The Bancroft Library
The Bancroft Library is one of the treasures of the campus, and one of the world's great libraries for the history of theAmerican West.
Some Bancroft materials are available online via Calisphere, which includes primary sources from many California libraries and museums.
Before you go:
1. Be prepared! Read secondary sources and know something about your topic.
2. Search OskiCat so you can bring call numbers with you. Use the Entire Collection pull-down menu in OskiCat to limit your search to the Bancroft Library only. (Remember that there are primary sources in many other campus libraries as well.)
- If the item you want is in storage (the location is NRLF) and it's 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 Bancroft materials that are 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. The finding aids that are not online are near the Registration Desk at the Bancroft Library.
3. Learn about the Bancroft's policies: read about Access (bring a quarter for lockers) and Registration (bring two pieces of ID). You may want to read about the new camera policy ($10/day, no flash) or about getting photocopies.
During your visit:
- Store your belongings in the lockers provided, located on the right-hand side of the east entrance. Pass the security guard station and proceed up one level by stairs or elevator to the Reading Room and Seminar Rooms (3rd floor).
- Check in at the Registration Desk, located on the left-hand side of the entrance to the Reference Center.
- Go to the Circulation Desk, where you will fill out a form for the items you need. The items will be paged and brought to you. (Remember to bring call numbers, titles, etc. with you!)
- For research-related questions, ask for assistance at the Reference Desk.
How to Get to the Bancroft Library
The Bancroft is open from 10am to 5pm Monday-Friday (closed on weekends and holidays; shorter hours during Intersession). Paging ends 30 minutes before closing; this means that if you want to use Bancroft materials until 5pm, you need to arrive and request your materials at the circulation desk before 4:30pm.
The Bancroft Library is on the second floor of Doe, on the east side (the side closest to the Campanile). See a floor plan of Doe Library 2nd floor (pdf).
Online Archive of California & Calisphere
Guides to over 20,000 collections housed in 200 libraries, archives, historical societies, special collections and museums across California are searchable at the Online Archive of California (OAC). Analogous to catalog records for books, collection guides (also known as finding aids) are the descriptive records used to find, understand, and locate archival resources and unique materials. They help users learn more about the scope of a collection so they know if it is likely to meet their research needs.
Digitized versions of photographs, documents, newspapers, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, and other cultural artifacts that are contributed by these California institutions to the OAC make up the content included in Calisphere.
These two websites exist because they serve two very different user needs. For research-oriented users who want to go beyond what is available online and locate the actual, physical item, the OAC is the best starting point. For users whose primary interest is to view digitized images and documents, Calisphere is a place to explore online content. In addition, Calisphere provides K-12 educators with a subset of content organized and aligned with California Content Standards.
[Content adapted from CDL's Digital Special Collections.]