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.