The San Francisco Examiner newspaper will donate more than 5 million items from its extensive archive to the library at the University of California, Berkeley.
The collection will be the largest gift to the Bancroft Library in its 100-year history, library Director Charles Faulhaber said Tuesday. Most of the collection will be digitized and posted online.
The archive includes leather-bound volumes of the paper dating to 1888 and rare photo prints and negatives of every major story the Examiner covered in the 20th century, including the Free Speech Movement, the People’s Temple mass murder-suicide and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
“This is huge in every sense of the word,” Faulhaber said.
The Hearst Corp. sold the Examiner to the Fang media publishing family in 2000 and it was sold four years later to Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz. The collection was being donated by the Anschutz Corp. and its subsidiary, the SF Newspaper Co.
Since its start under William Randolph Hearst, the Examiner was considered to have one of the most comprehensive libraries in the newspaper business, said former Examiner head librarian Judy Canter.