Bancroft Library opens Mexico exhibit

“A rare 1916 poster offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of Mexican Revolution leader Francisco “Pancho” Villa is just one of dozens of images and original documents in the University of California, Berkeley’s Bancroft Library’s “Celebrating Mexico” exhibit that opens this Thursday (Sept. 2).

‘Celebrating Mexico: The Grito de Dolores and The Mexican Revolution,’ explores the complex history of Mexico, beginning with Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla’s 1810 speech that launched Mexico’s fierce fight for independence from Spain, and continuing with the Mexican Revolution against the established order of a century ago. The exhibit also will highlight indigenous rights, land reform, disparities between rich and poor, labor rights, education and press freedom.

A parallel exhibit opens on Sept. 20 at Stanford University’s Cecil H. Green Library. Together, the two events mark the first collaborative exhibition by the two Bay Area universities that each boasts superlative Mexican history collections.

The UC Berkeley exhibit will run from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday through Jan. 14, 2011, and Stanford’s through Jan. 16, 2011. Both will be free and open to the public. Details about hours and locations at Berkeley and at Stanford are available online.” – UC Berkeley News

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Bancroft Library opens reading room to personal cameras

“The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley is opening its doors this fall semester to the use of personal cameras in the reading room. The trial program, which is implemented at many other institutions around the country, allows students and other patrons to photograph any of the items in the library’s vast collection for personal use.

Susan Snyder, head of public services at The Bancroft, said the move will provide instant gratification to patrons and a more cost-effective approach to getting copies of materials. It also will give users increased access to many rare and often fragile items that cannot be photocopied due to the risk for damage, she said. Patrons’ personal contact with these items will help raise awareness about the library’s expansive collections, she added, and attract more visitors as a result.

Allowing library visitors to take their own photographs also provides more protection for the library’s materials than making photocopies. The Bancroft employs special photocopy machines, but there is always some damage done. According to Snyder, photographs are much more protective.” –