Visual Resources Center


Inner Harbor, San Sebastian.

Inner Harbor, San Sebastian (1986 image). Lifchez gift, Visual Resources Center.


The Visual Resources Center specializes in producing digital images for teaching and publication use. We use state-of-the-art digital cameras, transparency scanners, and flatbed scanners to create digital images from publications, original documents and drawings, film transparencies, models and exhibits, and on location subjects.

We have do-it-yourself scanning stations for faculty and students to scan their own material. 

We digitize materials in-house for faculty use: for current class use, it's free; for research and publication use we charge to cover our costs. Please contact us with any questions regarding pricing or to schedule some work with us.

Use Policies

The CED Visual Resources Center is a resource for the University of California community, with priority given to faculty, staff, and students of the College of Environmental Design.

Users not affiliated with the University of California are welcome to view our collections in person during open hours or via the SPIRO website, which offers limited access to those not part of the Berkeley computer network. It is highly recommended that outside users call ahead to determine if the material they are interested in is available. Outside users with legitimate need can apply for an outside users card which enables them to borrow certain 35mm slides on a limited basis for a small fee.  

Not all collections may be available for use without an appointment. Non-cataloged collections and those stored off site may not be available for use at the discretion of the librarian due to time and expense constraints.

Self-service scanning stations are available to members of the University of California community but reservations for the use of this equipment are strongly suggested.

Research Assistance

The Visual Resources Center provides image reference services by appointment or during open hours. On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., image reference services are conducted in the Environmental Design Library at the reference desk.

Image reference is intended to provide the service of helping users find images of the built environment, for study, teaching, or publication. Other reference services on offer is to help users in the use and management of images once they are found. This includes limited help with digital asset management, image formatting and resizing, and use of images in print and digital contexts. Further services include advice on copyright in regards to image use and referrals to other appropriate repositories for visual materials.

Permissions and Licensing

The Visual Resource Center actively licenses images for which we hold copyright to periodical, monograph, and web publishers. If you would like to use an image in our collections, please inquire via phone or email.