At a glance

Cecil H. Green Library

Maps of war take many forms from those showing battlefronts to the layout of trenches, from details of terrain to focusing on the forts that protect a harbor.  One category of war map is designed to inform the people at home or soldiers as to what is or has happened during a campaign.  This week we feature three maps from the Branner Library collection that focus on World War II and the battles in the Pacific.  This exhibit is part of the Branner 100th Anniversary celebration and will be on display May 28 - June 4, 2015 at the Branner Earth Sciences Library and Map Collections.


Between 1942 and 1946 the U.S. Army Information Branch issued weekly broadsheets called Newsmap that were targeted specifically for American military personnel to keep up on the progress of the war.  The broadsheets are large, measuring 3 feet by 4 feet and are printed on both sides.  They include maps, photographs, news, and the progress on each front.  224 Newsmaps were printed and Branner Library holds about 50 of them.  You may read more about these maps in a blog post written by Mike DiCianna, a student at Oregon State University.  The University of North Texas has scanned 212 of the maps and you may view them here.  The map on display is from October 13, 1943 and includes a map of Europe for context and the world colored according to military alliances.  At the bottom left three pictures show a time lapse of the bombing of a few flats in a river. 


The Army Orientation Course issued a number of striking maps depicting battles and theaters of war.  These maps, including the one shown here entitled "The North Pacific Area," are dramatic works of art strongly asserting the American point of view.  The landmasses are lit from below giving the map an ominous foreboding feeling.  Planes crisscross the map as the battles rage on.  A list of "Japanese aggression" is included with the dates of events in flames.  The bombing of Pearl Harbor is graphically shown with the whole island of Oahu up in flames. 


The final map in the display was issued in 1946 and displays Hiroshima showing the destruction wrought by the dropping of the atomic bomb, Little Boy, on August 6, 1945.  The map shows areas completely destroyed and partially destroyed.  The information is overlaid on a 1:12,500 scale topographic map made before the bombing.  It includes the buildings that stood in the area of complete devastation including the Daini Middle School, the Temma Grade School, numerous factories (knitting mill, cotton mill, license plate factory, and canning factory), and the military compound (transport battalion buildings, the imperial headquarters, the commanders' quarters, and the infantry regiments.  It is a sobering reminder of the end of the war.  The map has been digitized by the University of Texas, Austin's Perry-Castenada Library.

This exhibit is part of the anniversary celebration commemorating the 100th year since since the founding of the Branner Earth Sciences Library & Map Collections (June 14, 1915 - June 15, 2015). 

Counting down to the anniversary on June 14, each week 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 a tour of the library on Thursday, June 11, 2015 from 4-6:30pm.  Please be sure to join us!

Rendering of new McMurtry Art & Art History Building

On Thursday, June 25th, the Art & Architecture Library will temporarily close as it begins the relocation process to its new home in the heart of the McMurtry Art & Art History Building. The Art & Architecture Library will reopen on Monday, August 24th.

The collection will not be accessible from June 25th to August 23rd. Materials may not be viewed onsite, checked out, or paged to another campus library as they will either be in transit between locations or in the process of being reshelved. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Any Art materials needed over the summer should be checked out prior to June 25th. Please contact Interlibrary Borrowing to obtain titles not available from the Art & Architecture Library during the closure period. As is always the case, Art & Architecture Library materials may be returned at any Stanford library.

The new Art & Architecture Library will comprise the second floor of the new McMurtry Building, appearing as a floating glass box suspended within the embrace of the Building’s art practice and art study strands. Included in the new Library facility are a variety of study and seating options, graduate study carrels, media viewing rooms, an exhibition area and much more. The entire current collection of the Library, numbering approximately 165,000 volumes and DVDs, will move to the new facility. This figure includes the Library’s Art Locked Stacks collection, numbering approximately 9,000 unique and special items, which will be housed in a climate controlled collection area within the Library’s collections area.

For updates during the moving process, please visit the Art & Architecture Library website:

To contact the Art & Architecture Library staff, please email:

Garvin Mine, Arkansas

You know you've made people mad when they hang you in effigy.

Before John Casper Branner came to Stanford, he spent several years as the State Geologist of Arkansas. In 1887-1888, he and his team completed the second-ever geological survey in Arkansas -- and the first in 30 years. Residents of the state were intent on having Branner verify the various reports of gold in the area; companies were busy making money off prospectors willing to buy up gold stock that promised riches and wealth.

This week's Branner 100 exhibit tells the story of the Second Arkansas Geological Survey.

Are you busier than you have been all year? 
Are you cranky and sleep-deprived?

That can only mean one thing. Finals week and the end of the quarter are quickly approaching. Students are preparing to complete all their projects and stay awake as long as it takes. 

So if you are feeling overworked, and under-caffeinated or just not being fully appreciated, Stanford University Libraries can help. We have people and material that are available to assist with your information needs.

Here are a few tips that may be useful:

  1. If you need help with assignments, please contact the Information Center.
  2. There are lots of places to study.
  3. To help you unwind, please check out video games and movies in the Media & Microtext Center.
  4. If you want to read a fun book, we have plenty, including a Graphic Novels display (see image) by the Information Center (IC) Desk.
  5. We also have jigsaw puzzles and legos located, near the IC Desk as well.

There are a lot of general study tips resources available from the University.

There are also peer counseling services available everyday, all day.