UC Berkeley Library

UC Berkeley’s library buildings are open. Here’s what you need to know.

Using the Library during COVID-19

UC Berkeley’s library buildings are now open. To stay up to date on the Library’s policies and services during the pandemic, visit the Library’s COVID-19 webpage.

Finding Aids

Content section: 

Finding aids are inventories, registers, indexes, or guides to archival collections. Finding aids provide detailed descriptions of collections, their intellectual organization, and individual items or groups of items in collections.

Because these collections are often voluminous and contain unique materials, finding aids are generally available to help researchers to determine the contents of archival collections. They often include biographical or historical notes about the creator, scope and content notes about what is in a collection, and container listings. When digitized material from archival collections is available, it is linked within the finding aid listing, or you can search the same archival digital collections directly in Calisphere.

The Bancroft Library’s Finding Aids

The Bancroft Library’s finding aids are part of the Online Archive of California (OAC). If an online version of the finding aid exists, you will see a link to it in the links section of the UC Library Search catalog record. Print copies of finding aids are also kept in the Heller Reading Room.

The Bancroft Library has integrated Aeon into our online finding aids on the OAC. We highly recommend searching for and paging our materials through this system to ensure accuracy and efficiency. If you wish to request specific boxes or containers in a manuscript collection, click the "Request items" link at the top of the guide to initiate your request. You will be prompted to login to Aeon, where you can specify containers, folders, or items and then submit your request. For more information please visit the Aeon guide at https://guides.lib.berkeley.edu/aeon/request.

To view Bancroft Library finding aids:


To view University Archives finding aids:


Guide to Using Primary Sources

For a detailed description on how to use primary source materials and their associated finding aids, please consult Library Research Using Primary Sources.


Bancroft finding aids as well finding aids from other archival repositories around the country are available in a union database known as ArchiveGrid.

To view finding aids in ArchiveGrid, visit https://beta.worldcat.org/archivegrid/