The Library has invested in the creation of Reveal Digital’s Behind the Scenes of the Civil Rights Movement and now has access to the first batch of digitized content on the JSTOR platform. The following information about the collection was shared in Reveal Digital’s announcement:
Covering primarily the 1950s and 1960s, Behind the Scenes of the Civil Rights Movements provides access to primary source documents that focus on how ordinary citizens in the smaller communities viewed, participated in and lived through this historical era. When completed in 2025, the collection will include letters, general correspondence, logs, demonstration plan outlines, transportation logs and plans, meetings, worship services, photographs, newsletters, news reels, interviews and musical recordings from Black, Latine, Native American and Asian American Pacific Islander communities.
The eight compilations from the Atlanta History Center include:
- Alert Americans Association broadside “Martin Luther King…At Communist Training School”
- Atlanta American Council of Christian Churches documents on the Black Manifesto
- Clarence Bacote papers
- Coretta Scott King documents
- Herman L. Turner papers
- Jones family papers of Lovett School
- Roland M. Frye papers
- Southern Regional Council documents
African American Newspapers in the South, 1870-1926 is a new addition to Accessible Archives. It documents the African American press in the South from Reconstruction through the Jim Crow period. Written by African Americans for African Americans, the first-hand reporting, editorials, and features kept readers abreast of current domestic and international events, often focusing on racial issues. The editors didn’t shy away from exposing racial discrimination and violence, including the emotionally laden topic of lynching. Yet, the newspapers also covered lighter fare, reporting on civic and religious events, politics, foreign affairs, local gossip, and more.
It includes all complete runs of representative newspapers from the District of Columbia, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia:
Athens Republique, 1921 – 1926
The Banner-Enterprise, 1883 – 1884
The Bee, 1882 – 1884
The Black Dispatch, 1917 – 1922
The Educator, 1874 – 1875
The Langston City Herald, 1892 – 1900
The Louisianian, 1870 – 1871
The Nashville Globe, 1907 – 1918
The National Forum, 1910
Pioneer Press, 1911 – 1917
The Republican, 1873 – 1875
Semi-Weekly Louisianian, 1871 – 1872
The Tulsa Star, 1913 –1921
Western World, 1903 – 1904
The Library has an ongoing subscription to Accessible Archives, which provides access to valuable newspaper content, county histories, early periodicals, books, and pamphlets. The collections can be browsed or searched (though the search interface is fairly clunky).
The most recent additions to Accessible Archives include:
- African American Newspapers, Part XIV: The Canadian Observer, 1914-1919
- Invention and Technology in America: American Inventor, 1878-1887
- America and World War I: American Military Camp Newspapers, Parts I and II
Until March 15, the Library has trial access to Black Life in America, This resource consists of two parts: BLA (1704-1877): Arrival in America Through Reconstruction and BLA (1878-1975): Jim Crow Through Civil Rights. Both series are comprised of articles from over 20,000 mostly American, but some international newspapers about all manner of Black life in America.
Please join us for a virtual Black History Month Celebration at UC Berkeley Library! The event is planned for Wednesday, February 23, 2022, from 11:30 am until 1 pm PST / 2:30 pm to 4 pm EST on Zoom.
Webinar Registration: ucberk.li/black-history-month-2022-event
Free and Open to all with prior registration. Please remember to authenticate by signing into your institutional or individual zoom accounts first before trying to register for the event.
I want to thank our Vice Chancellor for the Division of Equity & Inclusion, Dania Matos, who found time out of her hectic schedule to provide the opening remarks. We look forward to welcoming everyone. Please be so kind as to share information about this event with your respective communities of practice.
By Mollie Appel-Turner
On Jan 25, 1972, Congresswomen Shirley Chisholm, representative for New York State’s Twelfth District and the first African American woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, announced her candidacy for president. With this announcement, Chisholm became both the first African American to run for a major party’s presidential nomination and also the first woman ever to run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. The UC Berkeley Oral History Center has several interviews that address Chisholm’s trailblazing candidacy. In addition, the Center has numerous interviews with other ground-breaking female politicians.
“Anything that black women do like that, they’re pioneering; they’re the first, or one of the first. Because it takes a lot of guts and militancy and sacrifice to do those things when it isn’t popular.”
— Frances Mary Albrier
Frances Mary Albrier was a woman of numerous accomplishments. A graduate of UC Berkeley, she was an indefatigable opponent of racism, a civil rights activist from the 1920s onward, the first woman elected to Alameda County’s Democratic Central Committee, as well as the first black woman hired by Kaiser Shipyards during World War II. She founded the East Bay Women’s Welfare Club, and her efforts led to the hiring of black women teachers in the Berkeley public schools. Albrier discussed Chisholm’s then-recent candidacy when she was interviewed in 1977 and 1978 as part of a series on women political leaders.
