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Social Protest and the Free Speech Movement: Library Basics

An Introduction to Research

Quick Links

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Read an introduction to the campus libraries for undergraduates.

Set up your computer for off campus access to library databases.

Need a map of the campus libraries?

Each library has its own hours.  Click on the calendar for each library to view a month at a time.

Requesting Materials from Other Libraries

If UCB does not own the item you need, we will borrow it for you from another library, if possible.  We need a specific citation (example, for books - title, author, date of publication, publisher; for articles, title, author, journal/publication title, date, page numbers).

If you are in MELVYL and find the record for an item UCB doesn't own, click on the "Request" button to initiate the request.

If the item isn't owned by another UC, pull down the "Libraries to search" menu in MELVYL to "Libraries Worldwide" and re-try the search.  If you find the item, click on the "Request" button to initiate the request.

If you are not using MELVYL, use the online Interlibrary Loan forms to request an item.  Track the progress of your request via "My ILL Requests."

About the UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies Collections

Ethnic Studies is the critical and interdisciplinary study of race, ethnicity, and indigeneity with a focus on the experiences and perspectives of people of color within and beyond the United States. The Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley, founded in 1969, was one of the first in the nation and has produced some of the most dynamic and influential scholarship in the field.

The UC Berkeley Library collects at a research level in the subject of Ethnic Studies, which includes: history, literature, political science, etc. These materials are purchased in virtually all languages of the world and represent the ethnicities of people from all corners of the world.

Ethnic Studies collections are located in multiple campus libraries.  Humanities and social sciences materials are located in the Main (Gardner) Stacks, with additional materials in subject specialty libraries such as the Education/Psychology, Social Research, Anthropology, Environmental Design, Media Resources Center, etc.  

The Ethnic Studies Library, with its departmental focus, features the following collections: Asian American Studies, Chicano Studies,  Native American Studies  and Comparative Ethnic Studies. These collections support the Ethnic Studies Department undergraduate majors and minors in Asian American and Asian Diaspora StudiesChicana/o and Latina/o StudiesNative American Studies, and Comparative Ethnic Studies, as well as a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies.

The Bancroft Library, in addition to being the UC Berkeley’s manuscript and archival collections, holds materials relevant to American ethnic groups in California, the Western United States and Mexico; see the Western Americana collection description for details.

Start your research with the UCB Library catalog, OskiCat to find the library locations and call numbers of materials for your research.

See also the subject guide for African American Studies.

The Bancroft Library - About

The Bancroft Library is one of the treasures of the campus, and one of the world's great libraries for the history of Bancroft Library interiorthe American West.  Hours  and  floor plan showing location (2nd floor Doe Library)

Some Bancroft materials are available online via Calisphere, which includes primary sources  from many California libraries and museums.

How to Use the Bancroft Library

Before you go:

1.  Be prepared! Read secondary sources and know something about your topic.

2.  You must register with the Aeon software to use the Bancroft Library.  You may register online in advance.

2.  Search OskiCat  You can limit your OskiCat search to find materials at the Bancroft Library, instead of all campus libraries (choose "Bancroft Library" from the pulldown menu that says "Entire Collection."). Remember that there are primary sources in many other campus libraries as well.  Ask for assistance from a reference librarian.

Once you have found an item you need, click on the BANCROFT REQUEST link to request the item through Aeon.

Important:  if the item is in storage ("NRLF") and owned by The Bancroft Library, do not use the Request button in OskiCat.  Instead, request these materials through Aeon  AT LEAST 72 hours in advance (they prefer a week.)

If the OskiCat record mentions a "finding aid" (an index) to a manuscript collection, you should use it to help you find what you need in the collection.  If the finding aid is online there will be a link from the OskiCat record, or you can search the Online Archive of California to find it. The finding aids that are not online are near the Registration desk at the Bancroft Library.

3. Plan your visit;  you will need to bring current government-issued ID,  call numbers, titles, etc. with you. You may find it convenient to bring a quarter for the lockers, and a digital camera/cameraphone.  Read the Conditions of Use to learn what you can and cannot bring into the Bancroft Library.

4. You will need to use the Aeon system to request photocopies or scans, request permission to publish materials, etc.

5. While onsite, make requests to see items before 4:30 pm.

6.  Ask for assistance at The Bancroft Library's reference desk, or request assistance by email.

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