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Environmental Design Library @ UC Berkeley

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About the Library

The Environmental Design Library is a subject specialty library of the UC Berkeley Library system and one of the premier architecture, landscape architecture, and city and regional planning libraries in North America

Research Assistance

During academic semesters research assistance is available Monday-Friday at the Reference Desk. Hours may vary. Limited service is available by phone 510-643-7421 if librarians are not already helping people at the Reference Desk. For summer, holiday, and intersession hours, check our hours or call in advance.

Our website has over 100 Research Guides for environmental design subjects, courses, and research techniques. The Main Library website also has Help pages and 24/7 research assistance.


Interlibrary Borrowing

Interlibrary Borrowing (ILB) allows you to request materials from outside the UC Berkeley Library. This service is available for UCB students, faculty, and staff, and only for items the UCB Library does not own. Most items in the Melvyl catalog may be requested online using the Request button. You can also submit a direct request using the ILB request form or by asking at the Reference Desk.


Computers and Internet Access

Computers with access to library resources and the Internet are available in all campus libraries. Priority for use is given to UCB students, faculty, and staff doing research. See the Main Library website for an overview of Computers in the Libraries. Library computer users must comply with the UC Berkeley Library's Computer Use Policy; in addition, users of the Environmental Design Library's computers must comply with our computer use rules.

The Environmental Design Library has 15 public computers for research. Full Internet access is provided for UCB students, faculty and staff via CalNet ID logon. Research access (limited Internet access) is available to all visitors and includes use of catalogs, article database and licensed library resources, as well as websites in the .edu, .gov, and .org domains. None of these research computers have Microsoft Office or other productivity software.

Printing instructions are posted on the computers. Printing requires a Cal1Card or Guest Card; prices are listed under Copiers & Other Equipment.

One Edit & Print computer without Internet connection allows you to print from a USB drive and to generate or edit documents in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Picture Manager and save to a USB drive.

Computer Use Policy

Patrons using library computers must comply with UC Berkeley Library Computer Use Policy. In addition, users of Environmental Design Library computers must comply with the following rules:

More information:


Copiers and Other Equipment

The Environmental Design Library has 2 self-service BookScan stations that can be used to make print copies or to save scans to a USB drive. The public computers can print to black & white or color printers.

Copying and printing require payment via a Cal1Card card or Guest Card which can be pbtained at the Circulation Desk. There is no charge for scanning to USB. Instructions are posted next to the public computers and in the printing/copying room. For costs and other information visit Printing and Scanning in the Libraries.

Other equipment includes:



The following policies apply to all UC Berkeley Library users:

Access to the Environmental Design Library Collection

Library collections are available to the public.

Materials circulate to UCB faculty, staff, and students. Others who wish to borrow materials may obtain a library card at the Privileges Desk on the 1st floor of the Doe Library at the entrance to the Gardner stacks. General information about Library borrowing policies is available on the Main Library website.

Research access to proprietary electronic resources is available to the public via the library computers. Off-campus access to many electronic resources is restricted to UCB students, faculty, and staff (see Connecting from Off Campus).

Access to the Rare Book Collection

Bibliographic access to the Environmental Design Library Rare collection is available to researchers worldwide via the Library's catalogs.

Rare materials are for Library Use Only and may be viewed only at the Reference Desk during Reference Desk hours under staff supervision although digital photos may be taken without flash. Request items at the Reference Desk. Your photo ID will be held while you use the book. No photocopying is permitted. Special handling instructions and other restrictions may apply. Only one rare item may be used at a time.


Circulation Policies Loan Periods | Reserves | Returning Library Materials | Overdue Fines & Replacement Bills | Lost or Damaged Library Materials

This page lists circulation policies particular to the Environmental Design Library. General information about Library borrowing policies is available on the Main Library website, including:

Presentation of your library borrowing card when checking out materials signals your agreement to abide by library policies and procedures. Your Cal1Card serves as your library card for borrowing materials. Other library cards may include a UCB/Stanford faculty library card, or a current UCB library card issued by the Library Privileges Desk.

Undergraduate students may check out up to 100 items at a time, Graduate students 200 items, and Faculty 300 items. Most other patrons with borrowing privileges may check out 20 items at a time. Items checked out for 1 year may be renewed up to 3 times, and items checked out for less than one year may be renewed up to 11 times. Short term loan items (including reserves) may not be renewed. Items requested ("recalled") by another patron may not be renewed.

Loan Periods

Type of Material Loan Period
Undergraduates 1 month
Graduate students 3 month
Faculty 1 year
Others 1 month
Noncirculating Books Faculty and graduate students only: 2 hours or closing time, whichever comes first
Course Reserves Items may be 2 hours library use only, 2 hours out of library, overnight, 1 day, or 1 week. (Loan period is determined by the faculty who place it on reserve.)
Periodicals Faculty and graduate student borrowers only: 2 hours or closing time, whichever comes first
All other library users: Library Use Only
Reference Library Use Only
CD & DVD Media 1 week, with some exceptions
Rare May be requested only during reference hours for use at the reference desk.



