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1906 Earthquake Centennial Alliance

Activities & Events

The Great Quake: The Legacy of the Disaster

Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley, Other UC Berkeley campus units

Early on the morning of April 18, 1906, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake shook the city of San Francisco, the Bay Area and wide areas of Northern California. The powerful earthquake caused widespread damage from San Jose to Fort Bragg, and the ensuing fires in San Francisco destroyed much of the city and displaced her people. Many moved to the East Bay, and a large number of them ultimately settled here.

The earthquake not only changed the histories of San Francisco and the entire Bay Area, but it occasioned the first truly scientific investigations into earthquake causes and effects. UC Berkeley Professor Andrew Lawson and a team of colleagues produced a comprehensive report on the earthquake, a model for all subsequent reconnaissance studies. In the century since, researchers at UC Berkeley have contributed to the world’s growing knowledge of earthquake dynamics, structural behavior and design, and the socioeconomic effects of quakes.

This exhibit is part of the campus's ongoing recognition of the San Francisco earthquake centennial. It explores UC Berkeley's participation in advancing society's understanding of the seismological, engineering, social, and political implications of seismic events, and it highlights on-going efforts to prepare the campus to withstand another big quake—on the San Andreas fault or on the Hayward fault as it runs through our eastern margin. Focusing on themes such as transportation, water resources, public policy, and earthquake preparedness, in addition to science and engineering, the exhibit gives visitors a glimpse of our varied activities. Insights from the work we do here have helped to reduce risk and improve disaster management worldwide and right here in our own backyard.


April 21 - August 30, 2006

Spring Semester Hours (Jan 16 - May 19)
Mon - Fri: 10 am - 5 pm
Sat - Sun: Closed

Bernice Layne Brown Gallery, Main Library
University of California, Berkeley
2121 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

For more information, call (510) 642-3781 or visit http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/.


Bernice Layne Brown Gallery, Main Library, UC Berkeley


Exhibit related to earthquake preparedness, response, safety, and retrofitting.


General public & students.


Theresa Salazar, (510) 643-8153

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