Compiled by John D. Berry & Barbara Boster
Updated Spring 2010 by Chelsea Kirkland
Using the Resource Guides
Unfortunately, and ironic as it is, one can easily become buried in the bureaucratic and stereotypical heaviness of words when doing research on Native American topics. The purpose of these guides on using Native American Information Resources is to help students and professionals find the useful, meaningful, important, and most objective sources available in the field. Materials addressing Native issues are selected for their honorable representation of the Native American point of view or for their utility, but important resources addressing historical aspects of Native America are often written or edited by U.S. government-sponsored agencies or non-Indians. Therefore, evaluating Native American sources requires special considerations.
Before beginning your explorations, please read the article Evaluating Native American Websites. Keep in mind that the topics and resources covered here are merely a selection of some of the "best of the best". Through this and other special libraries, a tremendous richness of good information may be found. Many of the sources and links, especially those listed under the All-Purpose Resources heading,provide pointers to additional sources and topics not covered here.
In the print sources guide, you'll find a listing of sources that are available for on-site use at the Ethnic Studies Library at UC Berkeley (UCB). Other special collections at UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UC Riverside (UCR) libraries are mentioned, primarily to point out a few sources in other areas. Items cited in these guides that are also available at San Jose State University or CSU Fullerton are marked with SJSU (King or BLA) or CSUF Call Numbers or links [check OPACs for exact locations].
The online sources guide has a listing of sites and databases that are available online, useful for those who don't plan on visiting the Ethnic Studies Library. Some of the online sources (namely the Proquest and ERIC databases) require a university/ library log-in for access. Although the sites are generally reputable and up to the standards laid out on the "Evaluating Native American Websites" site, it's important to be discerning with any information, especially found on the web.
Non-UC and CSU libraries in California worth checking out for their Native American collections include Stanford University, the American Indian Collection of the Huntington Library in San Marino (for "qualified scholars"), the American Indian Resource Center at the Huntington Park Library, and Fruitvale branch of Oakland Public Library, contains an extensive collection of popular Native American items, especially children's books. The resource guides are arranged by topic.