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Politics and Protest: Collections from The Bancroft Library

Classes at The Bancroft Library

The Bancroft Library supports the teaching and research missions of the University of California, Berkeley, and welcomes class visits that incorporate and explore its collections. Every semester, Bancroft hosts a diverse array of classes in which instructors and students use archival documents, manuscripts, rare books, pictorial materials, and more.

In particular, multiple classes from the Departments of American Studies, Asian American Studies, Comparative Literature, English, Ethnic Studies, Gender and Women's Studies, History, History of Art, Rhetoric, and Sociology, along with the College Writing and Berkeley Connect programs, have benefited from Bancroft's diverse collections. A sampling of course titles include:

  • Asian American Genres: Towards a Rhetoric of Representation
  • Research Methods: Methods for Historical Social Science
  • Native American Cultures & Peoples Confront Injustices: Empowerment, Solidarity, Activism
  • America and the World in 1968
  • Race, Class, & Disability in American Cultures: American Foundlings
  • Bay Area in the 1970s
  • Race and Representation in the Twentieth Century in the United States
  • Water = Life, Silence = Death: Rhetoric in Social Movements
  • Researching Water in the West: Its Presence, Its Absence, and Its Consequences for the Peoples of California
  • Doing Feminist Research
  • We Gotta Get Out of This Place: American Separatism from the 19th Century to Now
  • The Craft of Writing: Humanitarianism, Human Rights, & Human Connection in the Modern Era
  • Let There Be Light: UC Berkeley in American History and Culture
  • Campus Treasures: The museums, archives and rare books of Berkeley
  • Transnational Archives

Theresa Salazar with students from Researching Water in the West, 2014

Theresa Salazar with students from Researching Water in the West, 2014
Photo courtesy of Diana Vergil


The Bancroft Library frequently features political and protest collections in our exhibit spaces. Recent exhibitions include:

Whose University? The 50th Anniversary of the UC Berkeley Third World Liberation Front Strike
March 2019 - August 2019

Commemorating the Free Speech Movement 50th Anniversary
September 2014 - June 2015

The Originals: African American Faculty and Senior Administrators at Berkeley
September 2014 - June 2015

A Place at the Table: A Gathering of LGBT Text, Image, and Voice
April - July 2012

A Centennial Celebration: California Women and the Vote
August 2011 - June 2012

Women at Cal, 1910-1915: When California Passed the Woman Suffrage Amendment
October 2011 - March 2012

California Crossings: Stories of Migration, Relocation, and New Encounters
September 2011 - January 2012

Please check our Exhibitions page for Bancroft's current offerings.

The Originals exhibition poster

The Originals Exhibition Poster, 2014


Outside the classroom, The Bancroft Library supports the research of students, scholars, and the general public alike. Its collections have been used extensively in dissertations, theses, publications, exhibitions, films, and much more.

A sampling of recent publications utilizing Bancroft collections are included below.