Department Blog

H/SS & Gov Info Services

New Online Encyclopedia documents the Japanese American WWII exclusion and incarceration experience

November 8th, 2012 by David Michalski

Densho Encyclopedia
This free on-line resource documents the history of the Japanese American WWII exclusion and incarceration experience. The Densho Encyclopedia is edited by Brian Niiya, Director of Content at Densho, a Japanese American Legacy Project. The work covers key concepts, people, events, and organizations that played a role in the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. The reviewed articles are written by a wide range of contributors, and are enhanced with photos, documents and video drawn from Densho’s digital archives and other sources.

The Densho Encyclopedia is designed and written for a non-specialist audience that includes high school and college students and instructors, multiple generations of Nikkei community members, confinement sites preservation groups, amateur and professional historians, librarians, journalists, documentarians, and the general public.


From the Densho Encyclopedia…

A newly arrived family being escorted by a volunteer guide to their assigned location in the barracks, photographer Dorothea Lange, May 20, 1942, Sacramento Assembly Center, California. Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration, Ctrl. #: NWDNS-210-G-C483, NARA ARC #: 537796, WRA, Photographer Dorothea Lange

Index to Reports Published in the Appendices to the Journals of the California Legislature 1905-1970.

September 21st, 2012 by Michael Winter

This recent open access eScholarship publication by UCD librarian Juri Stratford indexes a previously inaccessible collection of California Legislature reports, from 1905 to 1970.   This publicly accessible index can be found at

Fall Research Workshops: Social and Cultural Studies

September 6th, 2012 by David Michalski

Social and Cultural Studies Library Research Workshop

w/ David Michalski, MLS, PhD. (

1st Date: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Time: 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Place: Library Instruction Lab, 1st Floor Peter J. Shields Library (near Reserves Desk)

2nd Date: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Time: 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Place: Library Instruction Lab, 1st Floor Peter J. Shields Library (near Reserves Desk)

This workshop invites graduate students, faculty and other researchers to see and practice with the latest research tools available. Learn effectively ways to construct literature reviews, frame new research questions, and navigate and evaluate the wide variety of information sources available at the University of California and beyond.

Topics covered include:

The latest in database searching (including the Proquest transisiton databases),
Citation analysis and cited reference searches,
Locating primary source material,
and the use of interdisciplinary and specialized reference works.

Participants are encouraged to bring along research projects as well as any questions they have about the University Library.
Let us learn how we can serve you better.

David Michalski is a UC Davis Librarian subject specialist in the Humanities and Social Sciences Department responsible to these departments and programs: Sociology, Psychology, Human, Community and Regional Development, Geography, Women and Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, African and African American Studies, Asian American Studies and Cultural Studies.

For more info see:

RESOURCE: Oregon Multicultural Archives Digital Collection

August 31st, 2009 by Roberto C. Delgadillo


 Ethnic minorities in Oregon are the subject of this Oregon State University Library website and the collection “consists of images that document the lives and activities of ethnic minorities in Oregon.” With its streamlined homepage, visitors can focus on the collection and how to search or browse through it. Visitors are also welcome to contribute information on any unidentified photographs, by clicking on “Contact Us”, near the bottom of the homepage. In addition, visitors can also click on the “Browse” link to see every one of the 239 items in the collection. Those users with something more specific in mind should use the “Quick Links” drop down box in the top right hand corner of the homepage. Some of the subject areas that can be searched for are “African Americans”, “Indians of North America”, “Mexican Americans”, “Political Parades and Rallies”, and “Powwows”. The “Indexes” available to search are organized into headings like “Photographer”, “Subject” and “Geographic”, and they can be found below the “Quick Links” drop down box.



Passing Strange:

June 17th, 2009 by Daniel Goldstein

I’ve just finished reading Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line, historian Martha A. Sandweiss’ take on the secret marriage of Clarence King, geologist, explorer and author to Ada Copeland, a domestic worker who had been born a slave.  The fact of the marriage had been public knowledge since the 1930s, but Sandweiss has built a remarkable book around around it that ties together stories of race and class, economic and social change, adventure and love.   Sandweiss discovered that King “passed” as a black man when he met Copeland, and kept from her the secret of his name and his identity as one of the most celebrated men of his day.   She found out only in a letter he had written her from his deathbed.  The book explores the complexity of this relationship and the question of how King could pull this deception off for more than a decade.  More than a microstudy, it is also an extraordinarily rich portrayal of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America, and would, I think be a splendid read for an undergraduate course.   Sandweiss sums it all up in the final paragraph of the book.

The story of Clarence and Ada King is about love and longing that transcend the historical bounds of time and place. . .  .  But it is also a peculiarly American story that could take root only in a society where one’s racial identity determined one’s legal rights and social opportunities.  At every turn it exposes the deep fissures of race and class that cut through the landscape of American life. . . .

Passing Strange is in the library at Call Number: E 185.625 .S255 2009

RESOURCE: Nevada Test Site Oral History Project

May 29th, 2009 by Roberto C. Delgadillo


Based at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the Nevada Test Site Oral History Project is “a comprehensive program dedicated to documenting, preserving and disseminating the remembered past of persons affiliated with and affected by the Nevada Test Site during the era of Cold War nuclear testing.” From 2003 to 2008, oral history narrators participated in this project, and they included national laboratory scientists, military personnel, Native American leaders, and peace activists. On the homepage, visitors should look through the three thematic sections, including “Contested Landscapes” and “Community of Voices”. Through these oral histories and testimonies, visitors can learn about the complex set of processes and experiences surrounding the test site. Along the left hand of the site, visitors can search the collection, make a list of their favorite interviews, and also get assistance with using the site.



RESOURCE: Calisphere: California Cultures

May 29th, 2009 by Roberto C. Delgadillo


The University of California Libraries has digitized a collection of images of four ethnic groups in California that have been historically underrepresented by digitized primary source materials. In order to learn about diversity in California in a historical context, visitors should start by checking out the Historical Essays highlighted at the top of the site’s homepage. These essays provide brief historical overviews and related images and begin with the period “Before 1768: Pre-Columbian California” and end with the period “1921-Present: Modern California”. Once visitors have familiarized themselves with the history they should move on to the main event. The images of the four groups, “African Americans”, “Asian Americans”, “Hispanic Americans”, and “Native Americans” can be found under their own tabs at the top of the page, and are further divided into subcategories. On the far right side of the page are several free Lesson Plans for grades 4-12 that emphasize these underrepresented California cultures, and utilize this database of images and documents. Some of the lessons include “Stealing Home: How Race Relations, Politics and Baseball Transformed Chavez Ravine” and “Los Californios: California’s Spanish, Native American and African Heritage”.