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History (General)

Assignment #1: Secondary Sources by Ben Amata

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, Ben Amata has developed this webpage to help you if you get stuck on something. 

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, lack of capitalization, and failure to underscore or italicize book and journal titles—will be marked down. 

When asked to make a Xerox, it must be readable for research purposes or it will not count.

1. (A) From the library’s homepage, click on EUREKA: Library Catalogue. Searching in the entire collection, do separate keyword, title, author, and subject searches for “United States Steel Corporation” (don’t use quotations marks in the search). How many individual entries (do not confuse with subjects, authors, etc.) come up for each search? (B) Now do the same searches with the term “US Steel” (again, don’t use quotation marks in the search). How many entries come up for all the searches?

2. From the library’s homepage, click on “Database and Article Searching.” Then click on “Journal Locator List.” (A) What is the last journal listed that begins with the letter “V” on this List? (B) When did it begin publication? (C) Does the library have the volumes from 1975?

3. For this question use quotation marks around “The Problem Every Supervisor Dreads,” which is the beginning of a journal article title. On the library’s homepage, click on “Database and Article Searching.” Each of these databases is unique and searches different sources in different ways. (A) Click on America: History and Life (EBSCO). Place in the keyword search, “The Problem Every Supervisor Dreads.” How many entries show up? Does it allow you to get a PDF copy of the entire journal article? (B) Go back to the database list and click on Academic Search Premier (EBSCO) and repeat the search. How many entries show up? Does it allow you to get a PDF copy of the entire journal article? (C) Go back to the database list and click on JSTOR (All Subjects). Click on Basic Search and again do the same search. How many citations come up? Does it allow you to get a PDF copy of the article? (D) While in JSTOR click on Browse by Title. Does JSTOR include any of the following journals: Pennsylvania History, Labor History, or California Folklore Quarterly?

4. While at Database and Article Searching, click on Project Muse. (A) What is the purpose of Project Muse? (B) Does it include Pennsylvania History, Labor History, or California Folklore Quarterly?

HINT: After opening the Project Muse page, look around and see if there is something that tells you what this database is about.

5. I want the often overlooked and underappreciated novel about a steel town, Burning Valley, by Phillip Bonosky, but CSUS does not have a copy of it. From the list on Database and Article Searching, click on Melvyl. (A) Name four California college libraries that have this book. (B) If I want one of the copies of the book from one of those libraries, what CSUS Library department will help me get it?

6. Now you must walk through the dusty library stacks. (A) On which two floors does one find most all the bound academic journals and popular magazines? (B) What determines on which floor they are stored? (C) Which of the following bound journals—American Historical Review, Journal of Arizona History, or Reviews in American History—is stored closest to Room 3523?

7. In a sentence, what is a “refereed journal?”

HINT: Consult your book: BENJAMIN (A STUDENT’S GUIDE TO HISTORY), chapter 5, under the section: "Using print and electronic periodical databases. "

8. (A) Name three prominent academic journals at CSUS that publish scholarly articles on a wide array of topics (NOT on a narrow topic) in American history? Make sure the most important journals (and they publish more than one) of the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians are included.

HINT: Diplomatic History is an example of a journal that focuses specifically on certain area of history rather than looking at history generally. Do a SUBJECT search in EUREKA, (for example: HISTORY PERIODICALS) and limit to the Periodicals Collection to retrieve a good list of CSUS history periodicals.

An Association is an organization. If they produce a publication, they are then an author. You can search by author and limit it to the Periodical Collection in the advanced mode of EUREKA by "LOCATION."

9. Name an academic journal devoted to (A) sports history; (B) radical history; (C) African American history; (D) social history. (E) Name a journal that focuses on the history of a particular geographic region (not state) in the United States. It cannot be on the western United States. Make sure these are history journals, and NOT ethnic studies, American studies, sociology, etc.

HINT: You can search the Periodical Collection using Library of Congress Subject Headings. For example, using the subject heading: United States Foreign Relations Periodicals will find the journal Diplomatic History. If you don't know the subject heading, you can do a keyword search and again limit by "Location" to find journal titles.

