Ansel Adams UC Berkeley Photographs Uncovered By Professor In Library Archive For New Exhibition (PHOTOS)

We know that a good, long look around your local library can uncover some surprisingly hidden gems.

But one UC Berkeley professor found a particularly shiny diamond in the rough: a collection of 605 signed Ansel Adams photographs of the university.

"I kept seeing the name Ansel Adams and thought 'what the heck is he doing all over the UC archives?'" said theater and dance professor Catherine Cole, who found the photographs, to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Cole's curiosity reportedly led her to the school's Bancroft Library where the enormous collection of prints had quietly been stored since the 1960s.

"This is an extraordinary resource that has been buried like a time capsule," she told the Chronicle.

The Bancroft Library told The Huffington Post that the photographs were commissioned by former UC President Clark Kerr in 1967 for "Fiat Lux," a table book celebrating the educational system's centennial.

The aim of the book was to "emphasize the prospective view for the university and present a sense of the opportunities which lie ahead," wrote Kerr in a memo. The project spanned four years, nine campuses and 6,000 photographs--605 of which were taken at Berkeley.

To celebrate the rediscovery, UC Berkeley is exhibiting a selection of the images in the Bancroft Library Gallery through February.

Check out a preview of the Ansel Adams images, courtesy of the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, in our slideshow below:

Ansel Adams UC Berkeley Photos