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xSearch enables Stanford students and researchers to search multiple resources at one time.  The 250+ resources in xSearch include abstracts and indexes, full-text ejournal and ebook sites, patents, technical reports, reference materials, plus more.  In September 2013, a test version with an new interface and more content became available.  Check it out and let us know what you think.  Go to xSearch-test

San Francisco Ferry Building and streetcar: one of thousands of images used by the Image, Video, and Multimedia Systems research team to test image search algorithms

Some of the items most recently deposited to the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR) include thousands of images that are nothing short of, well, ordinary. For instance, in the Names 100 Dataset, you can download a folder containing 80,000 small images depicting the faces of ordinary people. In another case, there are millions of snapshots of San Francisco street scenes and buildings. Each image is notable for its lack of distinction.  It’s as if anyone could have captured these images using their smartphone. And that is precisely the point.

Delineatio Omnium Orarum Totius Australis Partis Americae, Dictae Peruvianae, a R. de la Plata, Brasiliam, Pariam, & Castellam . . ..

We were recently approached by Blair Hedges, a professor of Biology at Pennsylvania State University, who requested high resolution files for over 200 maps depicting the Caribbean that were part of the Barry L Ruderman Collection for his Caribmap website.  "Caribmap is a mobile-friendly resource for exploring historical map images of Caribbean islands. The site has evolved since 1999 and now presents images of approximately 1800 maps of the islands printed over five centuries (16th–20th). This is still a small sampling of the thousands of different maps that were printed." The site includes links to resources and a bibliography.

You can see the Stanford-contributed maps here, and visit caribmap.org to view other maps of the Caribbean; you can also look at the Barry L. Ruderman Collection in more detail and browse for other maps from that collection.

We are pleased to have the maps featured on caribmap.org! Many thanks to the staff at Branner and DLSS, especially Deardra Fuzzell, Bess Sadler and Cathy Aster for their efforts in being able to use systematic methods to provide high resolution images to caribmap.org.



Obsolete tape cleaning equipment packed for the move

The Stanford Media Preservation Lab (SMPL) is making good progress in setting up shop at our new location in Redwood City. 

SMPL moved from Page Mill Road in Palo Alto -- along with HighWire Press, Stanford University Press, LOCKSS, and parts of both Preservation and Special Collections -- to 425 Broadway over Labor Day weekend. (Shortly thereafter Stanford announced plans to redevelop the Redwood City site and create a major auxiliary campus.)  We're very excited about the new space!  It provides us with several opportunities to streamline and improve our facilities, workflows and services. More about that in a future post. For now, here are some photos illustrating our progress. 

Segmented Map for Vectorization Study, Stanford University Libraries

 The discovery of a particular scanning defect called Bayer moiré, occured while creating image files at Stanford University Library's Map Scanning Lab and prompted a more focused study. The Bayer moiré defect affects the ability of software to lift features from maps digitally. An analysis of findings has supported developing a better understanding of color filter array technology and some of its associated quality issues: rationales for on-demand file remediation of affected image files, options for map imaging in the future, an effective and open-source approach for vectorization, performance improvements for producing and vectorizing raster images.

An article on this study, authored by Matt Pearson, G. Salim Mohammed, Renzo Sanchez-Silva and Patricia Carbajales, which includes additional quality control measures for imaging large maps and a refinement of the topo raster image specification is now published in the Fall 2013 issue of the Journal of Map & Geography Libraries: Advances in Geospatial Information, Collections & Archives, entitled "Stanford University Libraries Study: Topographical Map Vectorization and the Impact of Bayer Moiré Defect."  For more details please read the article.

Chromolithographic plate from Opern-Tÿpen (Berlin: G. Kölle, 1882) depicting Carmen and Escamillo in Act IV of Bizet’s Carmen.

Stanford University Libraries is pleased to introduce Opening Night! Opera & Oratorio Premieres, a cross-index of data for over 38,000 opera and oratorio premieres. It allows complex searches across multiple categories or simple browsing within any single category, such as genre, composer, librettist, premiere date, country, oratorio subject, or theater. The database is linked to SearchWorks, Stanford University Libraries catalog, allowing users to easily find related scores, recordings, and writings.

California as an Island Banner Image

The Glen McLaughlin Map Collection of California as an Island is now available online.The 731 maps were collected by Glen McLaughlin over a period of 40 years and acquired by Stanford in 2012. It is the largest known private collection of maps showing California as an island. It is now available for anyone to search, find, view and download via the Stanford University Library's catalog. Please visit californiaisland.stanford.edu to read more about the collection. Viewing the paper maps will be on a per-request basis.


Transformation is a common theme among the eight final student team projects of this year's ME310 cohort. Take, for example, Idéum, which proposes how to transform an old building in a Swedish coastal town into an innovation center for Volvo workers who insist "that they [are] not innovative people." The students ask, and then answer, "How might we build confidence and make a user feel like an innovative genius, with a tool that actually helps develop creative skills?"   

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