Mrs. Chisholm pioneered when she ran for Congress in New York as a black woman. Anything that black women do like that, they’re pioneering; they’re the first, or one of the first. Because it takes a lot of guts and militancy and sacrifice to do those things when it isn’t popular, and it wasn’t popular for a black woman in the East or anywhere. Now, when Mrs. Chisholm ran for president, she did it again. She’s pioneered the way for [others]. Eventually, we’ll have a woman president of the United States. Those doors have been opened. People had looked at her and they’ve talked about a woman running for president. They heard what she had to say. It will be much easier for the next woman who has the ambition to run for president to do so.
Janet West was also interviewed for the women political leaders series, focusing on her work as a Santa Barbara Board of Education member. In the multi-interview volume Women in Politics Volume II, West spoke about how her experiences as a parent influenced her desire to run for office, and both motivated and informed her decisions as a board member. In her 1972 oral history, West discussed the significance of Chisholm’s then-contemporary candidacy:
I think if you’re talking about a large political office, people have the idea that you know, a woman couldn’t stand up under the pressures and maybe couldn’t take all that guff or whatever it is. I think we really have to overcome that type of thing and I’m not sure how many votes Shirley Chisholm will get just because she’s a woman, certainly not because she’s black but because she’s a woman and I don’t think people really feel that a woman can do all that hard work. It’s a lot of hard work.
Professor Harry Edwards joined UC Berkeley’s department of sociology in 1971. He conducted scholarship in the area of sociology of race and sport and is also renowned for his involvement in the famous Black Power salute on the victory podium at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. In “Harry Edwards: An Oral History,” he discussed his early life and upbringing in addition to his role as a scholar-activist, his time at Berkeley, and his work as a consultant to national football and basketball teams. When he was interviewed as part of the UC Berkeley African American Faculty and Senior Staff oral history project in 2005, Edwards spoke of Chisholm with both the knowledge of a contemporary and the perspective of a sociologist. Edwards discussed Chisholm’s extraordinary independence:
Shirley Chisholm, first of all, she had one phenomenal liability, and what I call it is the Stevenson syndrome. She was extraordinarily bright. She was extremely intelligent. That’s a phenomenal liability in the convention of the American political scene. She also had an independence to her that put her outside of the authoritative black leadership influence and control circle. The authoritative black leadership influence and control circle tried to get her not to run. They did not feel that it was “time” for a black woman to step out and run for President. She ran without the endorsement of the NAACP, without the endorsement of the Congress of Racial Equality, without the endorsement of SCLC, without the endorsement of Operation PUSH and Jesse Jackson. She ran on her own.
Shirley Chisholm is one of many women politicians discussed in the Oral History Center’s collections. The Oral History Center contains a wide variety of interviews on women in local, state, and national politics. For more on ground-breaking female politicians, the Oral History Center’s Women Political Leaders collection contains interviews that cover almost the entirety of the 20th century, from the suffragists onward. Interviewees include March Fong Eu, the first Asian American woman in the United States to be elected to a state constitutional office; Helen Gahagan Douglas, the first Democratic woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives; and Hope Mendoza Schechter, a member of the Democratic State Central Committee and an activist for both the labor movement and the Mexican American community. The Oral History Center continues to preserve the histories of women leaders in the political sphere and is currently conducting new interviews with female political leaders in the Bay Area Women in Politics and California State Archives projects. For those who wish to learn more, a good place to start is the Oral History Center’s Women in Politics podcast, which has episodes on a variety of important female political leaders of the twentieth century — at the local, state, and national levels — including Francis Albrier.
Mollie Appel-Turner joined the Oral History Center as a student editor in fall 2021. She is currently a fourth-year history student with a concentration in medieval history.
About the Oral History Center
The Oral History Center of The Bancroft Library has interviews on just about every topic imaginable. You can find the interviews mentioned here and all our oral histories from the search feature on our home page. Search by name, keyword, and several other criteria. We preserve voices of people from all walks of life, with varying political perspectives, national origins, and ethnic backgrounds. We are committed to open access and our oral histories and interpretive materials are available online at no cost to scholars and the public.