Assignment #2: Secondary Sources by Ben Amata

1. A) Name two academic history journals that carry articles primarily on various facets of California history. Pick one of them and Xerox a random table of contents from an issue from the 1960s or 1970s. Include it with this assignment.

HINT: As in Assignment 1, you can search for periodicals by keyword and/or Library of Congress Subject Heading and limit your search by Location to just Periodicals. For example, using the subject heading: United States Foreign Relations Periodicals will find the journal Diplomatic History. If you don't know the subject heading, you can do a keyword search and again limit by "Location" to find journal titles.

Note that in this question you are being asked to find articles from a specific time range. The EUREKA record indicates the locations for material and format.

2. (A) Name the journal (not newsletter and get the title correct) that deals exclusively with the history of Sacramento and is the current publication of the Sacramento County Historical Society. (B) What is its former title? (C) How far back does the library have copies of the original titled journal?

HINT: As above, you can find periodicals by limiting by Location. Eureka records indicate title changes so they will tell you previous title "prior title" and later titles "continued by." Make sure you look at the tab Details in the record; the record defaults to Availability. Records will indicate the Library's holdings as "Library has:"

3. From questions one or two, choose an article from any of the journals you used for one of those questions. (A) Xerox the first page of the article and include it with this assignment. (B) Make a sample footnote entry to that article (consult Turabian, 17.2).

4. Give full bibliographic entries (see Turabian, 17.1) for any three historical monographs or syntheses (see Benjamin, chapter 2, for a definition) in the library that are from the HD6515 section and address steelworkers, teamsters, autoworkers, or miners. Make sure these are monographs and NOT novels, edited collections of essays, biographies, bibliographies, autobiographies government documents, oral histories, etc. Remember, an historical monograph will have an author and NOT an editor. It is best to actually visit the books in person to determine this.


5. (A) On what floor are the hard copies of the CSUS master’s theses held at the Library? (B) Using Eureka and searching the CSUS Theses Collection, cite, in bibliographic form (see Turabian, 17.6.1) a Sac State Master’s thesis specifically with a railroad between Portland and Sacramento.

HINT: Just as limited your search to just Periodicals, you can limit your search to just CSUS master's theses. Using the Advanced search feature in EUREKA, you can limit to a specific Location .

For questions 6-10 you will need to work in the reference section of the library (that is where all the answers must come from in this section). It is located on the second floor, right behind the reference librarians. But begin on Eureka.

HINT: You can browse the Reference Collection behind the Reference Desk and you can use the Advanced search feature in EUREKA, you can limit to a specific Location.

6. Locate two bibliographies in general United States history that cover most topics and periods in that history. List authors, titles and call numbers.

HINT: You can use the word "bibliography" in a keyword or SUBJECT search to locate this specific type of publication.

For questions 6-10, Benjamin's Student's Guide to History appendix A provides a list of basic reference sources but you need to check EUREKA to make sure that our Library has them.

Locate two bibliographies on California history. A) List authors, titles and call numbers. B) Xerox a page that has a source on California business.

8. Choose a sub-specialty in United States history (e.g. western, labor, business, immigration, Native American, etc.) and locate two bibliographies for it. List authors, titles and call numbers.

9. Name two different scholarly encyclopedias that focus on two different topics (e.g. western, labor, business, immigration, Native American, etc.) of American history.

HINT: You can use the word "dictionary" and "encyclopedia" in a keyword or SUBJECT search to locate this specific type of publication.y"

10. (A) Locate two prominent biographical dictionaries on Americans. Give titles and call numbers. (B) Xerox a full entry that pertains to someone who was in any way related to the state of Washington. Include it with this assignment.

HINT: You can use the word "biography" in a keyword or SUBJECT search combined with another concept or word to locate this specific type of publication.y

Assignment #3: Primary Sources by Ben Amata

1. Locate the print index for the New York Times (ref AI21.N44) in the Reference section of the library. (A) Choosing any two of the years from 1942 through 1947, list how many different articles are listed that year on Amelia Earhart. (B) If I now wanted to read any of those articles (not online) at CSUS, where would I find them? (C) In what format would I read them: a bound collection, as the original newspaper, microfiche, or microfilm? D) Go to Search for Amelia Earhart for the same two years you used above. How many entries come up? E) Why the difference between this and the print index?

