UC Berkeley Library

Using the Collections

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Ranked as one of the top public university libraries in North America by the Association of Research Libraries, the Library of the University of California, Berkeley is a rich repository of knowledge and culture from around the world and throughout the centuries. Alumni and friends are invited to visit the Library and to enjoy its resources.

Through this gateway, you can use the Library catalog to search more than 11 million volumes in the collection. You can also access the Library's list of over 700 electronic resources, including databases of book and film reviews, news and statistics, images and sounds, atlases and encyclopedias, and many others. Some are accessible to the general community, while others are licensed for UC Berkeley access only. The publicly accessible computers in Doe Library's Reference Center can be used for full access to these resources.

Copyright laws and licensing agreements prevent the University Library from providing remote access to most of its electronic journals and databases to anyone but currently enrolled faculty, staff, and students.

Visit the library in person to tour the building, to visit the Great Rooms, or to use the publicly accessible computer terminals in the second floor Reference Center. All computers require a CalNet ID for unrestricted Internet access.

Alumni and friends can visit the luxurious, peaceful A. F. Morrison Memorial Library, designed as a restful haven for recreational reading and browsing. Opened originally in 1928, it features golden oak wood panelling, comfortable armchairs and sofas, cork herringbone floors, decorative plaster-molded ceiling, and oriental area rugs. The Morrison shelves offer current fiction and non-fiction books, contemporary poetry, travel guides, and an array of current magazines, newspapers, and literary periodicals. It also houses the non-circulating 10,000 volume collection of Alexander Morrison.

Photo: Roger W. Heyns Reading Room

In the Roger W. Heyns Reading Room on the second floor, several thousand current periodicals ranging from the popular to the scholarly can be enjoyed in a comfortable reading area. The room was modeled by library architect John Galen Howard after an Italian Renaissance palace. The magnificent Beaux-Arts North Reading Room, restored in 2005 to its original 1910 condition, is ideal for quiet research and study.

For research projects involving materials available only at UC Berkeley, reference staff are available in most campus libraries to assist in finding information and in locating materials on a topic. Choose the subject specialty library that matches your interest, or start at the reference desk in the Reference Center (Doe Library, floor 2).

Alumni and Friends: Access to Print Collections

Photo: North Reading Room

Many campus libraries have open stacks and visitors can use most collections on site. Contact the library that matches your research interest for further details.

For security reasons, access to Moffitt Library and the Main (Gardner) stacks in Doe Library is limited to library cardholders.

Alumni and Friends: Applying for a Library Card

California residents may purchase a one-year Library borrowing privileges card at the Privileges desk in the Doe circulation area, first floor. Visit the Privileges page for more information. The card permits access to the Main (Gardner) Stacks and Moffitt Library, as well as open-stack subject libraries. Access to some special collections such as the Media Resources Center is granted selectively.

A membership card from the California Alumni Association is available for a fee, and entitles you to a library card as well. Membership in CAA is open to the public. For more information, visit Information for Alumni.

Alternatively, UC Berkeley Library materials may be borrowed by placing a request through your local public library.