You may walk past The Bancroft Library’s entrance every day. You’re busy and rushing to get to class on time, so you may not even realize that we’re here. Or, perhaps you notice the entrance and wonder where it leads.
The Bancroft Library is UC Berkeley’s primary special collections library, which means we preserve and make accessible significant historical and cultural materials. Our collections include handwritten documents (“manuscripts”) such as letters and drafts, old (“rare”) books, photographs, drawings, and much more.
Come in to do research or learn from these extensive historical and cultural materials. You could include primary source materials in your research papers. Incorporate archival resources into your class assignments or thesis. Find inspiration for a creative project. Research local or university history. Or just indulge your curiosity.
We’re here for you. You don’t need to be faculty or an experienced researcher to access these collections. Bancroft welcomes everyone interested in our collections, including and especially undergraduate and graduate students at UC Berkeley.
Reference staff are available to help you navigate our collections and find resources. Send an email to the reference staff or stop by the Reference Desk. We’re open Monday through Friday between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm.
Don’t be daunted by the foreboding-looking security desk at our entrance. At the desk, our friendly staff will explain that you must leave things like your backpack, books, papers, electronic devices, pens, and snacks inside one of the nearby lockers. After that, come upstairs and register to use the library. It takes five minutes and you only need your Cal ID.
If you’re curious to discover more, join us for The Bancroft Library Open House on Friday, February 26th at Noon -4:00 pm. And bring a friend!
We look forward to your visit!
Post contributed by Shannon Supple, Head of Reference and Research Services, The Bancroft Library