Permanent reserves and course reserves are shelved behind the Circulation Desk and are checked out as short-term loans. See the Course Reserve Borrowing Policies for more information.

Two-hour reserves are subject to late fees of $2.50 per hour that the library is open, up to a maximum of $60 per item. Unreturned materials are subject to billing for replacement at a minimum of $150 per item. Additional fees may apply. See the Main Library's website for further details on Billing, Blocks & Payments.

More information on:

Returning Library Materials

During hours when the library is open, return materials to the Circulation Desk. When the library is closed, return materials to the book return bin outside the main (west) entrance to Wurster Hall.

Overdue Fines & Replacement Bills

Library users with overdue reserve or recalled materials will have borrowing privileges blocked until the materials are returned. Overdue 2-hour reserves incur a fine of $2.50 for each hour the library is open up to a maximum of $60. Unreturned materials are subject to billing for replacement at a minimum of $150 per item. Additional fees may apply. See the Main Library's website for further details on Billing, Blocks & Payments.

Library fines and bills are to ensure that materials are returned and available for other library users. To avoid fines and bills, return short-term loans and recalled items by the due date/time. Most regularly circulating materials, if they haven't been requested by another patron, can be renewed online via My OskiCat.

To pay fines or bills, you must contact the Privileges Desk at the Main Library. If you wish to contest a fine or bill for Environmental Design Library materials, please contact our Circulation Supervisor.

Lost or Damaged Library Materials

Immediately report lost or damaged materials to the Environmental Design Library Circulation Supervisor.


About the Collection


In 1964, when Wurster Hall was completed, the Environmental Design Library was formed by merging four departmental libraries: Architecture (founded by John Galen Howard in 1903); Landscape Architecture (founded by John Gregg, 1913); City and Regional Planning (founded in 1948 by Holway R. Jones); and Decorative Arts, formerly Household Arts (founded in 1919). In summer 1999 the Environmental Design Library was relocated to the fifth floor of the Moffitt Undergraduate Library while Wurster Hall was seismically retrofitted and the Library space was remodeled. The Library reopened in August 2002 in its current space.

Collection Description

A branch of the UC Berkeley Library system, the Environmental Design Library supports the research and teaching of the College of Environmental Design. In addition to a large selection of electronic resources, the Library's collection includes more than 210,000 volumes and subscriptions to more than 500 serials from around the world. Students, faculty and staff also have access to the 10 million volumes on the Berkeley campus. The Library collects at the research level in most aspects of the subjects covered.

Architecture strengths include history, theory and practice; housing; vernacular architecture; building science; structures and construction; green design and sustainable architecture; social factors in architectural design; architecture in developing countries; and design methods and processes.

The planning collection's strengths are history, theory and practice; urban design; city, regional and state planning; land use planning; social services planning; regional and economic development; community development; developing countries; environmental planning and policy; housing; urban design; and transportation planning.

The landscape architecture collection includes history, theory and practice; site planning; environmental planning; place theory and history; site specific landscape design; landscape ecology and restoration; landscape modeling; park design; landscape plants; community participation in landscape design; and geographic information systems. Enhanced by the Beatrix Farrand endowment and Reef Point Gardens Library, the collection is noted for its 19th-century journals and the history of gardens and landscape architecture from the 17th through the 19th centuries.

Rare Book Collection Description

The Environmental Design Library has a rare book collection of more than 4,500 volumes housed in the Sigrid L. Rupp Rare Book Vault. Established at the turn of the century by John Galen Howard, founder of the Department of Architecture, the Environmental Design Library rare book collection is unsurpassed by any publicly accessible library in the western United states. The collection is composed primarily of out-of-print, limited and first editions, fine press, and pre-1800 imprints in a variety of languages that cover the subject areas of architecture, decorative arts, city planning, landscape architecture, and gardening. In addition to books and journals, it also includes unique hand-made artists' books, and related ephemera, such as architectural and planning games, recordings, architectural construction kits and ViewMaster slides.

The earliest volume is a 1565 Alberti, L'architettvra di Leon Batista Alberti..., the first edition of L'architettura to be issued with La Pittura. In addition to other early treatises, the collection includes books from the libraries of many important California architects such as John Galen Howard, Willis Polk, Julia Morgan, Greene & Greene, Warren Perry, planner Catherine Bauer Wurster, and landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and his sons. A highlight of the rare book collection is the Reef Point Gardens Library of Beatrix Farrand, the eminent landscape architect who amassed an important collection of early treatises, herbals and other works on architecture and gardens. Significant contemporary titles as well as out-of-print purchases are made on an on-going basis.

Storage at NRLF (Northern Regional Library Facility)

Many older books and journals in the Environmental Design Library collection are in off-campus storage due to lack of space and infrequent use. Library card holders and UCB students, faculty, and staff may request materials from NRLF storage using OskiCat. Non library card holders may request items at the Circulation Desk or by emailing the Circulation Supervisor. Retrieval requires at least 1-2 days, excluding weekends. Holders of valid UC library borrower's cards may visit NRLF in person. A shuttle bus service from campus is available.


Environmental Design Resources in Other Campus Libraries