Filming and photography in the libraries

Dora Cheung, left, and Byron Chiu reserved Morrison Library for their wedding portraits. (Photo by Jami Smith for the UC Berkeley Library)

Filming and photography in our spaces

The UC Berkeley Library is home to many venues — including the Morrison Library, the North Reading Room, the Heyns Reading Room, and Gardner Stacks — that are often requested for campus, commercial, and foreign filming and photographic purposes. The Library welcomes filming and photography in our spaces for projects that fit within the mission of the Library and will not disturb Library patrons. Permission must be obtained prior to filming or taking photographs inside a Library space.

Filming of the exteriors of the UC Berkeley campus libraries is welcomed as long as film crews do not block entrances or prevent Library users from easy access to the buildings. If your project is for  documentary or commercial use, campus approval for these settings must be obtained from the UC Berkeley Communications & Public Affairs and UC Berkeley Real Estate Development & Portfolio offices.

Requirements for filming in the libraries

Except as noted below, all filming requests within the libraries must be made at least one month in advance of the requested date. Due to the large number of requests and the implications for students, faculty, and staff, non-campus filming requests that include indoor locations will be considered only during hours the library is closed and only by special arrangements with the Library Communications Office. Requests for filming that supports the Library’s mission will be given highest priority. Film projects by UC Berkeley students will be permitted when a Library location is integral to the specifics of the defined assignment. Since arrangements must be coordinated with several Library units, requests may be denied for any number of reasons, including availability of staff, security concerns, and facilities limitations.

Requirements for photography in the libraries

Except as noted below, all photographic requests must be made at least one month in advance of the requested date. Requests will be approved only in cases where the shoot will not disrupt or inconvenience normal library use. Common sense and consideration should be used in photographing individuals. Photographs of individuals, particularly close-ups, may be taken only with the person's express permission. It is recommended that photographers ask individuals to sign a release form for use of their image.

Service fees for use of Library spaces

There is no service fee charged for filming and photography in the libraries. If the request is made by a commercial organization and/or appears complex, Real Estate Services will negotiate the fee. These fees may change and will be confirmed before final agreement with both parties. When photographs or film are used for any commercial purpose, and certain other purposes, the Library requires credit in print and in any finished product. The Library also requires a copy of the publication or film be provided for inclusion in the Library’s collections.

All requests for filming or photography in the Library should be emailed to the Library Communications Office at Requests should be made only after review of this policy and must include name of organization/company/affiliation, purpose of filming, requested locations, preferred dates and times, number of members in the crew, and any other relevant details. Questions about other possible filming locations on campus can be directed to the UC Berkeley Communications & Public Affairs office at (510-642-3734) or For documentary filming, contact UC Berkeley Media Relations (510) 642-6051 or For commercial filming, contact UC Berkeley Real Estate Development & Portfolio office at (510) 642-9942 or

Library Film and Photography Request Form

Library Film and Photography Agreement Form

Personal photography and filming

Individuals visiting the libraries are welcome to take a few photographs or make short video clips for personal use without advance permission, except where signs are posted prohibiting this. All such activities must be carried out so as not to disturb Library users or staff. The following are not permitted: use of flash, tripods, or other equipment that might cause a distraction or obstruction; blocking stairwells or exits, or otherwise impeding traffic; moving or climbing on Library furniture or equipment; and taking close-up pictures of individuals without their consent.

Engagement and wedding photography

Congratulations! We would love to have our alumni take engagement or wedding photos in the Library. We offer couples and their photographer one full hour in the building, when the building is closed. This service is only available to Cal alumni and at no cost to the couple. All engagement and wedding photography appointments will be accompanied by a Library security staff member or the Library Events Coordinator.

Morrison Library use: This library is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m., when not in use for a special event and as long as the Doe Library is open (8 a.m. - 9 p.m.).

Doe Library use: This library is available on Sundays only from 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. The building opens at 1 p.m. and photography must be completed at this time. Spaces used most frequently for photographs are the North and Heyns Reading Rooms and the North Doe Entrance.

We do not allow photographs to be taken when the building is open to the public because it can distract students and patrons who are using the Library. If the library you would like to photograph is not listed, contact the Library about potential availability.

Please review these guidelines and send any questions to To reserve a date and time for your photoshoot, please submit the Library Engagement Photography Agreement and Library Film and Photography Request Form to

Library Engagement Photography Request Form

UC Berkeley filming and photography policies

Real Estate Development & Portfolio administers the Berkeley Campus Filming Program for a wide variety of commercial film shoots which are conducted on the Berkeley campus by outside companies. University departments that have been contacted by production companies or location scouts should direct all inquiries to Contract Administrator, Barb Evans, at or (510) 642-9942. Each request to film will be considered on a case-by-case basis, carefully weighing the production company's location needs against the University's ability to accommodate those needs without disruption to the campus.

For each shoot, RE will serve as the primary liaison between the campus department and the production company. RE will work closely with the campus facility or building manager for approval and coordination of all campus filming activity. RE will prepare a Filming License Agreement and obtain a Certificate of Insurance from the production company, and location fees will be charged based on the type of filming activity involved as well as the scope of the project. RE will also determine if additional campus services are needed from UC Police Department, Facilities Services, Parking & Transportation, and/or the Campus Fire Marshall.   

*Inquiries for documentary and/or educational videos by outside companies should be directed to the following campus department:

Office of Media Relations

c/o Roxanne Makasdjian
Manager, Broadcast Communications
2200 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94720-4204
(510) 642-6051