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Environmental Collections at The Bancroft Library

UC Library Search

Advanced Searching

Use the Advanced Search module in UC Library Search to narrow down or specify search results. After inputting your search term, go to the right to select various filters such as Material Type. Journals and Articles can find periodicals and newsletters of environmental organizations. Selecting Manuscripts is a quick way to find primary sources, and Images will retrieve photographs and posters.

In the Search for menu at the top, selecting UC Berkeley special collections and archives will help narrow the search to Bancroft Library holdings. However, relevant material is held throughout the UC Berkeley Library system. Other useful repositories are the Bioscience, Natural Resources & Public Health Library, the Environmental Design Library, the Environmental Design Archive, and the Newspapers & Microforms Library.

To find publications of organizations, select Author/Creator in the first search filter line and input the name of the organization. To narrow down to newsletters and other serials, in the second line select Subject and type periodicals OR select Journals in the Material Type filter on the right (you will get slightly different results with each method). Please note that some of Bancroft's serials holdings may be incomplete and are missing issues. Some serials are included in the organization's archival collection and may not be discoverable through UC Library Search . See the Online Archive of California section for searching tips.

To find oral histories, select Subject in the first search filter line and type the search term "oral histories" - then add additional key words in the other search filter lines as needed.

Boolean-search modifiers work well with UC Library Search and can yield possible additional relevant results. Keyword examples include environment* and forest*.

Pictorial Material

Many of the personal, organizational, and industry collections at Bancroft have pictorial components that have been cataloged separately. Check the Location note (in the Details section down past the Preferred citation field) of the UC Library Search record to see if there are related pictorial materials, and if they have been transferred out of the collection to a new call number.

Subject Headings

When you find a relevant item through a keyword or author search, scroll down in the UC Library Search record to the Subject section to get a sense of the various terminology used to categorize environmental material in the library's catalog. Clicking on the subject headings shows other materials in the UC Library system on similar topics. For subject headings with a large amount of material, you can narrow down the results using the Advanced Search module. In the first search filter line, select Subject, and input the entire subject heading into the search field. Then you can select various filters (Material Type, Start Date, End Date, etc.) in the right side section.

Sample Subject Headings (based on materials highlighted in this guide):

  • Aerial spraying and dusting in forestry
  • Air -- Pollution -- California
  • Biodiversity -- California
  • Camping -- Environmental aspects
  • Coastal zone management -- California
  • Conservation of natural resources -- Periodicals
  • Conservationists -- California
  • Dredging -- Environmental aspects
  • Environmental impact analysis -- California
  • Environmental justice -- California
  • Environmental law -- United States
  • Environmental lawyers -- California
  • Environmental policy -- California
  • Environmental protection -- Periodicals
  • Environmental responsibility
  • Environmentalism -- California
  • Environmentalists -- California
  • Fire prevention -- California
  • Fishery management -- California
  • Forest conservation -- California
  • Forest protection -- United States
  • Forestry law and legislation -- United States
  • Forests and forestry -- California
  • Game protection -- California
  • Greenbelts -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area
  • Green movement -- California
  • Hazardous wastes -- California
  • Land use -- California
  • Local transit -- Environmental aspects -- California
  • Logging -- Environmental aspects
  • Military base conversion -- Environmental aspects
  • National parks and reserves -- United States
  • Nuclear energy -- Environmental aspects -- California
  • Nuclear power plants -- Environmental aspects -- California
  • Off-road vehicles -- Environmental aspects
  • Open spaces -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area
  • Parks -- California
  • Pesticides -- Environmental aspects -- United States
  • Pollution prevention -- United States
  • Recreation areas -- California -- Management
  • Reservoirs -- California
  • San Francisco Bay Area (Calif.) -- Environmental conditions
  • Stream conservation -- California
  • Water -- Pollution -- Environmental aspects -- California
  • Water quality management -- California
  • Water resources development -- Environmental aspects
  • Water-supply -- California
  • Wilderness areas -- California
  • Wildlife conservation -- California
  • Wildlife management -- California

Online Archive of California


Searching via the main Online Archive of California (OAC) website will yield results from all participating institutions across California. To limit your search to The Bancroft Library's holdings, be sure to search by institution using either OAC (Bancroft Library) or OAC (University Archives). University Archives is a subset of the Bancroft collection that is centered on the history of the University of California, particularly the Office of the President and the Berkeley campus.

Keyword Searching

For large archival collections, UC Library Search is only able to give a general overview of their contents, but collection finding aids in OAC oftentimes provide an in-depth listing of contents. Keyword searching by people or place names can yield results not findable through UC Library Search. For example, searching a person's name (the format Last Name, First Name works best) may uncover correspondence that have been incorporated into multiple collections. Searching place/geographic names (eg. "Yosemite National Park" or "Sacramento River") can lead to collections that contain relevant subject and research files. Additionally, keyword searching for legislative files using the name of the bill/act/initiative or the bill/proposition number is helpful.

Organization Newsletters and Publications

In the case that UC Library Search does not have a full run of an organization's newsletter (or none at all), try an OAC search using the publication title. If you are unable to get results by this method, search instead for the name of the organization. If Bancroft has its records, the finding aid will indicate if the collection has a section on its publications. Depending on how the collection was processed, the finding aid may provide either a general overview or a detailed inventory of that section.

Digitized Material

When searching collections in OAC, the icon indicates that digitized material is available for viewing online, either as a JPG or PDF depending on the item. Please note that just a handful of collections are fully digitized. The vast majority have just a small selection available.

Other Resources

Oral Histories

Not all of Bancroft's recent oral histories have been added to UC Library Search. Augment your research by using the Search the Oral History Center feature. Once you submit your search term, available online transcripts will appear via the UC Berkeley Library Digital Collections database. On the left side of the search results page, you can toggle the Fulltext Search button to On to expand your initial search.


Calisphere is the digital repository of all ten campuses of the University of California as well as other libraries, archives, and museums throughout the state. For Bancroft material, you can limit your search using Calisphere (Bancroft Library) and Calisphere (UC Archives). While these images are also accessible via the Online Archive of California, searching through this portal may be more efficient if you are only interested in already digitized items.

UC Berkeley Library Digital Collections

Digital Collections provides online access to UC Berkeley Library's rare and unique digitized special collections, books, manuscripts, images, photographs, newspapers, and more. While many (but not all) of the images are also findable through OAC and Calisphere, this repository also includes audiovisual material that has been digitized through the California Audiovisual Preservation Project. Advanced Search can be used to refine your queries and allow you to specify the publication type (eg. Photograph).

California Revealed

The digital repository California Revealed is the product of a State Library initiative to digitize, preserve, and provide online access to archival materials. Participating institutions include public libraries throughout the state and local heritage groups. Select audiovisual material from Bancroft's collections is accessible through California Revealed (Bancroft Library). Of interest are films on California nature produced by the Sierra Club and Save the Redwoods League as well as home movies by David Ross Brower with footage of Yosemite and Big Sur.