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Last Updated: Sep 6, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Assignment #4 Print Page

Rose's Assignment #4: Primary Sources

+ This assignment must be typed.  You will need to use online resources ( AND visit the library in person.

+ DO NOT ask reference librarians for help with these questions.  They have been instructed not to help, which goes against the very core of their being.  Instead, you can ask me, or, Ben Amata has developed a webpage to help you if you get stuck on something.  

  • In the library, please return all materials to their original and upright position as a courtesy for students who will follow in your footsteps. 
  • Sloppiness in citations—misspellings, incorrect titles and punctuation, lack of capitalization, and failure to underscore or italicize book, journal, and newspaper titles—will be marked down.  
  • When asked to make a Xerox, it must be readable for research purposes or it will not count.

For questions 1-2, use the floor two stacks, but NOT the Reference section.

1. Go to the HX83 section of the library stacks.  A) Choose a primary source or collection of primary sources (e.g. oral histories, memoirs, autobiography, government report, collection of documents, etc.).  List each in both footnote and bibliographic format (see Turabian, 17.1).  B) In a sentence, note why it is a primary source.

HINT: Need a list of what constitutes a primary source?  View my PowerPoint:

It helps to know the difference between an autobiography and a biography before you start your search.

2. In the E855-861section of the library stacks (the Kennedy presidency), do the following:  A) Pick out two primary sources or collections of primary sources (e.g. oral histories, memoirs, autobiography, government report, collection of documents, etc.).  List each in footnote format (see Turabian, 17.1).  B) In a sentence for each, note why they are primary sources.

HINT: It helps to know the difference between a primary and secondary source before you start your search.

3. A) Name three different oral history projects or series that our library has copies of that were done by the Bancroft Library Regional Oral History Office (I am NOT asking for an individual interview or oral history with a person, but instead the project or series that contains within it a number of individual interviews or oral histories).  B) Give me the name of two persons interviewed for the California State University, Sacramento Oral History Program.

4. A) In the Library Media Center, what years (e.g. 1934-1950) does the library have microfilm copies of the following newspapers, journals or magazines:  1. Coal Age, 2. Redbook, 3. Colfax Sentinel, 4. Emporia News, 5. Modern Hospital, 6. Vogue, 7. Sacramento Bee, 8. Working Woman, 9. Arkansas Weekly Mansion, and 10. Freeman (out of West Virginia).  Some newspapers go by different names in different years or vary between local and national editions: INCLUDE ALL VERSIONS.  This question works best if you combine going to the Library Media Center with a Eureka search.  B) Put into the microfilm reader/copier any reel and issue of the San Francisco Chronicle and make a Xerox copy of a short article and include it with this assignment.  Mark on the Xerox the newspaper title and date.  C) If I wanted to look through copies of the Sacramento Union from 1912, where would I find them?

HINT: EUREKA records for serials (publications published more than once: newspapers, magazines, journals) regardless of their format will identify what the Library has and provides a starting date.

5. A) What is the call number of the microfilm collection of the Rosenberg trial record in the Media Center?  B) What is the call number of the microfilm collection in the Media Center of the FBI investigation files on the murders of Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney in Mississippi?  C) How many reels of microfilm make up the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Papers. 

HINT:  All these answers can easily be found through a link on your Research Sources Handout.

6. Now go to the Reference Section of the library and Xerox the polling results of one page of a Gallup public opinion poll.

HINT: use EUREKA to find the call number first.

7. Go to the website .   In three-four sentences, give a sense of the plusses and negatives of using this site for historical research.  Consult Storey, pp. 6-10 for guidance.

8. Go to the website, .  In three-four sentences, give a sense of the plusses and negatives of using this site for historical research.  Consult Storey, pp. 6-10 for guidance.

9. Go to: to answer all these questions.  This is the online archive for many participating California archives.  On it you will discover what collections various archives contain, many of their finding aids, and some very useful online documents.  A) I want to study the history of baseball’s Pacific Coast League.  At what two northern California archives, libraries, or historical societies will I find most records?  B) If I wanted to research the Sleepy Lagoon Case, which university would I most want to visit?  C) Tell me the major headline from the January 5, 1940 issue of the Rural Observer.

10. Go to and find the 1959 movie, “A-Bomb Blast Effects”.  Describe in two sentences broadly what happens between the two and four minute marks. (While at the archive, and just because it is so very amazing and is not graded, take a look at two movie clips.  The first,, is taken on a streetcar traveling down Market Street in San Francisco on April 15, 1906.  The second,,  is also taken on Market Street, but less than a week later, after the great earthquake and fire).

11. And now that you have completed all this, there are two things left.  Go to the library home page and click on Research Guides.  Click on History:  California, Sacramento and Local History Sources.  A) Give me two sources it lists for indexes for Sacramento History--General.  B) Now backtrack a page to the Research guides and click on Japanese Americans in Sacramento and California.  Tell me the titles of two books it lists for Agriculture and Business.


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