The National Archives recently released a digitized collection of Confederate Slave Payrolls, 1861-1865 that are part of Record Group 109, War Department Collection of Confederate Records. The records list the names and locations of the slaves whose labor was leased to the Confederacy for a variety of tasks, including digging entrenchments, creating obstructions on rivers, digging potassium nitrate for gunpowder, and providing labor at ordnance factories and arsenals. The payrolls provide the name and usually the place of residence of each slave owner. The information provided about the slave included his or her name, date and place employed, occupation, number of days worked, daily rate of pay, total amount of pay, and name of the Confederate Officer responsible for the payroll. The article “Civil War Confederate Slave Payroll Records” provides more information about the content and organization of the records.
The HistoryMakers Digital Archive is an ongoing oral history project begun in 1993 to record, preserve, and disseminate the stories of African Americans and African-American led groups and movements. The interviewees come from a variety of fields and from across the United States. The high-quality video interviews are broken up into sections with brief summaries of the content, and each section is accompanied by a transcript. The resource can be searched by aspects of historical context, biographical themes, or qualities of the interview.
The Library recently acquired Black Thought and Culture, an electronic collection of approximately 100,000 pages of non-fiction writings by major American black leaders, covering 250 years of history. It also includes a great deal of previously inaccessible material, including letters, speeches, political leaflets, interviews, periodicals, and trial transcripts. Highlights include:
- The transcript of the Muhammad Ali trial
- A full run of The Black Panther newspaper, with full-color images of every page as well as searchable text
- 2,500 pages of exclusive Black Panther oral histories owned by the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation
The California Digital Library is piloting an arrangement with ProQuest that provides access to 45 History Vault modules. At the end of the calendar year, UC may elect to purchase perpetual access to some of this content. Your feedback on which resources are most useful to you is welcome.
In the Library’s A-Z databases list, these resources have been grouped thematically into these categories; in some cases there are links to individual modules that we previously purchased. Once on the ProQuest platform, you can search within a single source or across multiple sources.
ProQuest History Vault – search across all ProQuest History vault collections
American Indians and the American West, 1809-1971 – Contains a large variety of collections from the U.S. National Archives, a series of collections from the Chicago History Museum, as well as selected first-hand accounts on Indian Wars and westward migration.
American Politics and Society – includes the collections: Thomas A. Edison Papers, Law and Society since the Civil War: American Legal Manuscripts from the Harvard Law School Library; Progressive Era: Reform, Regulation, and Rights; Progressive Era: Robert M. LaFollette Papers; Immigration: Records of the INS, 1880-1930; Records of the Children’s Bureau, 1912-1969; New Deal and World War II: President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Office Files and Records of Federal Agencies; American Politics in the Early Cold War: Truman and Eisenhower Administrations, 1945-1961; FBI Confidential Files and Radical Politics in the U.S., 1945-1972; Students for a Democratic Society, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and the anti-Vietnam War Movement; American Politics and Society from Kennedy to Watergate
Civil rights and the Black Freedom Struggle – includes the collections: Black Freedom Struggle in the 20th Century: Federal Government Records and Supplement; Organizational Records and Personal Papers Parts 1 & 2; and the NAACP Papers
International Relations and Military Conflicts – includes the collections: U.S. Military Intelligence Reports, 1911-1944; U.S. Diplomatic Post Records, 1914-1945; World War I: British Foreign Office Political Correspondence; World War I: Records of the American Expeditionary Forces, and Diplomacy in the World War I Era; Creation of Israel: British Foreign Office Correspondence on Palestine and Transjordan, 1940-1948; World War II: U.S. Documents on Planning, Operations, Intelligence, Axis War Crimes, and Refugees; Office of Strategic Services (OSS) – State Department Intelligence and Research Reports, 1941-1961; Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files, Africa and Middle East, 1960-1969, Asia, 1960-1969, Europe and Latin America, 1960-1969; and Vietnam War and American Foreign Policy, 1960-1975
Southern Life, Slavery, and the Civil War – includes the collections: Slavery and the Law; Slavery in Antebellum Southern Industries; two modules of Southern Life and African American History, 1775-1915, Plantations Records; Confederate Military Manuscripts and Records of Union Generals and the Union Army; and Reconstruction and Military Government after the Civil War.
Women’s Studies – includes the collections: Struggle for Women’s Rights: Organizational Records, 1880-1990; Women’s Studies Manuscripts from the Schlesinger Library: Voting Rights, National Politics, and Reproductive Rights; Women at Work during World War II: Rosie the Riveter and the Women’s Army Corps; and Margaret Sanger Papers: Smith College Collections and Collected Documents
Workers, Labor Unions, and Radical Politics – includes the collections: Labor Unions in the U.S., 1862-1974: Knights of Labor, AFL, CIO, and AFL-CIO and
Workers, Labor Unions, and the American Left in the 20th Century: Federal Records