Primary Sources: Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees: The West’s Response to Jewish Emigration

From the publisher’s description: “The Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees (IGCR) was organized in London in August 1938 as a result of the Evian Conference of July 1938, which had been called by President Roosevelt to consider the problem of racial, religious, and political refugees from central Europe…. For the first time, there was discussion on extending protection to would-be refugees inside the country of potential departure, particularly central Europe. The IGCR, however, received little authority and almost no funds or support from its member nations for resettlement of refugees from Europe in countries allowing permanent immigration, and it had little success in opening countries to refugees…. In July 1944, 37 governments participated in the work of the Committee. Of these, representatives of nine countries, including the United States, served on its Executive Committee. The primary responsibility for determining the policy of the United States with regard to the Committee was that of the Department of State. It ceased to exist in 1947, and its functions and records were transferred to the International Refugee Organization of the United Nations.”

The Library recently acquired the online archive of the Department of State’s records relating to the IGCR, which reside in the National Archives. More information about the scope and arrangement of the collection is available in the finding aid for the microfilmed edition.


Primary Sources: Japanese American Internment: Records of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library

sign reading "instructions to all persons of Japanese ancestry"The Library has recently acquired Japanese American Internment: Records of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, a digitized collection of materials that were assembled by library staff at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library. The finding aid for the microfilm version provides more detailed information about what is included in the collection and how it is arranged.


Primary Sources: ProQuest Executive Branch Documents 1933-1942

The Library has added Part 2 (19333-1939) and Part 3 (1940-1942) to its acquisition of Executive Branch Documents, accessible through ProQuest Congressional. This resource contains documents produced by federal government departments, agencies, and commissions that were not included in the U.S. Serial Set.


Primary Sources: New Deal and World War II: President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Office Files and Records of Federal Agencies (1933-1945)

New Deal and World War II: President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Office Files and Records of Federal Agencies (1933-1945) includes materials deemed especially important by the President on the basis of content and source. Major topics covered in the files are the Great Depression, the New Deal, America’s involvement in World War II, the internal workings of the Roosevelt administration, and Roosevelt’s personal leadership style. Several additional collections include the FBI Reports of the Franklin D. Roosevelt White House; Civilian Conservation Corps Press Releases; Department of Treasury records; and a special set of documentary records on the Roosevelt Presidency covering 50 important episodes and themes of the Roosevelt presidency. Of particular interest are the Records of the Committee on Economic Security, an advisory board tasked by the President to propose measures that would ensure economic security for Americans.  It’s final report was the blueprint for what would become the Social Security Act.


Primary Sources: Records of the Children’s Bureau, 1912-1969

Group of children pictured, with caption: The health of the child is the power of the nation. The Library has recently acquired Records of the Children’s Bureau, 1912-1969, which consists of reports, speeches, correspondence, and research materials from the Children’s Bureau, the first federal agency dedicated entirely to protecting the welfare of children and families. The documents in this collection span the years from its creation in 1912 through 1969 and originate from the administrative files of bureau staff members, including the bureau’s chiefs throughout the years: Julia Lathrop, Grace Abbott, Katharine Lenroot, Martha Eliot, and Katherine Oettinger.


Trial: Secret Files from World Wars to Cold War (British government documents)

Secret files from World Wars to Cold War

Now trialling: Secret Files from World Wars to Cold War
Ends: Wednesday 31st October 2018

Provides 144,000 pages of British government secret intelligence and foreign policy files sourced from The National Archives U.K. Content which is only available elsewhere by visiting the National Archives in London.

Contains nine file series which span four major Twentieth-Century conflicts – the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War, the early years of the Cold War and the Korean War. Includes multiple search and filter options and a series of essays written by the resource Editorial Board of academic experts that contextualize the material and highlights key themes.

Please note: The My Archive and the Document and Citation Download functions are not available on this trial edition of Secret Files from World Wars to Cold War. Documents can be viewed using the image viewer function.

Send your feedback to Jennifer Dorner – dorner@berkeley.edu


Primary Sources: Records of the US Department of State for Panama & Brazil

image of document from resourcesThe Library has recently acquired online access to these government documents:

Panama: Records of the U.S. Department of State, 1950-1963
Documents in this collection trace U.S.-Panamanian relations during the Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy administrations. Issues relating to shipping and the significance of the Panama Canal during the Cold War include: “Panama Stymies Use of Her Flag in Vietminh Trade … A parallel situation exists in the trade with Red China” (September 1955); and “Ships Enroute to U.S. from Soviet or Satellite Ports” (October 1957). A letter to U.S. Ambassador Julian F. Harrington details “the possibility that the Conference on the Law of the Sea in 1960 would result in a general acceptance by the United States of a six-mile breadth of territorial sea” (April 1960). Other documents chart day-to-day aspects of the economy: a report on sugar production with tables on sugar production and consumption (June 1950); and an announcement by the Panamá Canal Company of a contract award for native lumber (August 1952).

Brazil: Records of the U.S. Department of State, 1960-1963
This archive focuses on Brazil in the early 1960s. Sample documents include a report from Recife on the cultivation and export of pineapples, “especially in the states of Pernambuco and Paraíba,” as “an increasing source of foreign exchange for the Northeast.” A November 1962 memorandum details the issuance of 40 billion cruzeiros in new currency “to meet runs on commercial banks during the political crisis, gradually flowing back to the Bank of Brazil following the return of normal conditions.” The collection covers the period following the resignation from the presidency of Janio Quadros in 1961 and the succession of Vice President Joao Goulart, whose years in office were marked by high inflation, economic stagnation, and the increasing influence of radical political elements. The armed forces, alarmed by these developments, staged a coup on March 31, 1964, during the administration of U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson.


Primary Sources: State Papers Online – Foreign

images of monarchs
The Library has acquired the Foreign State Papers of early British Monarchs.

State Papers Online Part II: The Tudors, 1509-1603: State Papers Foreign, Scotland, Borders, Ireland and Registers of the Privy Council
“Documents Tudor England’s relations with its neighbours, both near and distant including those it sought to control (Scotland, Ireland and Wales), those it fought wars or maintained peace with in Europe (the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, France) and those it traded with (the Ottoman Empire, the Barbary coast and Russia.)”

State Papers Online Part IV: The Stuarts and the Commonwealth, James I – Anne I, 1603-1714: State Papers Foreign, Ireland and Registers of the Privy Council
“Part IV completes the Papers of the Stuart period and contains volumes of State Papers from, to and about all the countries of Europe. Many of these countries have lost their own collections from this period increasing the rarity and value of these British State Papers. All the great international themes of the 17th century play out in document after document making them an essential resource for not only British but European History: marriage alliances, revolutions, wars and treaties, trade and commerce and, crucially, religion.”

These can be found along with the State Papers Domestic for these time periods, at State Papers Online.


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.”