Department Blog

H/SS & Gov Info Services

Important new book on higher education: what is crucial?

August 27th, 2014 by Michael Winter

In a recent blog entry I called attention to UC President Janet Napolitano’s insightful take on the role of online services in research university education today. A recent addition to the library’s collections, currently on the new book shelf on the first floor of Shields near the picture window overlooking the Main Quad, both confirms and extends her analysis, by focussing on the question, what are major factors in a successful higher education experience?  (This new item is also available in digital format). Turns out, it isn’t the technology you choose to deliver the services, it’s whether or not you can create and sustain the kinds of conditions that favor the achievement motive and the desire to learn.  These conditions aren’t necessarily unrelated to available technologies, but they have mainly to do with bringing people together in the kinds of environments that stimulate them to learn. Too often, one-sided discussions about the alleged panaceas of online learning ignore this question entirely, and focus on the fact digital platforms can offer increasingly wide ranges of content.

The Trouble With MOOCs

June 8th, 2013 by Michael Winter

Why was an entire academic philosophy department moved to draft and circulate a critique of one of the latest trends to hit academia? Now that you’ve read David Michalski’s previous post on the promise of “slow research,” for those looking beyond the murky hype surrounding online education, read this incisive and thought-provoking analysis of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) from The Stanford Daily.  (Stanford University is the home of Coursera, one of the earlier attempts to develop a MOOC curriculum).

UC Davis Scholars have access to growing collection of rare newspapers and documentary sources via The Center for Research Libraries (CRL).

December 12th, 2012 by David Michalski

UC Davis Scholars have access to growing collection of rare newspapers and documentary sources via The Center for Research Libraries (CRL).

Since 1973, the University Library at UC Davis has extended its collections through its membership with The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) an international consortium of university, college, and independent research libraries. Founded in 1949, CRL supports advanced research and teaching in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences by preserving and making available to scholars the primary source material critical to those disciplines.

CRL acquires and preserves newspapers, journals, documents, archives, and other traditional and digital resources from a global network of sources. Most materials acquired are from outside the United States, and many are from five “emerging” regions of the world: Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Latin America.

Learn more about the Center for Research Libraries and Explore your collections.

Here is a list of newly acquired microfilm sets now available for digital delivery through Inter-Library Loan.

CRL members nominated and voted for the following sets in the 2013 program

Bod-ljon par Tibet Daily(1961–66; 1979; 1982; 1984; 1998; 2002; and 2005–06)

* 26 reels;

* Bod-ljon par Tibet Daily is the main Tibetan language newspaper published by the Chinese Communist Party in Tibet. This is a primary source for the study of Tibet over the last 50-60 years.

British Intelligence on the North-West Frontier 1901-1949: India Office Political and Secret Reports on Tribes and Terrorism. British Library and India Office Collections.

* 33 reels

* Part of the IDC series British Intelligence Files, the materials in this collection document British attempts to impose order on the tribal territories. With details of policy initiatives familiar to contemporary observers of the current events, the files describe imperial struggles with jihadist movements and show how local leaders were able to stay out of British hands. The material covers the period from the 1901 creation of the North-West Frontier Province to 1949, by which time the Province had become an administrative region of Pakistan.

This primary source is essential to understanding the modern history of Islam in Pakistan and India and valuable for research on British diplomacy and the history of attempts to deal with terrorism in the colonies.

Foreign Office Files for Post-War Europe, Series Two: The Treaty of Rome and European Integration, 1957-1960

* 73 reels
* Series two of the Foreign Office Files for Post-War Europe comes in three parts and contains files from the Public Record Office Class FO 371. This set documents how the European Economic Community grew and rebuilt Europe after World War II.

Newspapers from Nazi Germany (1929–45)

* 65 reels

* Titles of newspapers:
o Völkischer Beobachter (Berlin, Germany: Norddeutsche Ausg.).
CRL will purchase: 1929–June 1940; Sept.–Dec.1940; March 1941; 1942–March 1944; 1945.
o Deutsche allgemeine Zeitung (Berlin, Germany)
CRL will purchase: Apr. 13,1929–Sept. 1929; Apr. 26–28, 1932; Mar. 10–June 17, 1933; Nov. 3–9, 1939; March 10–12, 1945.
o Der Angriff (Berlin, Germany)
CRL will purchase: May–Aug. 1932; 1934–April 24, 1945.

Knickerbocker Press Newspaper

* 190 reels
* The Knickerbocker Press Newspaper is a regional newspaper from eastern upstate New York. This area has a long history as a hub for transportation (first steamboat line, the Erie Canal, a railway hub, and the first municipal airport in the United States) thus making it ideal for commerce and industry. It also became a center of political power. At one point, this newspaper carried the most advertisements for the Albany, N.Y. area and was important to industries wishing to reach “able-to-buy” markets. The newspaper advertised itself as a quality newspaper that served “society” readers.

Papers of Emma Hart Willard, 1787-1870

* 25 reels
* This set includes personal papers and correspondence to and from the 19th-century women’s educator Emma Hart Willard.

Papers of the War Refugee Board

* 59 reels
* Established by executive order no. 9417, the War Refugee Board (WRB) aided victims of Nazi oppression. This collection contains correspondence, memoranda, reports, indexes, and related papers pertaining to the WRB policies, programs and operations in 1944 and 1945.

