The Bancroft Library - Overview
The Bancroft Library is one of the treasures of the campus, and one of the world's great libraries for the history of the American West.
Some Bancroft materials are available online via Calisphere, which includes primary sources from many California libraries and museums.
How to Use the Bancroft Library
1. Be prepared! Read secondary sources and know something about your topic.
2. Before you go: Search OskiCat so you can bring call numbers with you. You can limit your OskiCat search to find materials at the Bancroft Library, instead of all campus libraries (choose "Bancroft Library" from the pulldown menu that says "Entire Collection."). Remember that there are primary sources in many other campus libraries as well.
Important: if the item is in storage ("NRLF") and owned by The Bancroft Library, do not use the Request button in OskiCat. Instead, use the Bancroft's online request form AT LEAST 72 hours in advance (they prefer a week.)
If you have 72 hours in advance, you can also use the online request form for materials not in storage; that will speed things up when you arrive.
If the OskiCat record mentions a "finding aid" (an index) to a manuscript collection, you should use it to help you find what you need in the collection. If the finding aid is online there will be a link from the OskiCat record, or you can search the Online Archive of California to find it. The finding aids that are not online are near the Registration desk at the Bancroft Library.
3. Learn how to use the Bancroft Library. Read about Access (bring a quarter for lockers!) and Registration (bring two pieces of ID!). Remember to bring call numbers, titles, etc. with you. You will fill out a form to present to the Circulation Desk, and materials will be paged and brought to you.
5. Ask for assistance at The Bancroft Library's reference desk.Read more
What is ROHO?
The Regional Oral History Office (ROHO) is a research program here at UC Berkeley, located within the Bancroft Library. ROHO staff conduct interviews, teach, analyze, and archive oral and video history documents in a broad variety of subject areas that are relevant to the history of California and the United States.
ROHO staff conduct interviews with people who were eyewitnesses to history. These interviews are recorded on DVDs (older interviews were recorded on audiotape). ROHO editorial staff then transcribe the conversations, edit them slightly for clarity, and make them available through the UC Berkeley Libraries and as PDFs on the ROHO website. To view the DVDs or listen to the audiotapes, you must go to the Bancroft Library's reading room and use them there (see "Bancroft Library - Overview" for more information).
ROHO on YouTube
The Regional Oral History Office has also posted some interview excerpts on YouTube. See http://www.youtube.com/user/ROHOucb for a complete listing of videos.
ROHO in the News
Local news channel KGO-TV (San Francisco) covers the Regional Oral History Office's Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front project.