During the week of November 4th, Julie Sweetkind-Singer hosted the California Rare Book School (http://www.calrbs.org/) with several sessions held at Stanford University Libraries. The CalRBS is an ongoing program founded by UCLA that educates students interested in the field of rare books. This specific course was designed to provide a general overview of the history of maps in the western world, as well as their use in modern-day teaching and research.
Branner Earth Sciences Library & Map Collections
Branner Library News
Author Rebecca Solnit was co-sponsored by the Stanford University Libraries and the Bill Lane Center for the American West as a visiting researcher and spent time with us during the Winter and Spring of 2013. During this time, she explored the library's newly acquired collection of historic maps that curiously depict California as an island off the West coast of North America. In a recent article she reports on her time here at Stanford in an article entitled "An Island Is Anything Surrounded By Difference: Thoughts on Maps and History." In the article she refers to her earlier connection with California's maps when she worked on her atlas of San Francisco and reminisces about talking to David Rumsey who had first mentioned to her about Glen McLaughlin and his collection of Maps of California as an Island. Her article is well worth a read, stirs up your interest in this cartographic phenomenon, and whets the appetite for more. For more on her, visit her profile here and to view the collection please visit the collection available via the library catalog.
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.
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.
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.
New Resources in Branner Library
Following is a listing of new print and e-books recently added to the Branner Earth Sciences Library.
Earth Sciences Library (Branner) » Stacks » QE861 .E27 2014
Earth Sciences Library (Branner) » Stacks » QE38 .M66 2014
Earth Sciences Library (Branner) » Stacks » GB546 .H5 R87 2014
Earth Sciences Library (Branner) » Stacks » GC11.2 .S94 2014