Ecocity Berkeley: Thirty Years On

Woman watering a garden planted inside a car

September 15 – December 15, 2017
Environmental Design Library – 210 Wurster Hall

In 1987 Richard Register released his first major book, Ecocity Berkeley: Building Cities for a Healthy Future, inserting “ecocity” into the urban planning lexicon. Using Berkeley as a test bed, he promoted a new vision for urban development; his ideas and drawings presaged a number of contemporary design elements, tuning architecture and urban design to nature’s and human needs and desires. This exhibit explores his inspiring vision and its international influence.

The Russian Revolution Centenary: 1917-2017: Politics, Propaganda and People’s Art

Artist: El Lissitzsky [Lazar Markovich Lisitskii (1890-1941). The poster was created in 1920 in VitebskThis exhibition, curated by Liladhar Pendse (East European, Eurasian and Latin American Studies Librarian), is dedicated to the centenary of the Russian Revolution that took place in October of 1917. The exhibition will take place in the Moffitt Library, from September 11, 2017 through January 8, 2018 and it will highlight several print-items from the revolutionary times.

Attendance restrictions: Access to the Moffitt Undergraduate Library is restricted and you’ll need the UC Berkeley/ Cal Card for entry.

The virtual counterpart of the exhibition is located here:

Exhibit: Bancroft’s New Favorites

model airplane
Next week will be the last full week of the Bancroft’s New Favorites Gallery Exhibit, which closes on 1 September.

The gallery is open from 10am-4pmMonday through Friday, excluding holidays.

For the first time in many years The Bancroft Library presents an exhibition of recent additions to its major collections. The exhibition also includes recently rediscovered masterpieces carefully collected in years past. Gold-Rush-era memoirs and advertisements, early editions of William Langland and Jane Austen, “branded” books from 18th c. Mexico, and David Johnson’s photographs of the African American community in San Francisco after World War II are but a few of the items featured. The exhibition showcases the Bancroft curators and their distinctive collecting practices, which expand the remarkable vision of library founder Hubert Howe Bancroft—documenting California as it was happening and building a library for the American West that would rival its older European antecedents.

On View Now: The Summer of Love, from the Collections of The Bancroft Library

Marking the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, an exhibit in the corridor between Doe Library and The Bancroft Library features Bancroft’s rare and unique collections documenting the world-famous Bay Area counterculture of 1967.

Black and white photo of a crowd in Golden Gate Park watching a rock band on stage, with a "Love" banner among crowd.
[Quicksilver Messenger Service on stage, Summer Solstice, Golden Gate Park, June 21, 1967] Ted Streshinsky, photographer (BANC PIC 2004.132 M686-5, frame 34. Further reproduction prohibited:
Presented are images from the Bay Area alternative press, psychedelic rock posters and mailers, documentary photographs of the Haight-Ashbury scene and major rock concerts, material from the papers of poet Michael McClure, and text from Joan Didion’s “Slouching Towards Bethlehem,” drawn from her papers and paired, for the first time since publication in the Saturday Evening Post, with photographs taken to accompany her essay.

A young hippie woman with feathers that look like antlers, in day glow face paint, Avalon Ballroom, 1967] Ted Streshinsky, photographer.
[A young hippie woman with feathers that look like antlers, in day glow face paint, Avalon Ballroom, 1967]  Ted Streshinsky, photographer. (BANC PIC 2004.132–LAN, box 14, file 258. Further reproduction prohibited:
Photographs by Ted Streshinsky, Michelle Vignes, Larry Keenan, and Stephen Shames are featured, as well as psychedelic art by Wilfried Sätty, Wes Wilson, Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffin, Alton Kelley, Stanley “Mouse” Miller, Lee Conklin, Bonnie MacLean, David Singer, and others. Publications and leaflets of the Underground Press Syndicate are also highlighted, with examples such as the Berkeley Barb, the Oracle, and the Communication Company as well as fliers from the Sexual Freedom League.

Psychedelic poster with spiral in blue and red.
Turn on Your Mind: Relax and Float Down Stream. Poster art by Wilfried Sätty. (Henri Lenoir pictorial collection, BANC PIC 2004.158–D, folder 5. Further reproduction prohibited: )

This exhibit, prepared by Chris McDonald and James Eason of the Bancroft Library Pictorial Unit will be on view through Fall 2017.


