Bioscience and Biotechnology in History

1998 marked the 25th anniversary of the development of recombinant DNA by Stanley N. Cohen of Stanford University and Herbert W. Boyer of the University of California, San Francisco. This invention made it possible to recombine and clone DNA, thus providing basic scientists with a simple and precise method for studying the structure and function of genes of higher and lower organisms. Recombinant DNA technology, as it came to be known, also became a foundation of the biotechnology industry now flourishing in the Bay Area and around the world.

The Bioscience and Biotechnology in History exhibit celebrates this discovery and suggests its broad implications for science, society, and industry. It also provides a glimpse of bioscience research and discovery at Berkeley preceding the recombinant DNA revolution, as documented in the archives and oral histories of four prominent scientists: Karl Meyer, Melvin Calvin, Wendell Stanley, and Gunther Stent.

Images of Native Americans

Online Exhibition: Images of Native Americans

The Bancroft Library also presents Images of Native Americans, a digital companion to an exhibit of rare books, photographs, illustrations, and other archival and manuscript materials that debuted in the Fall of 2000, to celebrate the acquisition of the University of California, Berkeley Library's nine millionth volume.

Ira Nowinski’s San Francisco

Ira Nowinski's San Francisco

By Ira Nowinski

In this book, three faces of San Francisco are gloriously brought to life: the vibrant beat poet scene of North Beach, the defiant tenants of South of Market’s bygone residential hotels, and the electrifying energy backstage and onstage at the San Francisco Opera. Famous or not, Nowinski’s subjects dominate page after page in richly textured black and white relief. Included also are poems from the beat poets and written accounts of anti-redevelopment activists, and luminaries such as Leontyne Price give even further insight into the people Nowinski has photographed.

*To order this exquisite publication, please visit Heyday Books' website:



By Rose Marie Beebe & Robert M. Senkewicz

From the editors of the highly influential Lands of Promise and Despair, here are thirteen women’s firsthand accounts from the time California was part of Spain and Mexico. Having lived through the gold rush and seen their country change so drastically, these women understood the need to tell the full story of the people and the places that were their California. Some of their words are translated here into English for the first time.

*To order this exquisite publication, please visit Heyday Books' website:

Past Tents: The Way We Camped

Past Tents: The Way We Camped

Past Tents: The Way We Camped
Edited by Susan Snyder

From the award-winning author of Bear in Mind: The California Grizzly comes this lighter look at Americans’ infatuation with the great outdoors. Mining once again the vast archives at The Bancroft Library, Susan Snyder has mapped out this cheeky yet accurate history of camping in the West.

Full of photographs and descriptions of family outings in the first years of the automobile, of campgrounds and campfires against the familiar backdrop of the Sierra Nevada, of the remarkable gear and "helpful" hints that accompanied outings to our newly minted state and national parks and forests, Past Tents is a humorous romp through one of our favorite pastimes. Easy to pick up, hard to put down, it’s the perfect gift for anyone who’s ever been in the thrall of redwoods, s’mores, and Smokey the Bear.

For additional information, book reviews, and to purchase the volume, please visit:

Exploring The Bancroft Library

Exploring The Bancroft Library

Co-edited by Charles Faulhaber and Stephen Vincent.

In this centennial guide, readers are introduced to the day-to-day life of an institution devoted to the collection, preservation, and study of original documents. From an in-depth look at the way material is acquired and conserved to chapters by individual curators on the history and highlights of the collections entrusted to their care, Exploring the Bancroft Library celebrates Bancroft's one hundred years on the Berkeley campus.