2. Find the print index to the San Francisco Chronicle in the reference section of the library. For any two of the following years, 1976 through 1981, how many articles are listed under the topic, University of San Francisco?
HINT: You can find out if a newspaper has an index by searching EUREKA using the title of the newspaper and the word "index." For example: los angeles times and index.

3. (A) Using the Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature, (which is found in the reference section of the library on floor 2 and the lower level of the library), how many articles were written on Amelia Earhart in any three years from 1935 through 1943. (B) What guide do you use for popular press articles from the 1870s?
HINT: What is the SUBJECT for this title? Perhaps looking for similar titles by doing a SUBJECT search then noting the dates of the title will identify other similar titles with the appropriate coverage.

4. Using the database California Newspapers (Newsbank) from the Databases and Article Searching library page, give me a direct quote from Dr. Kate Christensen and tell me the newspaper in which it appeared and the date.
HINT: Remember that you may want to use quotes to identify a phrse in a full text database. For example: "Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger".

5. Go to the library webpage and click on Database and Article Searching. Now click on the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). (A) Was it possible to google in the 1920s? (B) If I read in a history paper that the expression “fubared” was used widely in newspapers during World War I, why would I doubt it? Be specific. (C) In what year did we get in print the expression, “Hooverville”?

6. Go to the mechanical stacks (or in highly technical library lingo, compact shelving) in the lower level of the library for the following questions. Please make sure to return the volumes to the stacks so that your fellow students can complete the assignment. After all, we are historians and we want only to further everyone’s historical knowledge and make huge sums of money.
Answer any four of the following questions.

A. And you thought Listerine was only for bad breath! In the first ad pages of the June 21, 1943 issue of Life, what did Listerine guard against?

B. In the May 1, 1944 issue of Life magazine, what town ran Mr. Yamamoto out?

C. What is on the cover (describe picture) of the Ladies Home Journal for the first February issue of 1958?

D. I want to study how a small-town, Oregon student was influenced by new ideas as a freshman sociology major in 1975 at the University of Oregon. Go to the fall 1975 issue of the Insurgent Sociologist, published by University of Oregon sociology professors and graduate students. On the back of the front cover, to what is the Insurgent Sociologist committed?

E. Want labor statistics? Go to the Monthly Labor Review. On page 718, vol. 61 for July-Dec. 1945, what percent of the San Francisco Bay area labor force came from outside the state?

F. In the New Catholic World issue for Sept./Oct. 1972, in an article about divided moral opinion in Baltimore, table II shows what percent of St. Peter Claver parishioners either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “Civil Law should leave abortion up to a woman and her doctor.” What are those percentages?

G. In Gustav Bychowski’s, “The Ego and the Introjects,” in Psychoanalytic Quarterly 25 (1956), he argues on page 23 that in the construction of male homosexuality, the father “is usually inherently….” Finish the sentence.

H. In his article, “Closed Towns” in Survey for November 8, 1919, S. Adele Shaw writes on the bottom of page 62 that Duquesne mayor, James Crawford, in denying a meeting permit to union organizers said “_________ himself couldn’t hold a meeting in Duquesne.” Whom did he name couldn’t hold a meeting?

7. Go to the Journal of the [California] Assembly (J87C2c) or Journal of the [California] Senate (J87C2b) from the 1930s or 1940s and Xerox a page in which it lists a bill and how individual senators or assemblypersons voted. Not all bills list how senators and assemblypersons voted, so make sure to pick one that records the individual votes.

Government Documents
8. Go to Government Documents (floor 2), and look for the U.S. census from the 1930s (C 3.223:930...). (A) Pick any volume from the 1930 census and pick an interesting statistic and tell me what it is. (B) Now give me a bibliographic entry for that volume (See Turabian 17.9.4).

