Filming and photography in our spaces
The UC Berkeley Library is home to many striking spaces — including Morrison Library, Doe Library’s North and Heyns reading rooms, and the Main (Gardner) Stacks — that are often requested as sites for campus, commercial, and foreign film projects and photo shoots. The Library welcomes filming and photography in its spaces for projects that fit within the scope of its mission as long as the process will not disturb students and other patrons.
Permission must be obtained prior to filming or taking photographs inside a Library space.
Filming and photography of the exteriors of UC Berkeley campus libraries for private use is welcome without prior approval as long as it does not block entrances or prevent Library users from easy access to buildings.
If your project is for documentary or commercial use, campus approval must be obtained from the UC Berkeley Office of Communications and Public Affairs News and Media Relations team or the Campus Filming Program, respectively, before a Library reservation can be approved. See below for contact details.
Requirements for all filming and photography in the libraries
All filming requests must be made at least one month in advance of the requested start date. Due to the large number of requests and the implications for students, faculty, and staff, non-campus-affiliated filming requests for indoor locations will be considered only for hours when the respective library is closed to the public, and by special arrangement with the Library Communications Office. Requests for filming that support 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/or facility limitations.
All photographic requests must be made at least one month in advance of the requested start 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 that specifies how the person’s image will be used.
Documentary and commercial projects
As noted above, campus must approve any documentary or commercial project. That approval should come prior to requesting a shoot in the library. To request a library reservation, see the form below.
Contacts for campus approval
- Requests for documentary and/or educational videos should be directed to Will Kane, executive director, Department of News and Media Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Requests for commercial and/or dramatic film shoots conducted on the Berkeley campus should be directed to Kyle Gibson, director of communications, Capital Strategies, email@example.com.
- For more information about commercial shoots, visit the site Campus Filming Program: How to Film at Berkeley.
Note: When photographs or video are used for any commercial purpose, and certain other purposes, the Library requires credit, in print and/or in any finished product. The Library also requires that a copy of the publication or film be provided for inclusion in its collections.
Personal photography and filming
Individuals visiting the libraries are welcome to take a few photographs or capture 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: flash photography; the use of 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 for alumni
Congratulations! The Library loves to have alumni take engagement or wedding photos in its beautiful spaces. Couples and their photographer are eligible for one full hour in the building, while it is closed. This service is only available to UC Berkeley alumni, and at no cost. All engagement and wedding photography appointments will be overseen by a Library staff member.
Morrison Library use: This library is available Monday through Friday from 8 to 10 a.m., and after 5 p.m., when not in use for a special event.
Doe Library use: This library is available on Sundays only, from noon to 1 p.m. Spaces used most frequently for photographs are the North and Heyns reading rooms and the north Doe entrance. The Library does not allow engagement or wedding photographs to be taken when the building is open to the public.
If the library you would like to photograph in is not listed, contact the Library about potential availability via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
UC Berkeley graduates are not permitted to take their graduation photographs inside the Library, as it can be distracting to students who are utilizing the spaces. You can certainly take photos for personal use in front of the buildings, but staged photographs cannot be taken inside the libraries.
Service fees for use of Library spaces
No service fees are charged for standard filming and photography in the libraries. However, if a request is made by a commercial organization and/or appears complex, Capital Strategies will negotiate a fee. These fees may change, and will be confirmed before final agreement between both parties.
Library reservation request form
Reservation requests can be made by submitting the form below. (Please note that in the case of documentary and commercial projects, campus authorization should be obtained prior to completing the Library’s request form). Requests 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.
Additional questions regarding filming or photography in the Library should be emailed to the Library Communications Office at email@example.com.