Women's Studies Section

Association of College & Research Libraries / American Library Association
Images from Online Archive of California
Primary Source Types for Women's Studies IMAGES:
Art Images / Drawings / Paintings
Broadsides / Posters
Prints / Other Images
Subjects for Women's Studies African American Women
Asian American Women
Economic Status
Labor / Employment
Native American Women
World War, 1914-1918
World War, 1939-1945
Collections Individual collections from The Bancroft Library
Coverage Dates 19th and 20th century, varies by collection
Archive is Ongoing / Completed Ongoing
Publisher The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley
URL http://www.oac.cdlib.org/search.image.html
Date Searched January 2007


This collection contains over 120,000 images illustrating California’s history and culture. Selected from nearly two hundred individual collections, this unique resource uses the latest online archiving techniques to highlight the rich themes in California's history. The Images Collection is part of the Online Archive of California, a compilation of finding aids or guides to archival collections, digital images, and digital texts at more than thirty institutions.

Women's Studies Content

None of the 160 collections are women’s studies specific, but keyword searching the entire collection produces many great images that represent women’s contributions to California history. Portraits and groups of women, women at work inside and outside the home and in ceremonial and other social settings dominate the collection. A broad keyword search of all the collections, using the keyword “women”, results in thousands of hits. The majority appear in eight collections, but the most interesting material, that which represent women's experiences in a social or political context, rather than, for instance, paintings that include women in them, come from the following collections:


Although over 7899 hits are retrieved with a "women" keyword search, there is no controlled vocabulary and each collection is organized differently by a different archivist who may or may not have thought to recognize women's contributions or experiences when describing images that don't emphasize women.

Either browse individual collections from within the categories History, Nature, People, Places, Society, and Technology, or search all collections simultaneously. One can also keyword search within individual collections. Navigation and interface are fairly intuitive.

Some may be confused by the finding aid interface. Clicking on the digital objects link near the red "online items" tab will take one to a list and description of all the digital images in that particular collection. Here one is also able to scroll through many images on one page.

Truncation yes (*)
Boolean yes (AND, NOT, OR)
Phrase Searching yes (use quotes)
Help Screens/Quality yes / basic
Controlled Vocabulary no
Keywords in Context yes

Archive Review:
Sherri Barnes
University of California, Santa Barbara

Last updated: January 16, 2007

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