Digital Library Blog

Mission Beach Amusement Park

Sanborn fire insurance map collection online

December 4, 2018
by Julie Sweetkind-Singer

Sanborn maps are a favorite of any map librarian.  What's not to like about them?  They give us a view into the history of our country in a way that few other maps do.  They show the growth and decline of towns and cities.  They track the changing use of buildings over time.  At times they tell us who lived and worked in specific areas.  We peek into the past to understand what kept people entertained, be it an amusement park, a skating rink, a movie theater, or a bar.  The Sanborn Fire Insurance Company began producing these maps in the late 19th century for towns and cities throughout the United States in order to provide information to insurers about the composition and use of buildings to allow for the correct underwriting of policies.  The maps include: building footprints; building material shown by color, height and number of stories; uses such as dwellings, hotels, churches, and chicken coops; street widths, water pipes, hydrants, and cisterns.  This provides historians, genealogists, urban planners, and ethnologist with a wealth of information about the nation's past.  

Hammerhead shark

SDR Deposit of the Month: Endangered sharks of Peru and the ban to save them

November 4, 2018
by Hannah Frost

Note to our readers: The Stanford Digital Repository team is reviving our popular blog series in order to highlight some of the terrific content deposited by our community on a regular basis. Be on the lookout for monthly posts!

When Biology student Julia Grace Mason requested a DOI from the SDR team for her recent dataset deposit, I was pleased to see continued uptake of our DOI service launched earlier this year with Stanford Libraries' new membership to DataCite.  This service is of growing importance to Stanford’s publishing researchers!  While preparing the metadata for the DOI, I had the opportunity to check out what her research is all about. If you are interested in sharks, Peru, ecology, and qualitative-quantitative hybrid research methods, you will agree this work is impressive!

Improving functionality for Spotlight and SDR content for full text and beyond

October 3, 2018
by Mark A. Matienzo

Stanford Libraries recently announced the launch of Virtual Tribunals, a collaborative project with the WSD HANDA Center for Human Rights and International Justice, intended to be a broad platform for access and research to records from international criminal tribunals. As noted in the launch announcement for Virtual Tribunals, this project has allowed Stanford Libraries to make additional incremental improvements to Spotlight at Stanford, and to the parts of our infrastructure that support access to our digital collections. Cathy Aster recently wrote about the support added to Spotlight for internationalization of exhibit page content and user interface labels. In addition, a number of other additions developed for Virtual Tribunals will be made more broadly available for Spotlight exhibit creators and for content managed in the Stanford Digital Repository.

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