*Note: For the most updated information, please contact us at esl@library.berkeley.edu to ask about any specific policy.


The Ethnic Studies Library is open Tuesday-Friday 1pm - 5pm. 


For Archival Materials see Rules for the use of the Special Collections

We welcome you to the Ethnic Studies Library! In order to both provide you with access to the materials we have and ensure the safety of our materials, see the below guidelines for using the library. 

Use Guidelines:

  • Face coverings are recommended in the library per campus guidelines.
  • No food or drink is allowed in the library. Water is allowed in containers with lids.
  • We try to maintain the library as a quiet space. If you need a meeting area for group work please ask. Reservations can be made.
  • No cell phone use in the library please.
  • Users agree to assume responsibility for the damage or loss of materials and agree to comply with library rules and regulations.

Returning Materials:

  • Return material to the circulation desk during library hours. After hours, return books to a library book drop when open. Refer to the lending library for information on returning non-book materials. Return interlibrary loan material to 133 Doe Library.
  • Return Receipts may be requested from a circulation desk for returned material. Materials damaged or incomplete should be brought immediately to the owning library circulation desk to discuss repair or replacement options that may be available. The Library does not keep a record of receipts issued.

Borrowing Privileges:

  • Library users: ONLY those with a current UC registration card, staff identification card, or Library Borrowing-Privileges Card may check out library materials.

Library Privileges:

  • Borrowers who have overdue materials and/or owe any service fees will be deprived of their borrowing privileges until the overdue material(s) are returned and/or replacements are paid in full.

Lending Periods:

  • Most materials are due in two weeks. 
  • No renewals through voice mail or by phone. Materials can be renewed online or in person.


  • Reserves for Fall 2021 will be electronic. 
  • During regular business, one copy of each reserves title will be non-circulating. Up to 2 reserve readings may be checked out at a time. As determined by the instructor, reserves lending periods are either 2 hours or one day.

Non-circulating Materials:

  • Green, yellow and red dot books, periodicals, newspapers, newsletters, newsclippings, and vertical files.

Materials on Hold:

  • At a user's request, an item may be placed on hold. When the item becomes available, notification is made by phone or email.
  • Item must be picked up within 3 days of notification; after 3 days, the item(s) will be placed back into circulation.

Service Charges:

  • The service charge policy will be strictly enforced. At the discretion of the Librarians, replacement copies will be accepted. The University Library has a standard $150 replacement fee or more, depending on the value of the title; plus a processing fee of $10 for each non-returned book.

Interlibrary Loan:

  • Two-week loan period on non-restricted materials and processed through UC Interlibrary Loan Offices only. The Ethnic Studies Library reserves the right to deny an ILL request for restricted, fragile, unique or out-of-print materials.
  • No interlibrary loans of microfilm or videos.


To use our archives, please fill out this archives research inquiry form, e-mail one of our librarians, or send an e-mail to our departmental e-mail esl@library.berkeley.edu.

Please note that many archives are stored off-site and we require one week advance notice before your appointment. While you can stop by the library anytime during our open hours, we cannot guarantee the archives will be available without prior confirmation. 

Copyright and Permission to Use:

Materials may be subject to whatever restrictions have been placed on specific holdings by their writers, donors, or the Ethnic Studies Library. In certain cases, users may be requested to use microfilm or printed copies of the manuscripts when such copies are available.

In cases where a use of materials fits "fair use," copyright permission is not required. The determination of whether use fits "fair use" is made by the user. The The Ethnic Studies Library cannot grant or deny copyright permission to use materials for which it does not hold copyright. In some case, the Ethnic Studies Library may have information on the copyright holder but it is dependent on the materials. For more information, visit Copyright, Fair Use, and Your Project. To discuss copyright and permissions, feel free to e-mail the Ethnic Studies Library. 


When you arrive, you will fill out an archives registration form at the Circulation Desk.  We ask that you store your briefcases, laptop cases, backpacks, and other materials in one of our nearby lockers (the lockers are unlocked and accessible from the reading table).

See the Ethnic Studies Library Archive Materials Reader Registration Form for more information. This form should be filled out on-site, you do not need to fill it out in advance. 


Users are responsible for the safeguarding of any materials made available to him/her and must preserve the existing order of the materials. Users are responsible for complying with copyright law. No photocopies of photographs. To avoid accidents, please use pencils only in the archive use area.

Duplication (Photographs, Photocopies and Scans): 

  • Duplication of photographs or archival materials and reprinting of photographs is allowed if it can be done without injury to the material and when not otherwise restricted, and with permission from the librarian in charge of the collection. 
  • Photos and reprints of photographs, photocopies of archive materials and other resources are for personal use only.
  • In order to locate items again in the future and for citation purposes, all photographs should include an ESL citation label (available at the archives use table). 
  • Cameras with no flash including mobile phones and stands are allowed after completion of Camera Use Policy Form during reader registration. There are no fees for taking photos. 
  • Due to the fragility of the materials, scanning of archives is not allowed without consultation with the librarian. We would be happy to scan something for you as long as it won't damage the material. 

Copyright Restrictions:

Duplication of archival materials, video and photographic reproductions is supplied for REFERENCE purposes only. The Ethnic Studies Library does not hold copyright for many of the materials in our library. If use of materials fits "fair use," copyright permission is not required. If copyright permission is required, the onus is on the researcher to obtain written permission from the current copyright owner(s), their heirs or assignees.

*Currently available at the Ethnic Studies Library and linked below.



The Ethnic Studies Library is pleased to accept donations in the form of library materials or monetary gifts. Please contact the Head Librarian, Lillian Castillo-Speed at csl@library.berkeley.edu for more information.