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The Bancroft Library is the primary special collections library at the University of California, Berkeley. One of the largest and most heavily used libraries of manuscripts, rare books, and unique materials in the United States, Bancroft supports major research and instructional activities and plays a leading role in the development of the University's research collections.
The South Asians in North America Collection
Please note: this course guide was created during a previous semester, and is no longer being actively maintained. For a list of current course guides, please see http://lib.berkeley.edu/alacarte/course-guides.
Electronic access- All formats can be searched on Oskicat (the University of California Berkeley Library’s online catalog). The catalog description will include information about the creator, extent of collection, subjects, any restrictions as to use, collection specific notes, and also will indicate location of material (onsite, NRLF). More extensive groupings of materials, including manuscripts and pictorial material may have detailed finding aids that will provide more detailed information about the contents of the collection.
Because manuscript and archival collections are often quite voluminous and contain unique materials, a finding aid, e.g., inventory, box list, or other summary of the intellectual organization of the collection is often available to help a researcher determine the contents of the materials. Finding aids provide an overview of how the collection is organized. It often includes a biographical or historical note about the creator, a scope and content note about what is in the collection, and a container listing. Most of these are available online at the Online Archive of California. If an online version of the finding aid does exist you will see a link to it in the catalog record. Print copies of the finding aids are also kept in the Reading Room of the Bancroft Library.
Online Archive of California (OAC)
The Online Archive of California is a digital information resource that facilitates and provides access to materials such as manuscripts, photographs, and works of art held in libraries, museums, archives, and other institutions across California. The OAC includes a single, searchable database of "finding aids" to primary sources and to their digital facsimiles which are selectively available. Describing primary sources in detail, finding aids are the guides and inventories to collections in archives, museums, libraries and historical societies. Access to the finding aid is essential for understanding the content of a collection and for determining whether it is likely to satisfy your research needs.
For more information on using the Finding Aids on the OAC see: http://oac.cdlib.org/help/detailedhelp.html#guides.
Calisphere is the University of California's free gateway to primary sources. More than 150,000 digitized items, including photographs, documents, newspaper pages, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, advertising, and other cultural artifacts, reveal the diverse history and culture of California and its role in national and world history. Calisphere's content has been selected from the libraries and museums of the UC campuses, and from a variety of cultural heritage organizations. Calisphere includes digital images of material available via the OAC and provides easy access to material via its straightforward keyword searching option.
For more information on primary resources see: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/instruct/guides/primarysources.html
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 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.)
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.
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.
During your visit:
Obtaining Copies of Materials:
Photocopies- all photocopying is done by Bancroft staff and not all material may be photocopied. Photocopies will be available for pick-up the day after they are ordered and cost either .30 or .60/ page. Detailed information on ordering photocopies can be found at http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/dsu/policies.html#manuscript.
Photographs- you may take photographs of materials in the reading room after registering to do so and paying a fee of $10/ day. You may take as many photos as you wish that day. See http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/info/camera.html for information on using a camera in the reading room.
The South/Southeast Asia Library (S/SEAL) is the Berkeley campus library reference center for South and Southeast Asian social sciences and humanities. SSEAL includes an extensive reference collection of bibliographies, indexes, dictionaries, atlases, directories, statistical annuals and core works, as well as current issues of high-use periodicals. The rest of the South Asia and Southeast Asia collection, over 600,000 titles, is housed in the Main Stacks and the subject specialty libraries on the Berkeley campus.
South Asian Resources include material from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
Southeast Asian Resources include material from Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar/Burma, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
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