Environmental Design Library

Environmental Design Library

The services and collections of the Environmental Design Library support the teaching and research programs of the College of Environmental Design. One of the premier architecture, landscape architecture, and city and regional planning libraries in North America, the Environmental Design Library includes more than 210,000 volumes and subscriptions to hundreds of serials, plus thousands of electronic resources from all over the world. Its heavily used website provides guides to research in a wide variety of environmental design topics.

Founded in 1903, the Environmental Design Library is a subject specialty library of the UC Berkeley Library, which has 10 million volumes, and is part of the 10-campus University of California Library system and its California Digital Library.


The Environmental Design Library's architecture collection includes materials on history, theory, and practice; building science; green design and sustainable architecture; social factors in design; architecture in developing countries; and design methods and processes.


Strengths in the library's planning collection are history, theory, and practice; urban design; social services planning; regional and economic development; community development; developing countries; environmental planning and policy; and housing.

Landscape Architecture

The landscape architecture collection includes history, theory, and practice; environmental planning; landscape ecology and restoration; landscape plants; community participation in landscape design; and geographic information systems. Enhanced by the Beatrix Farrand endowment and Reef Point Gardens Library, the collection is noted for its 19th-century journals and the history of gardens and landscape architecture from the 17th through the 19th centuries.

Rare Books

A rare book collection of more than 5,000 volumes represents early treatises, limited editions, materials with original reproductions or fine bindings, and artists’ books, as well as materials from the libraries of John Galen Howard, Beatrix Farrand, Frederick Law Olmsted and F. L. Olmsted, Jr., Greene and Greene, and William Charles Hays, among many others.

Other Services

In addition to providing reference and research services, librarians work extensively with faculty and students both individually and in course-related sessions to teach library research skills. 


Browse some past Environmental Design Archive Exhibits, as well as our Ecocity Berkeley: 30 Years On exhibit.