Qing dai Xinjiang dang an xuan ji (清代新疆档案选辑)

* 91 volumes
* These volumes present Chinese language archival materials from the First Historical Archive of China, which houses archival materials of the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing governments (1644–1911). This collection is the first comprehensive published collection of archival materials regarding Xinjiang or Chinese Central Asia during the Qing period. The topics it covers are wide ranging, including but not limited to politics, social development, economic development, trade, agrarian development, labor relations, culture and religion, activities of local Islamic saints, etc. of Xinjiang.

The Rafu shimpo microfilm

* This is a continuing purchase that will be acquired in three parts:
o First part purchased, 132 reels (July 1914–49)
o Second part purchased, 143 reels (1950–79)
o Third part purchased, 129 reels (1980–2009)

* The Rafu shimpo is a Japanese-American newspaper from Los Angeles and was published both in English and Japanese. This purchase will replace fragile CRL hard copy holdings and extend CRL’s microfilm holdings. Some comments from voters revealed how important this set was for the “burgeoning field of Asian American history/studies,” as it documents the “Japanese immigrant experience in the US.”

Satirische Zeitschriften (Satirical Periodicals)

* 1355 fiche
* The editors of these German illustrated satirical periodicals defied threats and censorship to lampoon the local, national, and international situations of the time. They covered historical events that occurred from the time of Metternich through Wilhelm II to Hitler.

Sexualerleben und Körperkultur (Sexual Experience and Body Culture: Deutschsprachige Publikationen, 1880-1932.) Suppl. 1 2007

* 580 microfiches
* Sexualerleben und Körperkultur is a German language publication that was published between 1880 and 1932. This supplemental set provides a glimpse into the German culture and their views on sexual experience and modernity.

Si Fa Gong Bao (司法公报)

* 88 volumes
* This publication covers the entire run of legislative bulletin at the national level throughout the Republican Minguo period, 1912–48.

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:

California Education Data

October 29th, 2009 by


DataQuest,  an interactive database from the California Department of Education, helps you find facts about California schools and districts.  Reports can be generated for schools, districts, or counties for Academic performance Index (API), Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP),  Alternative Schools Accountability Model (ASAM), Course Enrollments and other measures.  Also includes a California School Directory.

RESOURCE: U.S. Department of Education: Doing What Works

August 24th, 2009 by Roberto C. Delgadillo


Educators across the United States are always looking for compelling new resources to use in the classroom, and this fine website sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education delivers high-quality resources for just that purpose. The Doing What Works website contains content based on the Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences’ “What Works” clearinghouse. First-time visitors can orient themselves by playing the informational video featured on the homepage. After that, they can click on the “Find What Works!” area to learn about resources in the fields of early childhood education, English, math and science, and the psychology of learning. After making a foray into those areas, visitors can click on the “Featured Content” section, and then maybe take a guided tour of the features on the site. Visitors are also encouraged to sign up for updates and to sign up to access the Digital Teacher Workshop.



RESOURCE: Making Civics Real: A Workshop for Teachers

May 30th, 2009 by Roberto C. Delgadillo


Civics can be a dreaded word for some students, but things just got a bit more interesting with this rather thoughtful and interesting video workshop created by the National Council for the Social Studies and the Center for Civic Education. Released as part of the Annenberg Media teacher resources, this eight part series helps teachers find ways to teach civics, complete with lesson plans and other materials. The workshop program videos include segments such as “Public Policy and the Federal Budget”, “Electoral Politics”, and “Freedom of Religion”. Visitors can also take advantage of the series website which contains additional teaching tools and support materials designed to complement the activities from each program.



RESOURCE: From Pi Beta Phi to Arrowmont

May 30th, 2009 by Roberto C. Delgadillo


A fraternity for women, Pi Beta Phi, built a settlement school in Tennessee to honor the 50th anniversary of the fraternity. This website has digital collections of letters, diaries, and scrapbooks related to the founding of the school, as well as historical photos of the surrounding community and an interactive gallery of artwork that resides at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, the institution that the settlement school has become. Near the top of the page is a link to a “Timeline” that puts the fraternity’s founding and the opening of the school in the context of major world events. Visitors can start there to read a brief synopsis of each event on the timeline. To get look into what the school was like from a teacher’s’ perspectives, visitors should check out the beautifully digitized scrapbooks they made by clicking on the “Scrapbooks” link near the top of the page. Visitors should not miss the 360-degree image gallery to see every angle of some beautiful artworks that include a turned ash bowl and a raku vase. Click on “View Interactive Image” to start the art object turning, and then to slow it down or stop it or reverse direction, just drag the hand cursor onto the object. A zoom feature can also be accessed with the “+” or “-” at the bottom of the viewer.



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”.



Paper-Aid: Calling all term paper authors, we can help.

May 12th, 2009 by David Michalski

Did you know the Humanities and Social Science Librarians offer research assistance to undergraduates working on term papers? If your professors require a term paper based on peer-reviewed research, we can help. We will show you how to engage the pressing questions, review the literature, evaluate sources, and assembly the evidence you need for term paper success.

Contact us by email, or come by the Humanities Social Sciences and Government Information Reference desk on the 2nd Floor of the Peter J. Shields Library and schedule an appointment with a librarian who knows your field. Appointments for one-on-one meetings usually last about 30 minutes, but can prepare you for a career of self-directed and critical information research. Past practice shows that Paper-Aid sessions improve grades.  Take advantage of this unique service by making an appointment your subject specialist librarian.