New Exhibit: A Country Called Syria

Items from the A Country Called Syria exhibit
When the library was approached with an offer to host an exhibition on Syria that highlighted its people and their rich history, we all thought it would be a good idea to showcase aspects of the country and the people other than the depressing ones covered in the news. The organization that approached us is called A Country Called Syria and consists of volunteers of Syrian-American heritage from southern California who gathered together a travelling exhibit depicting Syria’s history, culture and ethnic diversity in order to introduce people to the country behind the headlines.

Items from the A Country Called Syria exhibit

As the interim library liaison for the Middle East, I thought it would be a good idea to highlight UC Berkeley’s rich library collection on Syria along with the cultural artifacts we were lent. The region that makes up the modern country of Syria is one of the oldest cradles of human civilization, and our former Middle East librarians have done a fine job of building a collection covering its ancient history and diversity while at the same time also paying attention modern Syria with all its complexities. The aim of the exhibition is to highlight some of that diversity and complexity and give Syria and the Syrian a more accessible human dimension.

Items from the A Country Called Syria exhibit Items from the A Country Called Syria exhibit Items from the A Country Called Syria exhibit

Mapping Literature Exhibit

By Sara Hagenbuch

Exhibit Case

From maps with literary landmarks, to maps of fictional worlds, literary maps exist in many unique and beautiful formats. This summer, our “Mapping Literature” exhibit at the UC Berkeley Earth Sciences and Map Library features a sampling of five maps in our collection and excerpts from the literary atlas Plotted by Andrew DeGraff:

Continue reading “Mapping Literature Exhibit”

Exhibit: New Favorites: Collecting in the Bancroft Tradition

Bancroft Library Gallery
April 21 – September 1, 2017

Books in the new Bancroft Library exhibit

For the first time in many years The Bancroft Library presents an exhibition of recent additions to its major collections. The exhibition also includes recently rediscovered masterpieces carefully collected in years past. Gold Rush-era memoirs and advertisements, early editions of William Langland and Jane Austen, “branded” books from 18th c. Mexico, and David Johnson’s photographs of the African American community in San Francisco after World War II are but a few of the items featured.

Photographs by David Johnson in the new Bancroft Library exhibit

The exhibition showcases the Bancroft curators and their distinctive collecting practices, which expand the remarkable vision of library founder Hubert Howe Bancroft–documenting California as it was happening and building a library for the American West that would rival its European antecedents.

Mark Twain materials in the new Bancroft Library exhibit

Presented by the Friends of The Bancroft Library.

The Bancroft Library Gallery is open Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm, excluding holidays.

For more information, please call 510-642-3782 or visit

Western Americana display in the new Bancroft Library exhibit

Items in the new exhibit at The Bancroft Library

“The Gift to Sing”: Bancroft exhibit offers tour of African American history and culture

Treasures from legendary professor Leon Litwack’s African American history and culture book collection are on display through February in the Bancroft Library Gallery. Browsing “The Gift to Sing” exhibit offers viewers a chance to revisit milestones in the long journey of African Americans in this country towards full equality, freedom, and cultural expression.

Photo by Alejandro Serrano for the University Library.

Slave narratives and autobiography, drawings and photography, collections of spirituals, newspapers, novels and poetry, historical and sociological works — all with rich significance outlined in curator David Faulds’ captions — are among the works included.

Litwack’s collection, most of which will come to the Bancroft as a bequest, originated in his teenage years in Santa Barbara in the 1940s, when the young Leon haunted a used bookstore called the Book Den. Langston Hughes volumes purchased then for a dollar or two are on display in the exhibit.

Over six decades of continued collecting later — informed by his celebrated scholarship in African American history and culture — Litwack’s library is considered one of the best in private hands.

On display in the Bancroft exhibit are Harlem Renaissance first editions in strikingly illustrated dust jackets; Bobby Seale’s copy of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, which Litwack had the good fortune to pick up for $5 at Moe’s Bookstore near campus; a copy of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave inscribed by famous abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison; and Ida B. Wells’ rare and important pamphlet on lynching, The Red Record.


Photo by Alejandro Serrano for the University Library.

Exhibit visitors can also see the first book by an African American, Phyllis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, which was published in 1773. This edition is one of the treasures from the Bancroft’s current collection which are also exhibited in “The Gift to Sing.”

The exhibit is organized in seven sections including the arts; California, society; literature and history, modern and early 20th century; slave narratives; and racial uplift (1890-1910).

The oldest book in the exhibition dates from 1744 and reports on the execution of thirty blacks and four whites for their role in the Conspiracy of 1741, a supposed insurrection by slaves and poor whites. Like the Salem witch trials, this event is now seen by some scholars as a case of mass hysteria, in which a number of acts of arson were attributed to a criminal conspiracy.