9. Stay in Government Documents, but move over to the microform documents that are housed in the file cabinets against the wall. Find the microfilm copies of the Census Reports (C3.23…) that are located in the farthest left file cabinet in the seventh through ninth drawers from the top. Pick any city or county and any year and then cue it up on the old microfilm reader/copier in the Library Media Services on the first floor. Pick any person. (A) Write a short paragraph about that person that includes all the information you can find on that page (e.g. address, when born, marital status, etc.). (B) Xerox that person’s complete entry (it may take two Xeroxes) and include it with this assignment.

Assignment #4: Primary Sources by Ben Amata

For questions 1-4, use the floor two stacks, but NOT the reference section.

1. Go to the HQ76 section for gay and lesbian history. (A) In bibliographic format (see Turabian 17.1) list three books that are either primary sources (e.g. oral histories, memoirs, autobiography, government report, etc.) or are collections of primary sources. (B) In a sentence for each, note why you consider them primary sources.

HINT: One can browse the shelves looking for primary sources - keeping in mind the type of material that makes up this category. One can also use EUREKA. See sample page.

2. In the E859 through E860 section of the library stacks, pick out two primary sources or collections of primary sources (e.g. oral histories, memoirs, autobiography, government report, collection of documents, etc.) on Watergate. List each in footnote format (see Turabian, 17.1). (B) In a sentence for each, note why you consider it a primary sources.

3. In the E184.J3 section I would find numerous oral history interviews with which group of people?

4. List in both bibliographic and footnote format (see Turabian 17.2) a collection of oral histories in book form on African Americans in the twentieth century.

5. In CSUS library’s Library Media Center, how far back (month and year) do microfilm copies of the following newspapers go: Sacramento Bee, Los Angeles Times, Marysville Daily Appeal, Oregon Statesman, Nation, and San Francisco Bay Guardian. Take the extra step to check your answer. It is surprisingly easy to get these wrong.

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

6. While you are at the Library Media Center, Xerox the upper part of the first page (must include title and date) of any, California newspaper from 1980s. Include it with this assignment.

7. A) If I wanted to look at a set of “basic documents” from the Alger Hiss Case at CSUS, where would I find them, in what format would they be, and what is the call number? B) Now answer the above questions for a World War II collection of documentary posters. 

8. A) What is the call number for the microfilm collection entitled, Underground Newspaper Collection. B) Does this collection contain the wonderful newspapers, Great Speckled Bird and Black Panther? 

9. Now go to the Reference Section of the library to call number ref HNZ7164.S66 A5. A) What is the title of this collection? B) Xerox a page (from any year) that indexes articles for the Black Panther Party. C) In 1-2 sentences, how can you use this resource in conjunction with the Underground Newspaper Collection?

Internet sources.
10. Go to the website In three-four sentences, give a sense of whether this is or is not a very legitimate site for historical research. Consult Benjamin for guidance.

11. Go to the website, In three-four sentences, give a sense of whether this is or is not a very legitimate site for historical research. Consult Benjamin for guidance.

12. A) Go to: to answer all these questions. This is the online archive for many, 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. If I wanted to research the Kaweah Cooperative Colony, to which library should I visit?

B) Locate where I would go to research the records of the California Un-American Activities Committee.

C) In the online records of the Free Speech Movement Photographs Collection at the Bancroft Library, locate Ron Hecker’s photograph, labeled “Sociology graduate students and teaching assistants carrying signs in the Greek theater,” dated twenty-three years to the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. A coat and tie-wearing student carries a sign that reads, “Sociology Students Shouldn’t….” Finish the words on the sign.

D) Go to the list of contributing institutions on the website and tell me which of the
following contribute: California State Archives, Sacramento Archives and Museum Collection Center, CSU Sacramento Library, UC Davis Special Collections?

Library Website
13. 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 and Sacramento. Behold. Beautiful, ain’t it? (A) Use this page to tell me two resources it cites for locating people, specifically, Californians and Sacramentans. Now backtrack a page and click on History: Japanese Americans. Behold again. (B) Use this page to tell me two the titles of two books that deal with agriculture and business.

Last Updated: Jan 17, 2024 11:43 AM