Inside Berkeley’s Hidden History Vault

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It’s no King Tut’s tomb, but the History Room at the Berkeley Public Library is worth a look. Due to budget cuts you need an appointment to visit the room, but the library staff let me take these photos so you can get a preview (they want to publicize it). Scroll down for high-res images of the shelves.

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These doors were made by a local woodworker when the library was renovated in 2002.

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The room is full of great furniture, maps, and Berkeley-related photos. Plus many large file cabinets full of Berkeley-related news clippings.

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Below are photos of all the shelves – click on any image to enlarge.

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Boards and commissions

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Community

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Waterfront, hospitals, homeless

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City budgets and government stats

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Planning and development

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Schools etc.

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School Yearbooks

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The University

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Trains, streetcars, slang, science

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Berkeley-related cookbooks

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Heritage and history

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Berkeley-related poetry

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Business directories

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Novels

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Newsletters

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Phone books

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Nonfiction

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Protest, change and pictoral history

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Barb and Tribe

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Cards and maps

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And finally, behind glass doors – this is a large collection of Berkeley related ephemera sold to the library by a collector named Swingle. Unclear how much of it has yet been looked through and catalogued.

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P.S. And one last item… the original plaque from the 1905 library building, funded by Andrew Carnegie on land donated by Shattuck’s widow Rosa:

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