The Languages of Berkeley celebrates the magnificent diversity of languages that advance research, teaching, and learning at the University of California, Berkeley. Fifty-nine modern and ancient languages are currently taught across fourteen departments at Cal, all of which are featured in this exhibition. Installed through August 2020 here in the Free Speech Movement Café, it is our hope to inspire intellectual curiosity and an appreciation for learning other languages. The exhibit also brings special attention to minority languages such as Catalan, Irish, Kurdish, Nahuatl, Tibetan, Yiddish, and Yoruba that have been suppressed and marginalized at differing points in their histories.
This exhibit is also a point of embarkation for an online sequential exhibit that since its launch in February 2019 has highlighted a seminal work from one language each week. When it is completed in Spring of 2020, the online exhibit will showcase an array of digitized works in their original languages, as chosen by those who work with these languages on a daily basis — librarians, professors, lecturers, staff, and students. Many of these early-published works are now in the public domain and are open to the world to read and share without restriction.
In support of teaching and research, the University Library, among the largest academic libraries in the U.S., collects and preserves materials in all languages since its founding in 1868. The Library now boasts a collection of nearly thirteen million volumes, more than half of which are in over 400 distinct languages.
This exhibition is made possible thanks to more than 40 contributors and through the support of the UC Berkeley Library, and it is co-sponsored by the Berkeley Language Center (BLC).