For years, Berkeley’s community of scholars wished to document the history of the biological sciences. Then, in 1996, this long-held dream came true when the Bancroft Library began documenting the history of the biological sciences and biotechnology. Originally founded as a repository for the history of the biological sciences, this program soon compiled the largest collection of oral histories on these topics and a substantial collection of archival documentation.
Today, we are the Program in Bioscience and Biotechnology Studies. We use our vast oral history collection to support digital history projects, scholarly publications, teaching, seminar series, archival research, and further expansion of our oral history collections. We also offer opportunity for collaboration with academic scholars, corporations, and other public and private entities. The Program also extends reach by including college students, K-12 educators, and the general public in its activities.
Our mission is to encourage the study of the biological sciences and biotechnology by creating and presenting a range of scholarly resources including but not limited to oral history, archival holdings and internet resources. We aim to direct inquiry into the biological sciences and biotechnology and how this scientific field is studied, taught, understood, and accessed. To achieve this mission, the Program in Bioscience and Biotechnology Studies uses innovative technologies that allow a general audience to freely access its resources.