UC Berkeley Commemorates the 80th Anniversary of the Spanish Civil War

D.W. Parker, John Robinson, and Langston Hughes (Aragon), September 1967. Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade photograph collection. The Bancroft Library, BANC PIC 1988.047, folder 39
BANC PIC 1988.047, folder 39

The Spanish Civil War began 80 years ago this past July. UC Berkeley marks the important anniversary with a series of cultural events, including poetry readings, films, exhibits, performances, book talks, and public discussions. Visit www.spanishcivilwar80.berkeley.edu to learn about all upcoming events as well as the two library installations in The Bancroft Library and the Townsend Center.


The Gift to Sing: Exhibit in The Bancroft Library Gallery

The Gift to Sing: Highlights of the Leon F. Litwack & Bancroft Library African American Collections

When: September 23, 2016 – February 17, 2017
Where: The Bancroft Library Gallery, 10am-4pm, Monday-Friday (excluding holidays)

The Gift to Sing - Exhibit in The Bancroft Library Gallery
Home to Harlem. By Claude McKay, 1965. From the collection of Leon F. Litwack. Digitally altered from the original for the exhibition texts.

For decades professor emeritus of history Leon F. Litwack has been accumulating what is arguably the world’s finest private collection of books on African American history and culture. This exhibition displays highlights of the collection that will be coming to The Bancroft Library as a bequest. The Litwack collection is particularly noteworthy for its Harlem Renaissance first editions in strikingly illustrated dust jackets. The exhibition includes books with distinguished provenance such as a copy of Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave with an inscription by the famous abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. Complementing the Litwack books are treasures from Bancroft’s significant African American holdings, including the first book by an African American, Phyllis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, published in 1773.

Post submitted by:
David Faulds, Curator of Rare Books and Literary Manuscripts, The Bancroft Library


Trio of fall exhibits offer diverse pleasures

Fall 2016 Exhibits at the UC Berkeley Library

Three fall exhibits at the Library—on global comics, the Spanish Civil War, and African-American history and culture—testify to the extraordinary richness of our collections. We invite you to come tour the exhibits at your leisure.

“Beyond Tintin and Superman: The Diversity of Global Comics” showcases comics and graphic novels from a dizzying array of countries, including Egypt, Poland, South Africa, Israel, the Czech Republic, South Africa, Colombia, and Japan. While treating societal issues generated by censorship, race relations, political agendas and gender biases, the comics also provide great enjoyment through their striking imagery and cultural diversity.  See a video about the exhibit. (Doe Library – Bernice Layne Brown Gallery; opens Sept 19).
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.

“The Gift to Sing: Highlights of the Leon F. Litwack and the Bancroft Library African American Collections” includes treasures such as Harlem Renaissance first editions with strikingly illustrated dust jackets, and a 1845 copy of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave with an inscription by the famous abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. One of UC Berkeley’s iconic professors and a noted scholar, Leon Litwack retired from a storied career in 2007. His collection—arguably the world’s finest private collection of books on African American history and culture—will be coming to the Bancroft as a bequest. (The Bancroft Library Gallery, opens Sept. 23)

Guerra Civil at 80” marks the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). A visual and textual display of the struggle to defend the Second Spanish Republic, the exhibition documents the role of the Republicans and the Nationalists; the impact on civilians and on American volunteers; and the intense creative response from within and outside Spain. (Bancroft Library, 2nd floor corridor, between Bancroft and Doe, through June 2017)

A companion exhibit, “Incite the Spirit: Poster Art of the Spanish Civil War” will be on exhibit through December 16 at the Townsend Center for the Humanities, 220 Stephens Hall. Please visit spanishcivilwar80.berkeley.edu to learn more about the UC Berkeley events commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Spanish Civil War.

Post submitted by:
Damaris Moore, Library Communications Office


Russian America or Russkaia America

Russian America or Russkaia America
An exhibition that is dedicated to the 150th Anniversary of purchase of Alaska by the United States.

Russian America exhibit in Moffitt Library through December 2016

Where: Moffitt Library Gallery
When: September 2016 through December 2016

The discovery of Alaska by Vitus Bering in 1741 marked a new era in the expansion of Russian Empire eastwards. The “Russian America” was born in 1784, when on Kodiak Island, Grigory Shelikhov, a Russian fur trader, founded the Three Saints Bay, the first permanent Russian settlement in Alaska. In 1808, under the charter from the Czar, the Russian-American company established a permanent settlement near today’s Sitka that was called “Novo-Arkhangel’sk”.  The Company, chartered in 1799, managed Russian America for the Imperial Government from that time until 1867 when the United States purchased what is now known as Alaska. The Company also established posts or conducted business in other Pacific Rim areas such as Siberia, Hawaii, and California; and attempted, unsuccessfully, to initiate trade with Japan.

The Sitka settlement was followed soon after by the foundation of the first Russian settlement in California in 1812, when the Fort Ross was founded as the southern-most outpost of the Russian-American company.  The term “Russkaia Kaliforniia or Russian California” is used to indicate Russian presence in California until the sale of the Fort Ross holdings in 1841 to Captain Sutter. Russian America continued to exist until the sale of the Alaska to the United States in 1867.

The exhibition highlights early Russian efforts to colonize North America using the trade and Russian Orthodoxy along with the Imperial expansion into California and finally ends with the purchase of Alaska by the United States. Several rare books on Aleuts, Russian trade in the region, Russian California along with the facsimile of the first Russian language newspaper in California-the Alaska Herald are exhibited.

