Berkeley's excellence is founded on its Library. From a collection of one thousand books in 1868—the year the University of California was established—the Library has grown into one of the world's great research collections, with over ten million volumes. It is ranked as the top public research university library in the country.
From the elegant Morrison Library and the grand reading rooms in Doe, to busy Moffitt and the intimate scholarly communities fostered at the subject specialty libraries, the University Library is the intellectual commons of the Berkeley experience.
Visitors can pick up a brochure at the north and south entrances of Doe Memorial Library that offers a self-guided tour of the highlights of this grand building:
- the North and Heyns Reading Rooms on the second floor
- the Morrison Library, near the north entrance
- the Bernice Layne Brown exhibit gallery
- and the History Gallery
The Berkeley collection is housed in several dozen libraries throughout campus including James K. Moffitt Library, Bancroft Library, the C.V. Starr East Asian Library, Doe Memorial Library, over a dozen subject specialty libraries, and eleven affiliated libraries. Most of the subject specialty and affiliated libraries are open to visits from the public. A campus map showing locations of these libraries is available at Doe entrances, online, and on display in the History Gallery.
The newest library on campus is the C.V. Starr East Asian Library, which faces Doe Memorial Library across Memorial Glade. Designed by architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, the building boasts a custom-designed bronze screen reminiscent of Chinese and Korean latticework. It is the first freestanding library in the United States constructed exclusively for an East Asian collection.
Many libraries offer tours of their buildings and collections. Check this comprehensive list of library tours for the latest schedule. Visitor Services provides information and assistance for your visit to the campus. More information on accessing library collections is available on the Library's web site.
Exhibits in the University Library
The Bernice Layne Brown Gallery, inside Doe's north entrance, hosts exhibits that highlight the breadth of library collections and academic interests on campus. Just around the corner, historical photos line the hallway's walls, offering fascinating glimpses of the ever-changing campus. The adjacent History Gallery celebrates the people, places, growth, teaching and collections of the libraries at Berkeley.
The Environmental Design Library in Wurster Hall hosts extensive exhibits of rare and archival materials. Many of the other subject specialty and affiliated libraries offer smaller displays as well. Don't miss the Triceratops skulls and life-size T. Rex skeleton at the entrance to the Marian Koshland Bioscience and Natural Resources Library, and treasured manuscripts from the Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library!
The Free Speech Movement Café
Located in the southwest corner of the Moffitt Library building, the café commemorates the campus Free Speech Movement of the 1960s. Along with coffee drinks, the café serves soups, salads, sandwiches and pastries, using organic, local and sustainable ingredients where possible.
Become a Friend of the Library
The Library Associates are a group of friends, book lovers, alumni and faculty who support the Library. Members enjoy various benefits along with the pleasure of knowing that they are supporting one of the world's great intellectual resources. For more information, please call the Library Development Office at (510) 642-9377, or visit its website.