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Ethnic Studies: About

A Library Research Guide

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 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.

Purchase Recommendation

Purchase Recommendation

You can suggest items that the Library should consider purchasing. Use the Purchase Recommendation form to submit your suggestion.

Doe Library, North Reading Room

Getting Help

Research help: 24/7 chat, in person, by e-mail, etc.

Contact:       Lillian Castillo-Speed  - Chicano Studies Librarian 

                    Sine Hwang Jensen - Asian American Studies Librarian    

                    Melissa Stoner - Native American Studies Librarian            

            Corliss Lee - Liaison to Ethnic Studies, Doe and Moffitt Libraries

            Adam Clemons - African American Studies Librarian

Supporting the Library

The Library welcomes gifts in all forms. Many private donors have made contributions toward the acquisition of research materials for the use of Berkeley faculty and students. This support is very important in sustaining the excellence of our collections and services.

Read more about how you can support the UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies Library.

The following types of gifts are available to support the Ethnic Studies collections within the Doe and Moffitt Libraries:

Cash Gifts for Book Purchases
Cash contributions of any amount are welcomed and can be made directly to the Library using the online form. In the Special instructions or designations for this gift section, specify that you are supporting the Ethnic Studies collections.

If you prefer to send a check, make it payable to the UC Regents (indicate you are supporting the Ethnic Studies collections) and mail it to:

Corliss Lee
212 Doe Library
University of California
Berkeley, CA  94720-6000

Donations of Materials
Gifts of books and scholarly materials  have historically represented a significant element in the development of our outstanding research collections.  Contact Corliss Lee about the materials you wish to donate.

Memorial and Honorific Gifts
Contributions given in memory or in honor of a person are welcomed. For a gift of $1,000 or more, a named memorial book fund can be established. A special book plate will be created and placed in each book.

Named Endowment

Endowment funds may be established with a gift of $50,000 or more. These funds provide the library with an annual income in perpetuity and have a lasting impact on maintaining a world class collection in of Ethnic Studies. The University invests its endowments carefully to achieve a healthy rate of return that provides for both current needs and long-term growth. A special book plate will be created and placed in each book.

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