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Digitization services blogs

Snow plow at Cisco

Spotlight on the transcontinental railroad

The completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869 marked an important milestone in the history of the United States with the joining of the populated east with the growing cities and towns of the west. Stanford University, with its connection to Leland Stanford and Timothy Hopkins, holds in its libraries an impressive array of materials related to this monumental achievement including the often overlooked contributions of the Chinese railroad workers.

Mission Beach Amusement Park

Sanborn fire insurance map collection online

December 4, 2018
by Julie Sweetkind-Singer

Sanborn maps are a favorite of any map librarian.  What's not to like about them?  They give us a view into the history of our country in a way that few other maps do.  They show the growth and decline of towns and cities.  They track the changing use of buildings over time.  At times they tell us who lived and worked in specific areas.  We peek into the past to understand what kept people entertained, be it an amusement park, a skating rink, a movie theater, or a bar.  The Sanborn Fire Insurance Company began producing these maps in the late 19th century for towns and cities throughout the United States in order to provide information to insurers about the composition and use of buildings to allow for the correct underwriting of policies.  The maps include: building footprints; building material shown by color, height and number of stories; uses such as dwellings, hotels, churches, and chicken coops; street widths, water pipes, hydrants, and cisterns.  This provides historians, genealogists, urban planners, and ethnologist with a wealth of information about the nation's past.  

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Digital Library Services Expo

Digital Library Systems and Services is hosting the second annual Digital Library Services Expo and all SUL staff are invited! This is a great opportunity to learn more about inside the DLSS organization, what's new on the service front, and examples of our collaborations with other SUL staff to develop and deliver library services.

It is scheduled for Thursday, April 19 from 1:00 - 4:00 PM. The event will take place in several rooms in Lathrop Library (370 and 470) and the East Asia Library (224). We will enjoy ice cream together after a series of tracked programs.

Ginsberg cassette image

2000+ audio cassettes from Allen Ginsberg collection now streaming from SearchWorks

July 18, 2017
by Geoff Willard

Ginsberg comes up fairly often in this blog (e.g. Rebecca Wingfield's recent post about "Howl" going up online), but the release of over 2000+ audio cassette recordings to SearchWorks is truly another cause for celebration. These recordings represent a staggering amount of primary source material associated with the Beat Generation, the bulk of which date from the 1970s to 1990s.

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