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Reference Desk: (510) 642-6481
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How do I find out what's in The Bancroft Library?

OskiCat, the web-based UCB online catalog, is the main source of information concerning all Bancroft Library materials and collections. Much of the same information can also be found on MELVYL, the UC system-wide online catalog. OskiCat and MELVYL are supplemented by card catalogs, finding aids for manuscript and pictorial collections, and a small reference collection housed in the library's Reading Room.

An important goal of The Bancroft Library is to preserve the physical integrity of its collections for future generations. This requires certain restrictions on availability and use. All Bancroft's items, books or manuscripts, must be viewed on the premises. While the library encourages the utilization of its unique materials, some of the printed items in its collections are also available at other libraries which offer stack access, circulating privileges, and self-service photocopying -- reader services which a special collections library cannot, by its nature, provide. By using OskiCat and MELVYL thoroughly, researchers can usually determine if another copy or edition of the item they seek is available elsewhere in the UC Library system. If Bancroft's copy is the only one available, it can usually be paged and read in the Reading Room. (The exception is extremely rare or fragile imprints -- many of which, however, may be available on microfilm). Contact Crystal Miles, Permissions Officer, for permission to use original manuscript collections that exist on microfilm.

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