise of environmental public policy in North America from the late 19th to the late 20th century.

The archive offers an incisive view into the efforts of individuals, organizations, and government agencies that shaped modern conservation policy and legislation. It includes:

  • Papers of early environmentalists like George Bird Grinnell, a founding member of the Boone and Crockett Club and the first Audubon Society, and Joseph Trimble Rothrock, known as the “father of forestry.”
  • Records of the American Bison Society, which helped save the American bison from extinction, and papers of women conservationists like Rosalie Edge and Velma “Wild Horse Annie” Johnston.
  • Documents from the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and various state and municipal agencies focused on conservation and land-use matters.
  • Grey literature from advocacy organizations, study groups, and commissions covering wildlife management, land preservation, public health, energy development, and more.

This archive provides valuable context for understanding today’s environmental challenges by chronicling the historical struggle to balance economic exploitation and resource conservation. It offers insights into the grassroots movements, advocacy efforts, and policy decisions that laid the foundation for modern environmental protection.

The resource includes grey literature on conservation and environmental policy from UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies Library.

Primary Sources: 19th Century British Pamphlets

Due to budget cuts, the Library ended its previous subscription to this resource. Access has been restored through a purchase of JSTOR content by the California Digital Library.

From the JSTOR site: “Throughout the 19th century, pamphlets were an important means of public debate, covering the key political, social, technological, and environmental issues of their day. 19th Century British Pamphlets, created by Research Libraries UK (RLUK), contains the most significant British pamphlets from the 19th century held in research libraries in the United Kingdom.”

More than 26,000 pamphlets from seven major UK research institutions are searchable and browsable in JSTOR.
Bristol Selected Pamphlets 1800-1899
Cowen Tracts 1603-1898
Earl Grey Pamphlets Collection 1800-1900
Foreign and Commonwealth Office Collection 1545-1900
Hume Tracts 1769-1890
Knowsley Pamphlet Collection 1792-1868
LSE Selected Pamphlets 1800-1899
Manchester Selected Pamphlets 1799-1900
Wilson Anti-Slavery Collection

I recommend reading the guides provided by the project, which describe more fully the content of the collections and how to search them. The guides also point out that the pamphlets don’t only reveal contemporary viewpoints, they contain statistics, illustrations, maps, and other evidence that would inform your research. Because pamphlets were sometimes published in response to another publication putting forward an opposing viewpoint, tracking them can provide insight into public debates.

Local and Independent Ukrainian Newspapers on Global Press Archive Electronically Available

The 1990s and early 2000s marked a turbulent period in Ukraine’s history due to the fall of the Soviet Union and the emergence of an independent Ukraine. Despite gaining free speech and property rights, citizens faced economic hardships. Corruption scandals and the murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze in 2000 sparked nationwide protests against the political elite. The Local and Independent Ukrainian Newspapers collection covers this era up to the Orange Revolution (2004–2005), offering insights from over 900 newspapers across 340 cities, reflecting regional and ethnic dynamics. The collection includes publications in Ukrainian, Russian, and other languages like Armenian, German, Polish, etc., providing a detailed view of historical events. Access to this database is supported by the Center for Research Libraries and its members.

One can access this collection here.

Here is the landing page of the The 1990s and early 2000s were a tumultuous time in Ukraine’s history. The fall of the Soviet Union and the establishment of independent Ukraine radically altered its political system. Citizens were guaranteed free speech and property rights; however, they suffered under a prolonged economic depression. In 2000, corruption scandals and the murder of investigative journalist Georgiy Gongadze triggered nationwide protests against Ukraine’s political elites.


Library workshops: Advanced Zotero series

Advanced Zotero workshops are intended for Zotero users who want to go beyond the basics of collecting citations and exporting bibliographies.  If you are new to Zotero, consider attending one of the Library’s Introduction to Zotero workshops being offered this term.

Advanced Zotero workshops will be offered every other Wednesday, starting February 7th, from 12:10-1:00 via Zoom. Registration is required and the Zoom link will be provided to participants who register 24 hours in advance of the workshop. Register on the Library’s workshops page. You must have a Calnet ID to register for a workshop.

The agendas for the workshops are listed below. New developments in Zotero and associated add-ons may result in adjustments to the agendas. The workshop descriptions on the Library’s workshop pages will be kept up-to-date. 

The Library attempts to offer programs in an accessible, barrier-free way. If you require a disability-related accommodation, please contact me (Jennifer Dorner) at at least one week in advance of the workshop you have registered for. 

