UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies Receives $2.1 Million in State Support

January 19, 2022
By: Institute of Governmental Studies

BERKELEY, CA – The Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) at the University of California, Berkeley announces the receipt of major funding for the IGS Library (IGSL) through a sustaining partnership with the California State Library. Thanks to the efforts of State Senator and Chair of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee Nancy Skinner and State Librarian Greg Lucas, the 2021-22 California State Budget includes $1.64 million to support the establishment of an online digital database of government documents and records, along with $460,000 in ongoing funding for IGSL collection and digitization efforts. 

For more than seven decades, state law has charged the IGS Library with collecting and maintaining an archive of local government documents. The Institute’s vast analog archive includes budgets and annual financial reports, local planning documents, county grand jury reports, climate action plans, local ordinance codes and charters, and other documents related to land use and development issued by California cities and counties. 

This new funding ensures that IGSL will continue to fulfill its mission to collect, digitize, catalogue, and make these documents accessible to government officials, California residents, and researchers across the state for many decades to come. In addition to digitizing its archive of local government documents, IGSL, in partnership with the California State Library, will develop an online digital database of archival materials that is easily accessible to policymakers and regulators across jurisdictions. The initiative will also expand the State Library’s capacity to “crawl” government websites in order to archive digital-only content from key local government sites and preserve long-term public access to these records.

“Building out an accessible multijurisdictional archival database will enable a cross-pollination of ideas on issues such as affordable housing, tax spending, and climate change, shining a spotlight on innovative approaches and solutions being taken by California local governments,” explained IGS Co-Director Eric Schickler. IGS Co-Director G. Cristina Mora added, “It is our hope that making these resources available through the IGS Library will encourage greater civic engagement, provide an invaluable resource to researchers, and support evidence-driven policy at all levels of government in California.”

The Institute of Governmental Studies is the oldest organized research unit in the state of California. For more than a century, IGS has served as one of the nation’s premier spaces for cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research and analysis on politics and policy. Through its public service internship programs, IGS trains California’s next, more diverse generation of leadership and stands at the forefront of discussion and debate on American democracy more broadly.