Blog topic: Maps

California, Palo Alto Sheet

The Stanford Geological Survey Exhibit at Branner Library

April 16, 2015
by Julie Sweetkind-Singer

From the very start of Stanford University, geology students were sent into the field to learn mapping.  John Casper Branner and John Flesher Newsom taught field mapping to budding geologists first on the campus and then in the Santa Cruz mountains.  In 1903, an official course was inaugurated called, "Field Geology," taught by geology and mining professors Dr. Branner and Dr. Newsom.  Summer field trips took place every year until 1987.  Students mapped areas such as Mt. Hamilton (San Jose), the Sonoma Range, the Summit King Mine, the Santa Lucia Mountains, and the Snake Range in Nevada. 

The current exhibit at the library includes a map from 1895 by R.B. Marshall covering all of the Stanford lands and out into the marshy Bay, Thomas Dibblee's field notebook from 1932 when he was still in high school, Mary Balch's report on the geology of the New Almaden quadrangle from 1929, the expense account ledger from 1937 showing the expenditures for the season, and more.  

Herman Moll, 1719

The Map in "Imagining the Oceans" at Cantor Arts Center

April 16, 2015
by G. Salim Mohammed

One of the exhibitions at the Cantor Arts Center is called Imagining the Oceans, curated by Margaret Cohen, who is the Andrew B. Hammon Professor French Language, Literature and Civilization.The exhibit is at the Marie Stauffer Sigall Gallery at the Cantor Art Center and runs through June 29, 2015.

As part of that exhibition, on display, is one of the maps from the Glen McLauglin Map Collection of California as an Island, which is one of several collections at the Branner Earth Sciences Library:

"Do you think a woman could study geology at Stanford?"

April 3, 2015
by Julie Sweetkind-Singer

Women have been involved in the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences from the early days of the university.  In the beginning a few intrepid women navigated their way through an environment not designed for them.  They were not allowed in the field with the men and were sometimes treated poorly as they competed for lucrative jobs with their male counterparts.  Over the years, these women pioneers became part of the faculty, department chairs, and finally the Dean.  The population of women in the School has grown to where they are now 61% of the undergraduate population and 42% of the graduate students.

As part of the 100 days to 100 years: Branner Earth Sciences Library Celebration, we celebrate these pioneering women who were trailblazers, who literally and figuratively broke new ground in the field.  You may see items related to each of these women on display in the Branner Library exhibit case on the 2nd floor of the Mitchell Earth Sciences Building.

  • Lou Henry Hoover (B.A. Geology, 1898): the first woman to major in geology at Stanford.
  • Mary Balch Kennedy (B.A. Geology, 1929): an early student in the geology program.
  • Dr. A. Myra Keen (B.A., Ph.D. Psychology, 1934): the first woman faculty member and a professor of paleontology.
  • Dr. Gail Mahood (A.B., M.A., Ph.D. Geology, 1980): the first woman to be named department chair in the School.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Miller (B.A., M.A., Ph.D. Geology and Geophysics, 1977): the first woman run the Stanford Geological Survey.
  • Dr. Pamela Matson (B.S., M.S., Ph.D. Forest Ecology, 1983): the first woman to be named Dean of the School.

100 days until 100 years: Branner Earth Sciences Library Celebration

March 13, 2015

Branner Libary Centennial June 14, 1915 – June 14, 2015

Join us in celebrating the milestone of 100 years of collaboration, education, and experience at the Branner Earth Sciences Library & Map Collection.

We'll be hosting a series of anniversary events over the next 100 days that will culminate on Thursday, June 11, 2015, with a public celebration, speakers, and a curator's tour of the library. In addition, each week between now and the anniversary on June 14, 2015, we'll be exhibiting items from our collection and archive. You can see these items on display in the Branner Library exhibit case on the 2nd floor of the Mitchell Earth Sciences Building. Check below for more information about this week's exhibit and upcoming Branner 100 events.

Branner, John Casper. “The Clays of Arkansas” in The U. S. Geological Survey. Bulletin 351. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1908.  The Writings of John Casper Branner, Stanford’s Second President 
Friday, March 13 – Thursday, March 26

This exhibition commemorates the 100th anniversary of the University's purchase of John Casper Branner’s personal geological library, the foundation for the current Branner Earth Sciences Library. 

A prolific writer, Branner published over 400 articles and books during his lifetime, many of which are kept at Branner Library. A sampling of his writing is included in the exhibit, including resources written about the clays of Arkansas while he was State Geologist of Arkansas.

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