Specialized Libraries: Lexie Ryan, Anthropology Library!

April 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

I visited the George and Mary Foster Anthropology library, located at 230 Kroeber. It is open at conveniently normal times: 9-6 mon-thur, 9-5 fri, and 1-5 sat-sun. Head librarian – the only librarian – Kathleen Gallagher is available almost any time during open hours, but prefers to be contacted via email for appointment.

The Anthropology library is not a special collection and its materials cover such a large spectrum of information that it is nearly impossible to summarize the character of the library in few words. It includes physical materials like books, pamphlets, magazines, CDs, DVDs, and journals, but most of the collection is online. The most frequently requested items are usually archaeological site reports.

The scope of the subject and its materials means that the scope of people who use the library is magnificent as well. Besides undergrads and grad students who frequent the library for materials and study space, Native Californians utilize the library to find information on their history. Not to mention the fact that there are only 3 Anthropology libraries in the U.S.; Harvard, Penn, and Berkeley. As is the nature with public schools, budget cuts are undermining the security of the library’s future, and it is worryingly likely that the Anthropology library will be merged into Main Stacks.

Lexie: Flim resource

April 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

This week I have shifted my research a bit from Olympics to the East German doping program. This is not necessarily a change of subject because I am still researching sport rivalries during the Cold War, and intend to use some of my findings on the Olympics as evidence to support the success of the East German Doping program. Most of my sources will come from newspapers and declassified Stasi Documents, but there are a handful of films on the web that I could use for background information, like this one:

Titled “Doping for Gold,” this hour-long PBS documentary lists the major actors in the East German Doping Program and details the program itself as well as individual athletes .

I also used the Prelinger archive to find a piece of propaganda released by the East German government that could provide some background context to the doping program:

his video argues  that East Germany is more prosperous and its citizens enjoy more material luxuries than the outside world assumes; East Germans are shown happily purchasing christmas gifts for family members, and the film ends with the text “Der Konsum deckt den Gabentisch” (the purchased goods cover the gift table). Because the video is in German, it is most likely intended for German citizens. Thus, it relates to the doping program because it both implies a competition with the capitalist west as well as presents an argument about pride in the state (for family values or athletic prowess).

On a sidenote, I highly recommend anyone searching for documentaries, adverts, or propaganda (especially American produced) to utilize the Prelinger archive.

Visual Resources: Lexie Ryan

April 5, 2013 § 1 Comment

I used the Academic Search Complete database to find material on the Cold War Olympics and the East German doping program. The most relevant article I found was titled “Girlz II Men,” which detailed the trials of Manfred Ewald, the former head of East Germany’s Olympic Program, and Dr. Manfred Hoppner, the medical director of East Germany. It brought up some very interesting points about the East German Doping program (many which I already knew); for example, the athletes frequently had no idea that the little “vitamins” they were taking were actually steroids. I probably won’t use this article for further research, as it was published in the festivities surrounding the Sydney Olympics and is thus outside of my time frame, but I do find this database very useful, especially the abstracts of the various articles.


On a rather unrelated but still interesting note, this database allows researchers to not only read articles but also listen to them. I personally recommend the British accent, although the speaker/computer mercilessly butchered the names of the Germans listed in the article.

Source for Pedro from Lexie

March 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

Hey Pedro,

I found something in the Bancroft that may interest you in your search for information about Mexican-American relations. It seems to be a relatively holistic study on the Bracero program, and is titled:

Anglo over Bracero: a history of the Mexican Worker in the United States from Roosevelt to Nixon – Peter N. Kirstein

Call number: pf E184.M5.8 K52

I am not completely sure what time period you are focusing on – I remember that you mentioned the Bracero program a while back, but that you were also interested in the Mexican war for independence. If you are interested in topics even older than that, I’d suggest talking with Professor Delay, who is an expert on 19th century America. He pioneered a historical field of study centered around the US Mexican War and Native Americans, and wrote War of a thousand Deserts: Indian Raids and the US-Mexican War. I am not sure if you are interested in that topic at all, but if you find it interesting, Professor Delay would be a great resource!

Lexie Ryan – ROHO

March 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

ROHO has no specialized collections that directly pertain to  my topic, Cold War Olympics. There is a collection titled “Lives of Hungarians under Communist and Capitalist Governments 1956-2006,” and I read through the descriptions of all of the oral histories in the hope that one may have some relation to the 1956 Hungarian Olympic Water Polo team, who soundly defeated the Soviet Union just days after the Hungarian Revolution and subsequently went on to win the Gold.

I ended up reading the oral history of Laszlo Fejer, who played ice hockey for an engine company. It was actually quite fascinating that Hungary was not allowed to have professional sports, but that the USSR did have state-sponsored athletes. Fejer spoke at length about playing sports for his company; he had a “sports job,” which he defines as having a job that gives permission to go to trainings and sports events. Although I won’t be able to use this information directly for my thesis, it does provide some very fascinating background.

This particular oral history also addresses my question from last week’s reading, how to deal with the language barrier. Fejer did speak English – he mentioned that he was forced to learn when Hungary turned away from communism – but there was also a translator, Miklos Jakabffy. He intercedes at a few points to provide a better translation of what Fejer is trying to say, but most of the oral history is conducted between the interviewer and Fejer. I wonder if having Jakabffy in the room added any additional awkwardness.

Lexie Ryan: Microfilm/ Newspaper Databases

March 8, 2013 § 1 Comment

I began my research this week at the microfilm library but was overwhelmed by the amount available. I tried looking at coverage of the 1972 Olympic Opening Ceremony in Munich using the  Suddeutsche Zeitung (South Germany Newspaper), but was pretty disappointed. It was difficult to find news articles on the Ceremony; perhaps a special Olympic paper provided coverage, or maybe I was not looking at the right place. 

I have decided to hold off on the microfilm library until I have a particular date I want to investigate, so instead I have been using online newspaper databases. The German Language News and Magazines database seemed very promising, but I could not seem to access it; every time I tried to follow the link, I got an error message. Proquest Historical Newspapers provided a handful of interesting articles  on Ilona Slupianek, the East German shot putter who was disqualified from the 1977 European Championships in Helsinki. Most of the information in the article I could have easily founded from wikipedia; I was looking for more of an opinionated piece.

I feel like I will utilize newspapers more once I have specified my topic. 

Bancroft – Lexie Ryan

February 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

My success in Bancroft library was severely limited by my topic, the Olympic Games during the Cold War. Initially I had a difficult time searching for sources, as my go-to keywords – “Cold War Olympi*” turned up absolutely nothing. I then tried “Olympi*” and was overwhelmed by information on Seattle. I ended up finding a few things of interest on the 1984 Los Angeles games, and a compilation of articles written for the Los Angeles Times on expected outcomes for the games interested me most. I wanted to find out more about the Soviet boycott, but after skimming through a few articles, it dawned on me that the authors wrote far enough in advance that the boycott had not yet been revealed. I find it hard to believe that these reporters who traveled all over the world interviewing athletes and observing competitions did not realize the USSR would boycott, but perhaps that is simply historical hindsight. Although this book was indeed interesting, it was not what I was looking for.