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Visiting The Bancroft Library

Helpful hints for planning a visit to The Bancroft Library

How to Request Materials

You must have an Aeon account to request materials. The Bancroft Library has integrated Aeon into our Library catalog (UC Library Search) and online finding aids on the Online Archive of California (OAC). We highly recommend searching for and requesting our materials through these systems to ensure accuracy and efficiency.

For more information, please visit the Aeon guide.

You can request material in advance of your visit, or in the Reading Room. Requests made in the Reading Room for on-site materials generally take 10-30 minutes to retrieve. Off-site materials may take up to seven days to arrive from the library’s storage facility in Richmond, CA.

We recommend requesting Bancroft materials in advance of your visit. Please submit your request(s) one to two weeks prior to your arrival to enable us to page materials stored off-site, as well as those stored on-site, and to have them ready in time for your visit.

Access to collections may be subject to restrictions defined by federal and state law, University of California, Berkeley administrative policies, gift and bequest agreements, and Bancroft Library preservation requirements. Catalog records in the University’s library catalog, UC Library Search, list such restrictions. Please contact us with any inquiries you have regarding the availability of collections by sending an email to

The Bancroft Library may not be able to provide access to unprocessed and unavailable collections. Please click the link in the UC Library Search record to complete the "Notice of Interest in Unprocessed Collections" form.

UC Library Search Hints

How to tell when something is stored off site:

Check the Location

If location =  Northern Regional Library Facility - Bancroft (NRLF), item is off-site.  

Location information in UC Library search


All Bancroft items stored at the Northern Regional Library Facility can only be viewed in the Heller Reading Room.


How to tell when a collection is not available:

Check the Restriction on Access Note for one of the following messages


Unprocessed Collection Note in catalog record



Restricted collection information in catalog record


How to tell when you must use a surrogate?

Check the Restriction on Access Note for details about the surrogate.


Catalog note documenting need to use microfilm surrogate instead of original.


What does the status mean?

If an item is on loan to another user, there may be a delay in making it available for you.

Catalog record showing item has been checked out to another user.


Submitting Requests from OAC

For some more complex finding aids, you will not be able to select a specific box when submitting your request. When this is the case, please indicate the container type and number in the Notes for Library Staff field at the bottom of the form. Example: Carton 18.

When a finding aid provides a range of boxes, specify what it is you want to see in the Notes for Library Staff field: Example Incoming Correspondence: Stoppard, Tom.

If a finding aid includes both processed and unprocessed portions, you will need to submit a manual request for boxes from the processed portion.