People & History

     image from Berkeley History Photo Archives, South Branch Summer Reading, 1964

From historical figures to local heroes, get to know them here.

Ancestry Logo

The world's largest family history community shares its research, photos, stories and notes. Find city directories; birth, marriage and death records; immigration and travel records, and much more.

Access to this resource is limited to on-site computers and WiFi.

MyHeritage Logo

Public records and genealogy tools with an emphasis on newspapers, local history, books and directories.

More than 5 billion historical ​records from all over the world!

Academic OneFile

Features peer-reviewed full-text scholarly content across the academic disciplines. With millions of articles available in both PDF and HTML full-text, Academic OneFile is both authoritative and comprehensive, a terrific first-stop for research.

Includes full-text New York Times back to 1995.

Archives Unbound

Explore digital collections of historical documents about a broad range of topics from the Middle Ages forward-from Witchcraft to World War II to twentieth-century political history.

Berkeley Barb Logo


Find the digital archive of the Berkeley Barb, a weekly counterculture newspaper. Scanned issues from Aug 13, 1965 - April 24, 1980. 

The Barb mixed radical politics with psychedelic art, guerrilla comics, local happenings, opinions, reviews, advice, personal ads, and frequent calls to protest. 

The Berkeley Obituary Index is an index to death stories and obituaries of Berkeleyeans, both famous and not, contained in the Berkeley Daily Gazette. Currently available years: 1894-1912, 1920, 1923, 1925, 1930-1942, 1951, 1955, 1959-1965, 1967, 1970-1971, 1977-1980 & 1982. Other years are in progress. Call the Reference Desk at 510-981-6148 for more information.

Biography in Context

Research more than 525,000 famous people from the past and present. Find images, audio files, excerpts from primary sources such as newspapers and speeches, and other resources.

Britannica Library

Use this online version of the Encyclopaedia Britannica to conduct research and work on special projects. You can even store your research in your own personal My Britannica account. 

Start with the encyclopedia and then move on to current magazines, recommended Web sites, an atlas, biographies, news, and more.

Watch this video to learn more about Britannica.

Calisphere logo

Discover California history! Photographs, documents, newspaper pages, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, advertising, and other unique cultural artifacts — reveal the diverse history and culture of California and its role in national and world history.

Digital Public Library of America logo

Features highlights of collections from libraries, archives and museums across the United States, including photographs, text, and primary sources.


Research magazine for full-text articles.


Find information here about:

Arts & Literature


Business and Careers

Current Events

Geography and Culture


History and Social Science

Science and Math

Biography eBook Collection.gif

Features Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives, Who's Who Among African Americans, Contemporary Musicians, Contemporary Hispanic Biography and many other resources.

Gale Virtual Reference Library

Searchable reference books provide online access high quality information for students and other researchers. Topics covered include Business, Education, Film, Health, History, Law, Philosophy, Religion, Science and Social Sciences.

Global Road Warrior

GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE for Culture • History • Language • Travel • Education

Features information about 175 countries, including culture, history, language and travel. Great for school reports and cultural exploration.

National Geographic Lobo
A complete archive of National Geographic magazine — every page of every issue from 1888 to the present day — along with a cross-searchable collection of National Geographic books, maps, images and videos.

Full-text access to Oakland Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Berkeley Voice, East Bay Times, San Jose Mercury News, and West County Times, and hundreds of newspapers throughout the U.S. Also features Hot Topics such as politics, business, health, sports, cultural activities and people. Its diverse source types include printed and online newspapers, blogs, journals, newswires, broadcast transcripts and videos