UC Berkeley News
Press Release

UC Berkeley Press Release

Bancroft Library reduces hours in preparation for move, retrofit

– The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, will be open afternoons only starting Monday, March 21, as staff members prepare to move to temporary quarters during seismic improvements and a major renovation.

The Bancroft Library is known for its extensive material on California and the American West, and is one of the most used special collections libraries in the United States. In addition to students and faculty researchers, The Bancroft is frequented by authors and other researchers. It also draws hundreds of visitors to its popular exhibits.

Library hours will be 1-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday until May 19, and 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday from May 20-May 31. The Bancroft will close on June 1 as materials are moved to 2121 Allston Way, a block from the campus's western edge. It is tentatively scheduled to open there in October, where it will remain for nearly two years.

The temporary library home will contain The Bancroft's California and Mexican collections; a core rare book collection used in teaching; University archives; a basic format, 8-by-10-inch pictorial collection; as well as CDs, sound recordings and microfilm and digital imaging capabilities.

Much of The Bancroft's vast collection will be in storage during the renovation. The library has approximately 44 million manuscripts, including more than 21,000 fragments of papyri in the Tebtunis Papyri collection that date from 300 B.C. to 300 A.D. (That collection also will move to the Allston Way address.) The Bancroft's processed manuscript collection adds up to 1,150 linear feet, while its catalogued, printed materials number more than 13,000.

The library's full range of services will be available to patrons through May 31. Starting in June and continuing until its reopening on campus after the renovation, The Bancroft will accept only phone and e-mail queries.

When The Bancroft opens its doors on Allston Way, individual reading spaces will number 18, less than half now available, and some services will take longer to provide.

The Bancroft's Mark Twain Papers and Project already has moved to a temporary space at 2195 Hearst Avenue. The Regional Oral History Office will move to Evans Hall on campus.

All employees at The Bancroft are busily preparing and planning for the move, with assistance from campus units including library systems and preservation.

"It is daunting, but exciting at the same time," said Susan Snyder, The Bancroft's head of public services. "The imaginative solutions to complex problems offered by folks who've never done such a move before is extraordinary."

The Bancroft moved into its present home in the Doe Library Annex in 1950. The budget for the seismic retrofit and upgrades is $64 million, with $17 million coming from Proposition 47, $15 million from the UC Office of the President, and another $32 million being raised privately. So far, The Bancroft has collected more than $22 million in gifts and pledges.

Updated information about the move will be available online at http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/info/move/ or by calling (510) 642-3781.