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HIST 338B - Native Americans in Southern California - Lewandoski

Research resources on Native American communities in Southern California to the 20th Century.

Welcome to History research!

Mission Indians making baskets. Image from Harper's Weekly, 1877

Mission Indians of Southern California making baskets and hair ropes. Harper's Weekly, 1877. Illus. in AP2.H32 1877 (Case Y) [P&P]. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.


Welcome to your History 338B course guide for "Native Communities in Southern California from Colonization to the 20th Century"! You may explore the various links on the left side of this page to find primary sources and supporting books, ebooks and journal articles essential to successful research. 

No guide can include every possible resource you need for your specific topic, so do not hesitate to reach out for help from me or your professor. You see my contact information to the right with email and chat options. If you have a complex question or need to search multiple resources, we will set up an appointment via Zoom. 

We may be doing everything remotely but that should not stop you from finding the primary and secondary sources essential to a good project.

Key Concepts that apply to all history research: 

  • Ethnic and racial group references have transformed over time (e.g., Native Americans has replaced the term Indians. Indians is now reserved in scholarly works to refer to South Asians from the nation of India.) 
  • If possible, search on the tribal or band name for a more precise search in the more modern literature. 
  • Time periods can be vague so try to be fairly broad ("19th century" instead of 1849-1879) unless you are looking at a specific event. 
  • Scholars will have preferred ways to reference an event, place or person but there is not any hard and fast rule. 
    • Geographic names can change over time (Temecula used to be Temeku.) 
    • Non-Roman alphabets may be translated into English with a number of variant spellings.
  • Primary sources demonstrate the stereotypes and prejudices of the time, especially in the popular press or during times of conflict. 
  • Propaganda or material created by those in power are biased and frequently distorts facts regarding those without power.
  • Give appropriate credit in your citation and comply with usage restrictions. 
    • Most sources allow use for educational purpose as long as cited or a particular condition is met. See Zapatistas! Anti-copyright statement and Creative Commons as examples.) 
    • Some sources will clearly state they cannot be used without a fee (e.g., Getty Images)
    • The information or image must be from the original source (NOT Wikipedia, Pinterest or Google Images...) 
  • Be a critical consumer, just because it is the first link does not mean it is the best. 

Here are some links to get general ideas about Southern California Native Americans: 

Overview of California Indian History (State of California Native American Heritage Commission) 

List of Southern California Tribes 

US Department of the Interior: Bureau of Indian Affairs: Southern California Agency 

San Diego Native American Resources and Chronology (University of San Diego) 

California Tribal Lands and Reservations (US Environmental Protection Agency) and main page

Special Collections & History Librarian

Judith Downie's picture
Judith Downie
KEL 5010
760-750-4374 (Fall 2020 will check once a day)