William Smith Map Displayed at Branner Earth Sciences Library, March 26 to April 2, 2015

March 26, 2015
G. Salim Mohammed
A segment from the William Smith 1815 Map

A delineation of the strata of England and Wales, with part of Scotland; exhibiting the collieries and mines, the marshes and fen lands originally overflowed by the sea, and the varieties of soil according to the variations in the substrata, illustrated by the most descriptive names…

William Smith, 1815

On Display at the Branner Earth Sciences Library, March 26 to April 2, 2015

This map is so large, that only a fifth of the map fit into our display case!

Also known as the William Smith Map, the map is a monumental achievement by a man who personally collected the information over 15 years and created the first national map of geology, featuring England, Wales and part of Scotland. While the exact number of copies printed is of some debate, evidence suggests that there were no more than 300 such issued, of which only 70 exist today. The 1815 map (there was also an 1829 version) came in five variations, designated as 34, 100, A, P and Y.   Stanford owns two copies of the map and the one you see in the case is designated as 34 and comes in 15 segments--the display includes 3 of these segments as shown in the image above.  This map was scanned at Stanford University Libraries in 2014; the British Geological Society took the digital copy and georeferenced it. The digital copy was then unveiled as part of The British Geological Society’s bicentennial celebration of this map on March 23, 2015.

In further celebration of the map, the library is co-hosting with the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, "The William Smith Map at Stanford," where the entire map will be displayed, along with talks on its relevance to the current day mapping and how the map was digitized here. More on that event here.

100 days until 100 years: Branner Earth Sciences Library Celebration

This exhibit is part of the anniversary celebration commemorating the 100th year since the founding of the Branner Earth Sciences Library & Map Collections (June 14, 1915- June 14, 2015).

Counting down to the anniversary on June 14, each week, for the next 100 days we will be exhibiting items from our collection and archive. This exhibition is part of an ongoing series of anniversary events that culminate with a public celebration, speakers and curator’s tour of the library on Thursday, June 11, 2015. Please be sure to join us!