Thursday, March 23, 2006

Returning visitors may notice I've changed the look of the blog. Fear not! I've been meaning to do this for a while now, mainly because the template in my last blog was mysteriously malfunctioning and I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to make the text and sidebar play nicely. So, a clean slate for the whole thing. I think the new template is nice and clean-looking.

I'd also been meaning to take out the links in the sidebar, since I now use for bookmarking, and am trying to consolidate my various Internet selves. I'll add a button as soon as I figure out how to do that--the documentation on the site is a little sketchy.

We're heading into spring break week here, which means our reference desk will be closed. Reference questions may be a little slow for the next week or two, but they will return! Like the swallows to Capistrano.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Here's the latest batch of questions...
  • I'm looking for development statistics on Barbados. I'd like to find information about the economy, health, demographic figures, etc.
  • I need a copy of the novel Absalom, Absalom! itself. I keep finding criticism of the novel instead.
  • Where can I find transcripts of NPR shows that aren't on Lexis-Nexis?
  • Is there a way I can find out what fires are happening in Oakland today (if any)?
  • I'm looking for the works of an author named Al Amhad. (Author's actual name is Jalal al Ahmad.)
  • Do you have any Berkeley-area newspapers from the 1960s?
  • Where can I find primary source accounts of the destruction of the bison?
  • I need three articles, for which I have the citations. Each is available from a different online journal provider. I'll need to access them from home, so I need to understand the proxy server system. I also need to know how to cite the articles in APA style. My English comprehension is good, but English is not my first language.
  • I need a copy of St. de Croix's Class Struggle in Ancient Rome. (Actual title is The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World From the Archaic Age to the Arab Conquests, by De Ste. Croix.)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Sorry for the long delay in adding new material: I've been out of town for a couple of days, and the reference desk has been pretty slow. Here's the latest batch:
  • Where can I find a German-English dictionary?
  • I need both scholarly journal articles and grey literature about the environmental effects of gold and copper mining in Indonesia. I'd particularly like to find some Indonesian government documents. How can I do this?
  • I need to find popular media sources from 1870 to 1910, discussing migration and immigration. How can I find these?
  • Where can I find this 1974 issue of Scientific American?
  • I'm looking for a copy of the book China and the Christian impact: a conflict of cultures. There are two copies at Berkeley, but one has been missing since 2000, and the other is checked out to the Conservation Department. What's the fastest way for me to get the book?
  • I need to find the Oxford English Dictionary. (Twice in one shift.)
  • I'm looking for a copy of the play A Romantic Comedy, by Bernard Slade. I don't know if it was published on its own or in a collection with another title.
  • I'm doing a thesis on surveyors of California after the Mexican-American War. I'm interested in finding out about what instructions were given to the American surveyors, what their process was like, what public opinion of it was like, what the court process was like for contesting their findings, and so on. Where can I look for information about this?

And today I sat in on a class on research in the American Progressive Era (roughly 1890 to 1913.) The students were all looking for primary sources from the period, on topics from mental health to moviegoing to immigration and suffragism. Really interesting stuff.