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Visiting The Bancroft Library: How to Request Materials

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 (OskiCat) 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 take one to three 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) at least one week 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, OskiCat, 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 OskiCat record to complete the "Notice of Interest in Unprocessed Collections" form.

OskiCat Hints

How to tell when something is stored off site:

Check the Location and Access Notes

If location = Bancroft (NRLF), item is off-site.  



All items stored at NRLF have the status "RESTRICTED USE"  as they can only be viewed in the Heller Reading Room.


How to tell when a collection is not available:

Check the Access Note for one of the following messages





How to tell when you must use a surrogate?

Check the Access Note for details about the surrogate.



What does the status mean?

If you see a due date, the item is currently in use and there may be a delay in making it available for you.


If the status is "In Process," the item is either recently acquired or with staff, requiring a longer lead time for retrieval.

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 is partially unprocessed, you will need to submit a manual request for boxes from the processed portion.

Bancroft Conference Rooms

Bancroft Conference Room

Credit: Susan McElrath