Funding priority: Collections

The UC Berkeley Library holds nearly 14 million volumes in its world-renowned collections. Materials include paintings, lithographs, papyri, and audio and video recordings. Among the notable ephemera are leaflets from the Free Speech Movement and vintage costumes worn by Berkeley’s beloved mascot, Oski. Your gift to the Library allows for the care and growth of these extraordinary collections, which students and scholars use to investigate the past — and build a better future. 

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A deeper look at the Library’s collections

a librarian points to a map on display
A map of Mexico is on display during a Library Legacy Circle event in The Bancroft Library. (Photo by Jami Smith/UC Berkeley Library)

When instruction first began at the university in 1869, the Library held about 1,000 books. Today, the Library’s materials number in the millions. That growth didn’t happen by accident. For more than 150 years, curators have gathered, cataloged, preserved — and now digitized — these materials so they can be shared with the world. Recently, some of the Library’s most loyal supporters got an up-close look at the treasures in the special collections.

Your impact, in numbers

13,980,919 The Library’s vast collection of nearly 14 million volumes inspires the latest research.