People & History

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

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

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. Provided by World Trade Press, a publishing and information products company dedicated to providing reliable, up-to-date digital media essential for researchers, educators, travelers, and logistics and international trade professionals..

Biograph in Context

Interested in a famous person?Research more than 525,000 people from the past and present here.

Find Images, audio files, excerpts from primary sources such as newpapers and speeches, links to websites, and other resources here.

MyHeritage Logo

Research genealogy at the library or from the comfort of your home with MyHeritage!

  • More than 5 billion historical ​records from all over the world
  • The USA federal census (1790-1940) and the UK census (1841-1901) with images​
  • 1.5 billion exclusive family tree profiles from MyHeritage and Geni
  • 816 million US public records
  • Hundreds of millions of Nordic records
  • More than a hundred million tombstone photos
  • More than 80 million historical photographs
  • Military records, immigration records and passenger lists
  • Citizenship & naturalization records
  • Directories, guides, references, biographies and yearbooks
  • Government, land and court records
  • Wills and probate records
  • Exclusive databases such as the Jewish Chronicle historical newspaper
  • Additional content under license including Tributes obituaries, WikiTree, Billion Graves, Canadian Headstones and many others
  • 200 million additional records added on average every month!
Panoramic photograph of Berkeley in 1908

Access annotated historical photos, images and maps from our Berkeley History Room.  View the entire collection of digitized images.  Get personalized local research support in our History room by emailing to set up an appointment.

Ancestry Logo

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

Please note that this database only available inside library locations.

East Bay Times

Need to research recent news in Oakland? Access complete issues of the East Bay News (formerly the Oakland Tribune) from 2011 to current in digital microfilm format.

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.

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
More than 200,000 digitized items — including 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.
 
Calisphere's content has been selected from the libraries and museums of the UC campuses, and from a variety of cultural heritage organizations across California.
Hot air baloon as the letter O in the word Explora

Research magazine for full-text articles.

 

Find information here about:

Arts & Literature

Biography

Business and Careers

Current Events

Geography and Culture

Health

History and Social Science

Science and Math

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.

National Geographic Lobo
This collection brings together 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.
newsbank

With unmatched U.S. news content from local, regional, and national sources, this resource is the largest of its kind. Its diverse source types include printed and online newspapers, blogs, journals, newswires, broadcast transcripts and videos. Explore a specific issue or event through the detailed coverage provided by local reporting or compare a wide variety of viewpoints from across the country on topics such as politics, business, health, sports, cultural activities and people.

Find full-text access to Oakland Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Berkeley Voice, San Jose Mercury News, and West County Times, and hundreds of newspapers throughout the U.S.

Berkeley Barb

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: 1894-1910, 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.
CG Colombia Granger's World of Poetry
Contains 250,000 poems in full text and 450,000 citations, numbers that will continually expand with each update. The poems in full text are the most widely-read in the English language, as well as in Spanish, French, German, and a variety of other languages.
 
The Columbia Granger’s World of Poetry offers complete coverage of the works of several individual great poets, including the complete poems of Shelley, Blake, Burns, Keats, Marvell, Poe, Unamuno, Heine, Baudelaire, and other major poets.
 
In addition you will find a wealth of current poetry from some of the best poetry periodicals, such as Poetry Magazine, The Southern Review, and Poetry Northwest.

DPLA: Digital Public Library of America

Digitized photographs and collections from libraries, archives and museums on the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) platform.

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.