View Table of Contents:

Available from:
Signature Books cloth edition $39.95, paper edition $29.95

The Bancroft Library at 100

The Bancroft Library at 100 Exhibition Closing

Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
University of California
2626 Bancroft Way
December 3, 2006

Panel Discussion
Ira Nowinski's San Francisco: Poets, Politics, & Divas
Theater Lower Level

Ira Nowinski, Photographer
Jack Hirschman, Poet Laureate of San Francisco
Malcolm Margolin, Publisher, Heyday Books
Rebecca Solnit, Author
Jack von Euw, Curator of Pictorial Collections, The Bancroft Library

Ira Nowinski has been photographing San Francisco's opera divas, tenant organizers, and North Beach poets since 1970. His work speaks eloquently of dignity, courage, and everday life. In this final program commemorating The Bancroft Library's centennial exhibition, we celebrate his deeply humanist photography and the latest publishing collaboration between The Bancroft Library and Heyday Books, Ira Nowinski's San Francisco.

Book Signing
Main Lobby

Exhibition's Closing Reception
Gallery B

Foundations of Anthropology at the University of California Digital Exhibit

Foundations of Anthropology

At the turn of the twentieth century, academic programs in anthropology in America were flourishing in Cambridge, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia. There was intense interest in the extraordinary anthropological riches of California but no academic program dedicated to discovering, interpreting, and curating them.

The Foundations of Anthropology at the University of California, 1901-1960, based on an exhibit in the Bancroft Library Gallery, January 21 – April 29, 2002, tells the story of the key individuals and events driving the establishment of an academic program in 1901 that within a few decades achieved worldwide stature. The exhibit draws on the extensive collection of records, documents, and images held by The Bancroft Library including departmental records and faculty papers. A few items have been lent by other institutions, most notably — a special feature of the online exhibit — several audio and video clips provided by the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology.

The online exhibit was created by David Farrell and Andrew Hon, with special technical assistance provided by Gary Handman in the Library’s Media Resources Center, Erica Nordmeier in Bancroft’s Photographic Duplication division, and Sally Thomas in the University of California History Digital Archive.

Foundations of Anthropology at the University of California Digital Exhibit:

Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft

Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft Collection

On December 20, 2005, the UC Berkeley Library inaugurated its digital exhibit of materials from its Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft Collection at This collection contains over 1,600 books, manuscripts and pictorial items, mostly from the 17th century, which document the activities of Germany's first literary society, and is housed in The Bancroft Library.

In August 1617 a small group of Saxon nobles gathered in Castle Hornstein near Weimar to establish a type of institution previously unknown on German soil, the literary society. It was based on the Italian model of the previous century, and specifically on the Accademia della Crusca of Florence, to whose ranks one its founding members, Prince Ludwig of Anhalt-Köthen, had been elected in 1600. Ludwig was the chief benefactor and the head of this new German society until his death in 1650, and he and its other founding members sought inspiration in their pursuit of learning from the many Italian literary societies which had contributed so much to the purification and normalization of Italian letters in the sixteenth century.

The new German society was called the Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft, the Fruitbearing Society, and its motto was "Alles zum Nützen" — "Everything for a purpose." As had its Italian precursors, the German society saw its principal role in the elaboration of language standards for the vernacular, including spelling and grammatical norms but also tending against the use of foreign words and phrases. It also promoted the use of German as a literary and scholarly language by the attention it focussed on important new works of German scholarship and literature, and by its active role in publishing these works through most of the 17th century.

The Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft Collection Digital Exhibit was created by James H. Spohrer, UC Berkeley's Librarian for the Germanic Collections, with technical assistance from Brooke Dykman of the Library's Digital Projects Office. It was made possible by generous financial support from IDC Publishers and by Berkeley's Institute of European Studies.

Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft Collection Digital Exhibit:

Breaking Through: A Century of Physics at Berkeley

Online Exhibition: Breaking Through: A Century of Physics at Berkeley

Breaking Through: A Century of Physics at Berkeley

A virtual representation of the Bancroft Gallery exhibit (January-April 2004), with more are more than 100 images (and accompanying text) of documents, correspondence, photographs, and published materials drawn from Bancroft's extensive history of science collections of books, faculty papers, and departmental records. Includes additional digitized full text and multimedia relating to J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project.

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