Friends of The Bancroft Library
Who we are, what we do
There are about 1,500 of us now who are dedicated to supporting and developing this world-famous University of California, Berkeley, campus collection, which is open without charge to everyone engaged in relevant research.
Only with the Friends contributions has The Bancroft Library been able to augment its limited funds to acquire, preserve, and display rare books, manuscripts, maps, pictures, and other materials. When an important work or collection becomes available, often only the Friends are able to secure its acquisition through a "seed payment" or with a contribution matched by a foundation grant.
The university provides some basic funds to maintain Bancroft, but it cannot furnish all the support Bancroft needs for staffing, acquisitions, and such essential services as conservation, binding rare books, and restoring paintings. The Friends programs of lectures, receptions, exhibitions, and publications are paid for entirely from private contributions.
We ask you to help this important institution by becoming a member of the Friends of The Bancroft Library, and we invite you to participate in its stimulating programs.
Benefits of being a Friend of The Bancroft Library
As a Friend you will become identified with the work of this great library and keep in touch with its activities through the lively newsletter Bancroftiana.
In addition, for every year that you donate $250 or more, you will receive a Keepsake — a handsomely printed volume or portfolio that is often the first publication of a unique artifact, manuscript, or rare document owned by The Bancroft Library.
To become a member
To become a member, please make a gift to the Friends of The Bancroft Library (check payable to Friends of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720-6000) or donate online.
Council of Friends
Chair: Robert Gordon Sproul III
Vice Chair: Frederick F. Gregory
Secretary: Charles Faulhaber
Treasurer: Peter Frazier
José Adrián Barragán-Álvarez
B. Bradley Barber
Susan Honeyman Crawford
Chase Reynolds Ewald
J. Keith Gilless
Peter E. Hanff
Deirdre L. Henry
Sheila M. Humphreys
Krishen Arvind Laetsch
David Y. Lei
Mary E. MacDonald
Julia Flynn Siler
Camilla Miner Smith
Charles G. Stephenson
James R. Sutton
Dora L. Wang
Brian Van Camp
Milton Von Damm
Advisory Council members
David P. Gardner
Robert D. Haas
Robert L. Hass
Thelton E. Henderson
Maxine Hong Kingston
Each spring, the Friends host an annual meeting. It is open to all members of the Friends and their guests.
The luncheon gathering, often held in The Bancroft Library Reading Room, includes a business meeting with reports from the Director of The Bancroft Library, the Chair of the Council of the Friends, the Friends Treasurer, and the Chair of the Friends Nominating Committee.
The Hubert Howe Bancroft Award as well as various graduate and undergraduate fellowships and awards are presented.
Distinguished recipients of the Hubert Howe Bancroft Award
Deputy Director of The Bancroft Library and an authority on the works of L. Frank Baum
No award given
William Francis Deverell
American Historian and Professor
Author and Executive Director of the California State Library Foundation
Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at Berkeley
Emeritus Professor of Latin American History at Berkeley
Maxine Hong Kingston
Senior Lecturer for Creative Writing at the University of California, Berkeley, awarded the 2014 National Medal of Arts by President Obama
Rose Marie Beebe and Robert M. Senkewicz
Professors at Santa Clara University
Painter and Professor of Art, UC Davis
Leon F. Litwack
Professor of American History Emeritus, UC Berkeley
Charles B. Faulhaber
Director Emeritus, The Bancroft Library
W. Michael Mathes
Historian of Spain, Mexico, and Baja California
The Lane Family
Founder and Publisher of Heyday Books
Historian and California State Librarian
Book Collector, Bibliographer, Bibliophile
Bernard M. Rosenthal
Book Seller and Scholar
John L. Heilbron
Historian of Science and Vice Chancellor Emeritus, UC Berkeley
Historian and Author
Editor and Philanthropist
Collector of Western Americana
Past annual meeting speakers
Recent past speakers
Friends Council Member
"A Speech by Matilda Griffing Bancroft"
Artist-in-Residence, Chinese Historical Society of America
"The Guest of the Flower Flag: The Chinese American Experience in the 20th Century"
Professor, UC Berkeley
"Trouble with Miracles in The Bancroft Library: A Mexican Episode"
State Librarian Emeritus and University Professor, University of Southern California
"The Bancroft Library: One Hundred Years of Helping California and the West Understand Itself"
Director, University of California Press and author
"Abigail Williams and the American Revolution"
Maxine Hong Kingston
Author and Poet
"Poetry and Peace"
Martin Cruz Smith
Author of Gorky Park, Stallion Gate, Havana Bay, December 6, and other novels
"A Conversation with Orville Schell, Dean of the School of Journalism"
Author of Rabbit Boss, Mile Zero, Zoot-suit Murders, and Day of the Bees
"Native Notes from the Land of Earthquake and Fire: Journey of a California Writer"
Professor of History, City University of New York
"Biography of a Biography: The Chief: William Randolph Hearst"
Moderator: Michael Krasny
Panelists: Maxine Hong Kingston, Richard Rodriguez, and Al Young
"California Literature in the Twenty-first Century"