 2/7 Advanced Zotero  Week 1: Managing your Zotero library

–        Methods for adding existing research materials to your Zotero library

–        Indexing and searching your Zotero library and attachments

–        Zotero 6.0 PDF viewer and annotation extractor

–        Creating and managing groups

2/21 Advanced Zotero  Week 2: Zutilo add-on

–        Installing and setting up Zutilo

–        Clean up library

–        Manage tags

–        Relate items

–       Create book & book section items

 3/6  Advanced Zotero Week 3: Managing attachments 

–        How and where Zotero saves attachments

–        Linked files vs. stored files

–        Using the Zotfile add-on to store attachments in a cloud server

–        Group attachment storage

 3/20 Advanced Zotero Week 4: Writing with Zotero 

–        Locating and adding citation styles

–        Zotero 6.0 Add note feature

–        Editing citations with Zotero’s tools

–        Changing the font/size of citations

–        Why things go wrong (broken links to Library, unable to update document, etc.)

4/3 Advanced Zotero Week 5: More add-ons & upcoming features

–        Zotero 7.0 beta

–        Zotero Research Assistant “AI” connector to ChatGPT

–        Storage scanner for Zotero

 4/17 Advanced Zotero Week 6: JURIS-M for multilingual scholarship 

–        Installing JURIS-M

–        Configure JURIS-M to link to your Zotero account

–        Setting up JURIS-M to store multilingual information.

–        Integrating JURIS-M into your writing process

5/1 Advanced Zotero Week 7: Agenda TBA 



Primary Sources: Czechoslovakia Crisis, 1968: The State Department’s Crisis Files

Czechoslovakia Crisis, 1968: The State Department’s Crisis Files consists of documents collected and collated from a variety of State Department sources by the State Department’s Executive Secretariat, and represents an administrative history of the crisis. This collection includes almost a day-by-day record of the events, including the U.S. and the West’s response to the Soviet occupation.

The resources is organized in a series of subcollections:

Primary Sources: British and US documents on Afghanistan, Central Asia, and Persia

Afghanistan and the U.S., 1945-1963: Records of the U.S. State Department Classified Files
Declassified U.S. State Department files documenting U.S. and Afghan relations during the height of the Cold War and U.S. policies toward Afghanistan. The resource includes 3 subcollections:

Afghanistan in 1919: The Third Anglo-Afghan War
The Third Anglo-Afghan War began 6 May 1919 and ended with an armistice on 8 August 1919 resulted in Afghanistan gaining indpendence from British influence. This collection of British India Office documents includes confidential correspondence, memoranda, orders, reports and other materials that provide a broad spectrum of information on military policy and administration, including the organization, operations and equipment of the British army during the war.

Central Asia, Persia and Afghanistan, 1834-1922: From Silk Road to Soviet Rule
This collection of British Foreign Office files explores the history of Persia (Iran), Central Asia and Afghanistan from the decline of the Silk Road in the first half of the nineteenth century to the establishment of Soviet rule over parts of the region in the early 1920s. It encompasses the era of “The Great Game” – a political and diplomatic confrontation between the Russian and British Empires for influence, territory and trade across a vast region, from the Black Sea in the west to the Pamir Mountains in the east.

Comprised of correspondence, intelligence reports, agents’ diaries, minutes, maps, newspaper excerpts and other materials from the FO 65, FO 106, FO 371 and FO 539 series, this resource forms one of the greatest existing sets of historical documents relating to this region, offering insights not only into the impact of Great Power politics on the region, but also the region’s peoples, cultures and societies.

Trial: Africa Commons

Trial access to the Africa Commons digital archival collections, produced by Coherent Digital, is available until January 31st.  This resource provides access to books, magazines, newspapers, government documents, manuscripts, photographs, videos, and oral histories related to African history and culture.  Africa Commons is a project which aims to enable Africa to easily control, digitize, and disseminate its cultural heritage–within Africa, and internationally.

Africa Commons comprises four distinct collections:

History and Culture, an index of open source materials related to African history and culture.

Black South African Magazines created from 1937-1973 targeting Black audiences.

Southern African Films and Documentaries including propaganda, newsreels, documentaries, feature films, and interviews spanning the 1900s to the early 2000s.

The Hilary Ng’wengo Archive documenting the fifty-year career of the iconic Kenyan journalist, publisher, commentator, and public figure Hilary Ng’wengo through his magazines, newspapers, television programs, and documentaries.

Send your feedback to Michele McKenzie at