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The Anthropology Library at Berkeley was established in 1956 as a separate branch of the UC Berkeley libraries. It moved to its current location in Kroeber Hall in 1959. See John Howland Rowe's 1995 Emeritus Lecture, Achieving an Anthropology Library.

In 1997, the library was named for Berkeley anthropologists George & Mary Foster.
(See Nameless No More: The Anthropology Department Names Its Library in Honor of the Fosters. Berkeleyan 25 (34): May 7-13, 1997).

An endowed chair for the Head of the George and Mary Foster Anthropology Library was established in honor of Emeritus Professor John H. Rowe in 1998.
(See the Department's Eighth Emeritus Lecture honoring John Howland Rowe).

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