A 1919 history of African Americans in California took shape through research at the Bancroft itself. Author Delilah Beasley spent many years in Bancroft poring over California and black newspapers and archives to research her book.

Less well-known materials are displayed alongside famous items such as the most popular novel of the 19th century — Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the 1852 anti-slavery classic by Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Toni Morrison’s 1987 novel Beloved.

The range and depth of the collection reflects Litwack’s lifelong quest to uncover and to teach the history of race relations in America and the experiences of people long absent from the historical narrative. He has authored four major books and countless articles, and has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

Prof. Leon Litwack discusses his writing experiences Tuesday, March 12, 2002, as part of the Berkeley Writers at Work lecture series. (Photo by Noah Berger).

Litwack retired from Berkeley in 2007 after forty-three years. His final lecture on America’s racial divide was entitled “Fight the Power.”

Litwack has long been a passionate advocate for the importance of the Library, an advocacy which dates back to his undergraduate years at Berkeley, starting in 1948. “What I coveted more than anything else was a job in the UC Library,” he said. “And I was fortunate enough to get one . . . That was just fabulous.”

“The Gift to Sing: Highlights of the Leon F. Litwack and Bancroft Library African American Collections” is on display in the Bancroft Library Gallery through February 17, 2017, from 10 am to 4 pm.

War Ink project, program coming to Doe Library

War Ink image of veteran with tattoos
Photographs from the War Ink project can be viewed in the Doe Library during the month of November. (Photo courtesy War Ink)

Photographs from the celebrated War Ink Project will be on display in Berkeley’s Doe Library in November. The exhibit features striking images of tattoos that express the impact of combat experiences on California veterans. 

Jason Deitch, co-creator of War Ink and a Cal veteran, hopes the display will “bridge the divide between the veterans and civilian communities.” The project is “both exhibit and forum, using tattoos as a springboard for California veterans to share their stories,” Deitch explains.

In anticipation of Veterans Day and to mark the exhibit opening, please join Deitch, Trésor Bunker, current vice president of the Cal Veterans Group, and members of the Cal Veteran community in a panel discussion focused on improving communication among veterans and civilians.

The discussion, titled Moving Beyond “Thanks” to Understanding Experience: Seeing Our Cal Veterans Through Profiles of Military and Lifelong Service and Transition Success, will take place on Friday, November 4 in the Morrison Library.

The program will incorporate personal experiences and methods for moving beyond stereotypical views of veterans and the often reflexive phrase “Thank you for your service” toward more meaningful communication as a key for improving reintegration after military service. There will be time to view the exhibit and to learn about the veterans pictured and the significance of the ink they wear.

When: Friday, November 4, 2016 5-7pm

Where: Morrison Library

Admission: Free and open to the public

The Library attempts to offer programs in accessible, barrier-free settings. If you think you may require disability-related accommodations, please contact the event sponsor prior to the event. The event sponsor is Ashley Bacchi, 510-664-7737.

Global comics exhibit draws on librarian’s diverse background

Story by Damaris Moore, Library Communications
Video by Campus News Services; see story by Public Affairs

In 1991, Liladhar Pendse was working in food services at UCLA Catering after a move from the Soviet Union in search of a fresh start. A polyglot fluent in seven languages and familiar with an additional 13, Pendse frequently visited the library to borrow books from Russia and India. There, he encountered a librarian who ended up changing the course of his life.

Eudora Loh encouraged Pendse to attend classes and to consider librarianship as a career. “I was intimidated by librarians and computers,” Pendse recounts, “but she was so kind, showing me how to locate a book and walking me to the stacks. We started talking, became friends, and in time she encouraged me to attend classes at a local community college.”

Twenty five years and four degrees later, Pendse combines his passion for diversity, his love of language and his quest to share knowledge and information as a scholar librarian at UC Berkeley. This month, Pendse’s rich understanding of global materials is on display in an exhibit of comics and graphic novels from a dizzying array of cultures, including Egypt, Poland, South Africa, Israel, the Czech Republic, Colombia, and Japan.

“Beyond Tintin and Superman: The Diversity of Global Comics” can be viewed in Doe Library’s Bernice Layne Brown Gallery through March 2017. Pendse hopes that the exhibit will inspire viewers to reflect on issues treated in the materials — around censorship, race relations, political agendas and gender biases.

“The world has always been a violent place,” says Pendse. “And so my question as a professional is how can I contribute to peace? Through building our uniquely rich collections, and making information available, I believe I am contributing to increased understanding in the world and in cultures at large.”

