The Ethnic Studies Library recognizes that UC Berkeley sits on the territory of xučyun (Huichin), the ancestral and unceded land of the Chochenyo speaking Ohlone people, the successors of the sovereign Verona Band of Alameda County. This land was and continues to be of great importance to the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe and other familial descendants of the Verona Band.
We recognize that every member of the Berkeley community has, and continues to benefit from, the use and occupation of this land, since the institution’s founding in 1868. Consistent with our values of community, inclusion and diversity, we have a responsibility to acknowledge and make visible the university’s relationship to Native peoples. As members of the Berkeley community, it is vitally important that we not only recognize the history of the land on which we stand, but also, we recognize that the Muwekma Ohlone people are alive and flourishing members of the Berkeley and broader Bay Area communities today.
To learn more please visit: Ohlone Land
The California Indian Library Collections has collected, duplicated, assembled, and shipped more than 11,000 textual documents, nearly 25,000 photographs, and over 3,400 audio tapes. There is reward and satisfaction in having prepared over 17,000 manuscript pages for finding guides to the collections and publishing these in 44 volumes. Now a Native Californian in a remote area of northern California may find a photograph of his or her grandmother or hear, for the first time, his grandfather sing or tell a story. Researchers in rural areas are using the collections for legal defense as well as research material for documentation of an important period in California history.
The California Indian Library Collections (CILC) was funded from 1988 through 1994 by the federal Library Services and Construction Act, administered by the California State Library in Sacramento. CILC is now located at the Ethnic Studies Library in the Native American Studies collection at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1987, Gary Strong, the California State Librarian, recognized the growing needs of the state's underserved communities as well as the steady growth of a diverse population. At that time he called for a "rethinking of public library services, a broadening of awareness and valuing of the diversity of the people that compose and will compose California." The California Indian Library Collections project was funded as an adjunct to this vision with the aim of returning unique cultural materials to Native Americans and making the collections available to all citizens through their local libraries.
The Ethnic Studies Library is the departmental library of the Department of Ethnic Studies. It was established in 1997 by merging the Asian American Studies Library, the Chicano Studies Library, and the Native American Studies Library. Since the founding of the Department in 1969, the collections of these libraries grew from student interest in collecting and preserving a perspective by and for racialized communities that they saw as lacking or marginalized in other campus libraries. The specialized ethnic studies books and serials, archival collections, posters, and audio collections from those three libraries live on in a centralized space on the ground floor of Stephens Hall, a short walk from Barrows Hall. The library consists of these four collections: Asian American Studies Collection; Chicano Studies Collection; Native American Studies Collection; Comparative Ethnic Studies Collection. In addition to our collections, the ESL regularly hosts events, ESL librarians provide reference and instruction for the department and larger campus community, and takes recommendations on purchasing books in the field of Ethnic Studies.