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Berkeley History Room  

Learn to use the Berkeley History Room's resources, and lots of information on the Web, too. Updates to this big project will include maps, photographs, and information about transportation, churches, newspapers, and genealogy in Berkeley's past.
Last Updated: Sep 18, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Hours & Contact Information

2nd Floor Central Library
2090 Kittredge St. at Shattuck
Berkeley, CA 94704
510-981-6148 or email

No longer open other than by appointment.

Call 510-981-6148 to make an appointment during normal Library business hours.  For comments or suggestions click here.

Individual items may be paged from the History Room from the Reference Desk any time the library is open.

If you are looking for an obituary, please consult the Berkeley Gazette Obituary Index, confirm the death date and the fact that the deceased was a resident of Berkeley.  If an obituary is found, we shall physically mail a copy to you.  Please make sure to include your physical mailing address for this process.

  • Email Questions
    Questions about Berkeley history can be emailed to Reference and will be answered by History Room librarians.

General Berkeley History


Fiction Set in Berkeley

Collection Summary

Available in the Berkeley History Room

  • Berkeley Gazette Obituary Index
  • Yearbooks - Jr and Sr High & UC Berkeley
  • City directories - from the 1870s to 1943 both online and physically in the History Room
  • Telephone directories - from the 1920s to the present
  • Berkeley City Council minutes back to 1930
  • Berkeley Daily Gazette from 1894 to 1983
  • Berkeley Sanborn maps - in print, on microfilm.
  • Near-complete runs of the Berkeley Barb, Tribe, Berkeley Insider, City Miner, Berkeley Viewpoint, Berkeley Samisdat Review, and the CNA Newsletter
  • Oral histories, city documents, local maps, brochures, pamphlets, postcards, photographs, and videos
  • Clipping files - The Berkeley History Room newspaper clipping file contains flyers, brochures and articles from local newspapers about people, politics,  businesses, organizations, and events in Berkeley, arranged under some 1,500 subject headings. Download a list of clipping files subject headings PDF File. The    entire file is 80 linear feet. The oldest material dates from the 1920s, but most of it is from the 1970s to the present. No newspaper articles were added after December 31, 2006. Contents of the files can be photocopied. For electronic access to recent newspaper articles see Local Newspapers Available Online.
  • The Library's own publications, including "Fiction Set in Berkeley" and an index to the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association's calendars
  • The War File - clippings and pamphlets on Berkeley in World War II
  • The Swingle Collection - books, promotional circulars and broadsides, photographs and photographic negatives, ephemeral items, and manuscript materials on the history and life of Berkeley from 1842 to 1942
  • Berkeley Alumni Association Archives (Berkeley Public Schools, not UC Berkeley)
  • Berkeley Junior Traffic Police Archives, 1936 - 1968

    Primary Resource Collections

    This is a clearinghouse of largely primary resources relating to Berkeley history housed in various institutions throughout the state.  Some of these resources are available online, some must be viewed in specific locations.


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