Post submitted by:
Liladhar R. Pendse, PhD
Librarian for East European, Armenian, Caucasus, Central Asian, Balkan, Baltic,and Mongolian Studies


Oakland Asian Branch Library exhibit at the Ethnic Studies Library

Oakland Asian Branch Library image exhibit at Ethnic Studies Library, UC Berkeley

The first of its kind in the United States, the Asian Branch Library was founded in 1975 to serve the Asian community in Oakland. Today, this branch in Oakland Chinatown is one of the busiest in the Oakland Public Library system. It houses materials in 8 different languages including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Khmer, Lao, Tagalog, and Thai. The Oakland Chinatown Oral History Project documents this living history through interviews of long-time branch advocates, librarians, and patrons spanning four decades. The exhibit was curated by Lora Chan & Roy Chan of the Oakland Chinatown Oral History Project.

The exhibit will be on display through October 2016
Ethnic Studies Library
30 Stephens Hall
University of California, Berkeley

See a short documentary on the history of the Oakland Asian Branch Library.


Guerra Civil @ 80

September 1, 2016 – July 1, 2017
2nd floor corridor between The Bancroft Library and Doe Library

Image citation: Josep Renau. Hoy más que nunca / Victoria, 1938. [Victory: Now more than ever.] Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Bay Area Post Records. The Bancroft Library, BANC MSS 71/105z, folder 40
Image citation: Josep Renau. Hoy más que nunca / Victoria, 1938. [Victory: Now more than ever.] Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Bay Area Post Records. The Bancroft Library, BANC MSS 71/105z, folder 40
Marking the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, the exhibition Guerra Civil @ 80 features selections from The Bancroft Library’s Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Bay Area Post records and photographic collections, along with posters, books, pamphlets, and other ephemera. A visual and textual display of the struggle to defend the Second Spanish Republic, the exhibition documents the role of both the Republicans, who were defending the democratically elected government, and the Nationalists, the right-wing rebel forces led by General Francisco Franco. The exhibition also addresses how the war, which unfolded from 1936 to 1939, affected the lives of the people of Spain and American volunteers fighting on the front lines or assisting in the war effort, as well as how the conflict precipitated an intense creative response from within and outside Spain.

INCITE THE SPIRIT: POSTER ART OF THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR will be on exhibit from September 6 – December 16, 2016 at the Townsend Center for the Humanities, 220 Stephens Hall

Please visit http://spanishcivilwar80.berkeley.edu to learn more about the UC Berkeley events commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Spanish Civil War.

Post submitted by Theresa Salazar, Curator for Western Americana, The Bancroft Library and Claude Potts, Librarian for Romance Languages, The University Library


Student-designed exhibit in Doe Library explores history and social justice

Library Prize winner Andrea Ikeda

Visit the library’s new exhibit, Cowboys, Indians, and Aliens: White Supremacy in the Klamath Basin, 1826-1946. The exhibit was designed by Andrea Ikeda, a recipient of the 2015 Charlene Conrad Liebau Library Prize for Undergraduate Research. It is also based on her prize-winning research paper, which you can read on eScholarship here: Cowboys, Indians, and Aliens: White Supremacy in the Klamath Basin, 1826-1946.

Andrea’s paper examines the relationalities between two historical phenomena happening in the Klamath Basin: the dispossession and violence against Modoc Indians in the nineteenth century and the internment of Japanese Americans at the Tule Lake Segregation Center during World War II. Her research not only led her to the archives to understand and explore the past, but also has deep implications for contemporary struggles for social justice. To find out more about the exhibit, including links to Andrea’s sources and information on the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust and the fight to preserve the Tule Lake site, visit the accompanying LibGuide.

The exhibit is on the second floor of Doe Library, just outside of the Heyns Reading Room. It will be up through September 30th and can be viewed during Doe Library’s open hours. We encourage the campus community to find out more about the Charlene Conrad Liebau Library Prize for Undergraduate Research and read more about the recipients of the 2016 Library Prize.

We would like to thank Andrea for curating the exhibit and for sharing her research. We would also like to thank Aisha Hamilton for her design and installation work.


Post contributed by Sine Hwang Jensen and Shannon K. Supple

Image courtesy of Kathy Ikeda


The Papyrus in the Crocodile: 150 Years of Exploration, Excavation, Collection, and Stewardship at Berkeley

The Papyrus in the Crocodile, The Bancroft Library Gallery, May 5 - July 29

The collections assembled by Berkeley’s patrons and collectors over the last 150 years form the foundation of many of the university’s academic disciplines. This unprecedented exhibition, sponsored by the Mellon Foundation and co-curated by graduate students from the History of Art Department, brings together materials from The Bancroft Library, the Hearst Museum of Anthropology, the Environmental Design Archives, the C. V. Starr East Asian Library, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, and the Berkeley Art Museum. Read the Berkeley News article for more information.

Date: May 5 to July 29, 2016

Place: The Bancroft Library Gallery

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


Post contributed by Alison Wannamaker, Library Graphics Office

Image courtesy of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley.


The Papyrus in the Crocodile: 150 Years of Exploration, Excavation, Collection, and Stewardship at Berkeley

The Papyrus in the Crocodile: 150 Years of Exploration, Excavation, Collection, and Stewardship at Berkeley
May 6th – July 29, 2016
The Bancroft Library Gallery
Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm

The collections assembled by Berkeley’s patrons and collectors over the last 150 years form the foundation of many of the university’s academic disciplines. This unprecedented exhibition, sponsored by the Mellon Foundation and co-curated by graduate students from the History of Art Department, brings together materials from The Bancroft Library, the Hearst Museum of Anthropology, the Environmental Design Archives, the C. V. Starr East Asian Library, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, and the Berkeley Art Museum.

Image courtesy of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley.