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UC Berkeley’s library buildings are open. Here’s what you need to know.

History 101: Bancroft Library

Visiting the Bancroft Library

Bancroft Library interiorThe Bancroft Library is one of the treasures of the campus, and one of the world's great libraries for the history of the American West and Mexico.

Some Bancroft materials are available online via Calisphere, which also includes primary sources from many other California libraries and museums. Bancroft also maintains additional digital resources.

 

Before you go:

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

Register as a researcher. Registration is free and takes just a few minutes using the Aeon online registration form to register in advance. For more information, see the Aeon guide.

In UC Library Search you can narrow your search to UC Berkeley special collections and archives. As you type your search, options to search different parts of the Library system appear. Narrowing your search this way is also possible in Advanced Search.

search box

It is recommended that you request your materials in advance of your visit and to submit your request at least one week prior to your visit to Bancroft.  You must have an Aeon account to request materials.  For more information please visit the Aeon guide.

If the UC Library Search 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 catalog record. The finding aids that are not online are near the Registration Desk at the Bancroft Library. You can also search for Bancroft finding aids in the Online Archive of California.

Before you go, plan your visit (and bring a quarter for lockers).

 

During your visit:

  1. Store your belongings in the lockers provided, located on the right-hand side of the east entrance. Pass the security guard station and proceed up one level by stairs or elevator to the Reading Room and Seminar Rooms (3rd floor).
  2. Check in at the Registration Desk, located on the left-hand side of the entrance to the Reference Center.
  3. Go to the Circulation Desk, where you can pick up the materials you pre-ordered.  That is also where you will request additional materials during your visit. 
  4. For research-related questions, ask for assistance at the Reference Desk.

 

How to Get to the Bancroft Library

The Bancroft is open from 10am to 5pm Monday-Friday (closed on weekends and holidays; shorter hours during the summer and Intersession).  Paging ends 30 minutes before closing; this means that if you want to use Bancroft materials until 5pm, you need to arrive and request your materials at the circulation desk before 4:30pm.

The Bancroft Library is on the second floor of Doe, on the east side (the side closest to the Campanile). See a floor plan of Doe Library 2nd floor (pdf).