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Visiting The Bancroft Library

Helpful hints for planning a visit to The Bancroft Library

Using Aeon

1. Why do I need to register through this system? 

You must submit your requests for materials through Aeon. The online registration form signifies your agreement to comply with the Library's stated policies for use of its materials.


2. How do I find the status of my requests?

Every request ("transaction") made in Aeon is assigned a request status. This tells you where the request is in our workflow. You can find the status of your requests by logging in to your Aeon account and checking the table of Active Requests on the main page.


3. I don’t understand what the status next to my request/order means.

The status shown next to your request/order on the main menu of your Aeon account shows where it is in the workflow. Please consult our full list of status explanations.


4. Is anyone available to assist me with Aeon issues?

If you are in the Reading Room, the reference librarian on duty can assist. If not, you can submit an email to

Finding & Using Bancroft Collection Material

1. I am trying to find information about a specific person/topic/location, how do I do that?

There are three main access points for finding material in the collection – UC Library Search, Online Archive of California, and Calisphere.

You can use the "UC Berkeley special collections and archives" option in the main search box in UC Library Search or select it in Advanced Search. You can also specify "Material Type" in Advanced Search.

In the Online Archive of California, you can both search across all Bancroft finding aids or within a single finding aid. For the latter, your search results will appear as highlighted number of hits within the container list.


2. I am not sure I am correctly using the search methods described above.  Is there anyone that can help me with my search?

Feel free to consult with the reference librarian on duty (in person or by phone 510-642-6481) during open hours or email


3. I found material I am interested in viewing by searching UC Library Search, but there is a lot of confusing information in the record. What words or information should I be paying attention to?

Please pay attention to the location and the access notes. Materials with the location Bancroft (NRLF) are stored off-site and retrieval can take up to ten days. Collections with restrictions or are unprocessed are not available. Some collections require use of surrogates including microfilm instead of originals.


4. Can I get reproductions of Bancroft materials?

Yes. Please consult our duplication and permissions guide.


5. How long will it take to get my materials?

Requests made in the Reading Room for on-site materials generally take 10-30 minutes to retrieve, depending on how busy it is. Off-site “Bancroft (NRLF)” materials generally take up to seven days to arrive from the storage facility, and then 5-15 minutes to retrieve from our stacks once you have arrived in the Reading Room.


6. The catalog record for the material that I would like to view says that it is restricted.  Can I still view it?

Depending on the nature of the restriction, we may grant access once a curator has viewed and approved your request. Please submit a request to view the restricted material in Aeon and Bancroft staff will contact you regarding your request.

On rare occasions, donors impose restrictions on material. Access to collections may be also be subject to restrictions defined by federal and state law, and University of California, Berkeley administrative policies. Catalog records will specify these restrictions, and Bancroft staff cannot circumvent this type of restriction by providing access.


7. The catalog record for the material that I would like to view says that it is unprocessed. Can I still view it?

The Bancroft Library may not be able to provide access to unprocessed collections. If you are interested in viewing a collection noted as being unprocessed or unarranged in UC Library Search, please fill out and submit the Notice of Interest in Unprocessed Collections form. Collections will be assessed in light of specific requests, and limited access may be possible in some cases.

Heller Reading Room

1. Can I check material out to use at home?

We are a non-circulating library and archives, so you must consult our materials in the Heller Reading Room.


2. Do I need an appointment to use the reading room?

We only require appointments when a researcher is viewing photographic negatives. We make negatives available in the Bancroft Reading Room on Wednesdays.


3. I’m not affiliated with the University of California; can I still research at The Bancroft Library?

Yes. The Bancroft Library welcomes researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, from California, and from around the world. Bancroft Library researchers must be at least 18 years old, or graduated from high school, or be accompanied by an adult.


4. Can I bring in my camera with a tripod and lights to take high-resolution photographs during my visit?

Handheld cameras are fine. We do not allow tripods or lights. Photographs taken in the reading room are for personal research use only. Researchers interested in acquiring high-resolution, publishable images and permission to publish those images can learn more about the options on our Duplication & Permission LibGuide.


5. Can I work with my colleague?

Yes. If you need to talk, you can use one of our two conference rooms.


6. What can I bring in with me?

Researchers may bring one notebook or one pad of paper (all without loose sheets or pockets) in addition to up to five (5) sheets of loose paper, a computer, tablet, and/or cell phone.


7. What do I need to bring with me?

Researchers must bring a current government or academic-issued photo ID. For UC Berkeley affiliates, a current UC Berkeley photo identification is sufficient.


8. Why is there so much security?

As many of our materials are unique or rare, and some are in fragile condition, we encourage careful handling and enforce all appropriate security measures.

Visiting Campus

1. Where on campus is The Bancroft Library?

The Bancroft Library is located in the heart of the UC Berkeley campus, on the eastern side of Doe Library and facing the Sather Tower (also known as the Campanile).



2. Where is the best place to park when I visit?

The closest parking lots are on Bancroft Way. There is metered and non-metered street parking near the campus. For more information visit, the campus visitor parking page:


3. Is The Bancroft library accessible via public transit?

Yes. The Bancroft Library is a half-mile walk uphill from the Downtown Berkeley station on the Richmond BART line.


4. Does The Bancroft Library have wifi?

The UC Berkeley campus provides Berkeley-Visitor, a free wi-fi network, which provides basic access to the Internet without a password or special configuration. Visitors with affiliations at other research institutions that participate in eduroam can connect using credentials from their home institutions.


5. Where can I eat when I visit?

There are a variety of dining options both on and off campus. Campus eateries include the Free Speech Movement Café, Press, Rice & Bones, or Yali’s. Within walking distance of The Bancroft, you have many other choices such as Mezzo/Raleigh’s, Super Duper, and D’Yar.