The Bancroft Library offers fellowships to support research in our special collections

We invite graduate students, undergraduates, and independent scholars to apply by Feb. 5, 2024

The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley is pleased to announce we are now accepting applications for our 2024-25 fellowships and awards, available to graduate students, undergraduates, and independent scholars conducting research in our special collections. The Bancroft Library is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive research environment, and seeks to support students and scholars using the collections both for traditional archival and bibliographic research, as well as those wishing to use the collections for creative projects.

Applications are due February 5, 2024, at 5 p.m., with decisions to be made by early April 2024. 

Theresa Salazar, center, pointing at an open book on a table, with two students seated at either side. The table is covered with several open books, with indeterminate photos, illustrations, and text showing.
Bancroft Library curator Theresa Salazar assists undergraduate researchers. Photo by Cathy Cockrell (Courtesy of UC Regents).

Research areas

Several fellowships offer funding for research that would benefit from the use of any source materials in The Bancroft Library. Other fellowships are focused around specific subject areas. Our fellowships and awards range in amounts.

Our 2024-25 fellowships and awards are in the following research areas:

  • Research that would benefit from the use of any source materials in the Bancroft
  • History of California
  • Nineteenth century American West and related topics
  • Jewish experience in California from 1848 to 1915
  • Print culture in any part of the Western Hemisphere, or any investigation of the history of the book in the Americas

How to apply

Two students closely studying an old book with yellowed pages
Bancroft archival materials in use by students.

Our Fellowships and Awards website has details about all the eligibility criteria for each fellowship or award, and the application process. Some opportunities are designated for Berkeley undergraduates, some for graduate students at any University of California campus, and some are open to students at any college or university or independent scholars —complete descriptions are on the website.

Please share this announcement with undergraduate and graduate students, and anyone else who may be interested in The Bancroft Library’s fellowship program.

About the Bancroft Library

The Bancroft Library is the primary special collections library at UC Berkeley, and one of the largest and most heavily used libraries of manuscripts, rare books, and unique materials in the United States. Bancroft supports major research and instructional activities and plays a leading role in the development of the university’s research collections.

Since Bancroft is a reference library, its collections are non-circulating, which means they are only available for your use in the Heller Reading Room. Fellowships and Awards facilitate this in-person research.

The Bancroft Library welcomes researchers from the UC Berkeley campus, nationally, and from around the world. Our holdings currently include: more than 600,000 volumes; 60 million manuscript items; 8 million photographs/pictorial materials; over 3 million digital files; 43,000 microforms; and 23,000 maps.

People worldwide can access Bancroft’s digital collections, which include digitized materials from the library’s extensive and ever-growing holdings, as well as born digital materials collected as part of our archival manuscript and pictorial collections.

Library Research Prize Winner: Andrew Woo (2014/2015)

Andrew Woo

Each academic year, the Library honors the very best undergraduate papers from courses across campus with the Charlene Conrad Liebau Library Prize for Undergraduate Research This is the fifth in a series of posts that highlight the fantastic work of each of  the 2015 prize winners.

Andrew Woo’s Political Science thesis, Caught in the Crossfire: Explanations of Insurgency Use of Indiscriminate Violence, combined quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis to explore the conditions in which insurgencies are more likely to employ indiscriminate forms of violence against civilians. As the Summer 2015 issue of Fiat Lux noted, Woo “conducted extensive research in the Main Stacks and in Bancroft, researching the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front in El Salvador and the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda. To gather data for his regression analyses, he relied on the Uppsala Conflict Data Program and the Non-State Actor dataset.”

For more information about past winners, and for details on how to submit your own research project for the 2015-2016 prize, check out the Library Prize website.

Funding Available for FSM Cafe Events

FSM Cafe Terrace

Bring your idea for a debate, panel discussion, or speaker, consider to the University Library’s FSM Café Educational Programs Committee.

UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff and campus groups are encouraged to apply for funding at least 6 weeks before the date of the proposed event.

Funding typically covers the cost of catering, publicity, and special equipment rental. Travel costs and honoraria for speakers are also considered. Programs also receive a $250 stipend after the event.

The committee is looking for programs that stimulate public discussion on political, cultural, and social issues that appeal to a broad audience, which exemplify the spirit of critical engagement of Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement.

Find more details and the application from the website.

Send questions to