Liladhar Pendse curated the Doe Library exhibit “Beyond Tintin and Superman: The Diversity of Global Comics.” (Photo by Alejandro Serrano for the University Library)
UC Berkeley Librarian Liladhar Pendse curated the “Beyond Tintin and Superman: The Diversity of Global Comics” exhibit, which can be viewed in the Doe Library through March 2017. Pendse collaborated with a number of skilled Library colleagues on the exhibit.  (Photo by Alejandro Serrano for the University Library)

From India to Belarus and the U.S.

Pendse grew up primarily in Mumbai, but spent parts of his youth in several regions of the then-Soviet Union due to the tumultuous political climate of the time. Although he had earned an M.D. in Internal Medicine in Belarus, Pendse realized he had to start over when he moved to the United States. He worked a variety of jobs while living in Los Angeles, and eventually found that education was his path to success.

He earned his BA in History and Arabic/Islamic Studies with honors from UCLA in 2004. After working in the UCLA library, he earned his MLIS and an MA in Latin American Studies. Following positions at UCLA’s Library and at Princeton, he came to Berkeley’s University Library in 2012. In 2013, he defended his Ph.D. at UCLA.

Growing up in three very different cultures inspired Pendse to focus his work on inclusion and acceptance of different types of people. He hopes that the materials in the “Beyond Tintin and Superman: The Diversity of Global Comics” exhibit help break down cultural barriers by offering authentic, personal accounts of social and political issues around the world.

The comics on display were curated by Pendse and include comics from his own personal collection. There is a copy of the DC Comics 1987 classic, Watchmen, as well as graphic novels and comics covering atomic bomb survivors, young Yemeni women forced into marriage, a collection created in response to the January 2015 terrorist attack on the French satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo, love in a Japanese boys’ boarding school, and a translation of a two-volume work of a French professor of Middle Eastern studies/historian and an award-winning artist that tells the complicated stories of the United States involvement in the Middle East.

Librarian Liladhar Pendse enjoys the energy and diversity of Berkeley's Sproul Plaza. (Photo by Alejandro Serrano for the University Library)
Librarian Liladhar Pendse appreciates the energy and diversity of Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza. (Photo by Alejandro Serrano for the University Library)

“One person, one tongue”

At UC Berkeley, Pendse’s title is as long as an arm — Librarian for East European, Armenian, Caucasus, Central Asian, Balkan, Baltic, and Mongolian Studies, and Acting Librarian for African Studies.

His knowledge of many different languages has empowered him to work effectively across a diverse group of faculty, students and visiting scholars. Along with fluency in Marathi and Hindi/Urdu, Russian, Gujarati, Portuguese, Spanish, and English, he is at an intermediate level in Azerbaijani, Sanskrit, Arabic, and Turkish; and basic in Armenian, Romanian, French, Italian, Swahili, Polish, Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, Slovak, and Turkmen.

Previous exhibits Pendse has helped curate include displays of posters and printed works from Cuba and Soviet Union during the Cold war, and on the 1867 purchase of Alaska, highlighting the Library’s Russian-American collections. He is involved in planning several future exhibits, one on popular literature in Brazil, and another on Bollywood and Africa.

Asked about his extraordinary gift for languages, Pendse ties it to an abiding interest in understanding between cultures. A few years ago, an elderly woman in Istanbul repeated a saying to him: “one person one tongue (Bir lisan bir insan).” Pendse comments that “the more languages, the better you can reach out to other people.”

Pendse’s varied life path has fostered in him a deep personal appreciation of diversity. “The world of Berkeley is very meaningful to me,” he notes, especially “the spirit of flexibility and seeing things from others’ perspectives. Maybe you don’t agree, but you listen and you learn. Passing through Sproul Plaza on my way home from work, I feel invigorated and enriched by all the different people and activities. The vibrancy and the diversity of our community always inspires me!”

Exhibit opening reception
Date: Friday, October 14
Time: 5-7pm
Place: Morrison Library

Brown Gallery Viewing 5-5:30pm
Welcome & Introduction at 5:30pm with Liladhar Pendse, Exhibit Curator
with special guest speakers Ron Turner & Ivy Mills, Ph.D.
Enjoy the Exhibit 6:30-7pm

Ron Turner is the founder of the Last Gasp, a book and underground comics publisher and distributor based in San Francisco.
UC Berkeley Lecturer Ivy Mills, Ph.D. specializes in the visual and literary cultures of Africa and the African diaspora.

The Library attempts to offer programs in accessible, barrier-free settings. If you think you may require disability-related accommodations, please contact the event sponsor prior to the event. The event sponsor is Ashley Bacchi, 510-664-7737.