Berkeley History

Panoramic View of Berkeley 1905

Explore Berkeley's history, from the 1850's to the present.  

Connect with online resources available to you in the library or away.

Get personalized research support in our History Room, call 510.981.6148 or email.

Clipping File Subject Headings

Berkeley Barb Online Archive

1938 reverse directory

1940 reverse directory

1944 reverse directory

Historic Berkeley photos

Story on Ashby Brothers

Access maps from 1856 to the present, information about transportation, streets and neighborhoods.
Digital copies of the library's collection of yearbooks can be found here. The actual items are in the Berkeley History Room waiting for you.
Berkeley's Jr High Schools & Middle School Yearbooks can be found here. Included: The Gleaner from Garfield & Martin Luther King, and The Target from McKinley & Willard.
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.
An authoritative introduction to Berkeley's history by local author Charles Wollenberg.
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.

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.

Special Collections

Berkeley's public schools were among the first in the nation to voluntarily desgregate.  View some local desegregation stories here.

The Berkeley History Room has the Berkeley Junior Traffic Police Archives, a collection of newspapers clippings, photographs, service records of participants from the 1930s to the 1960s, and a BJP flag.