About us

The Stanford University Libraries are a dynamic network of libraries, librarians, information technology specialists, and a vast collection of academic resources that are dedicated to supporting research, teaching, and learning at Stanford. With over fifteen million items in various genres and formats, including e-resources, fifty subject specialiststwenty campus libraries, and a broad spectrum of services available, the opportunities for contributing to and transforming scholarship are legion.

Our collection

Stanford University Libraries’ holdings encompass hundreds of thousands of rare books as well as dozens of medieval and early modern manuscripts, cuneiform tablets, and papyri. There are numerous personal and corporate archives to explore (including materials by Buckminster Fuller, Apple Inc., the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund, and poets and artists such as Allen Ginsberg, Robert Creeley, and Ruth Asawa to name just a few). 

Stanford Libraries are home to tens of thousands of objects in our Silicon Valley Archive (in Green Library’s Hohbach Hall), and hundreds of thousands of photos from Silicon Valley and the Civil Rights Movement of the late 1960s and the early 1970s. In addition, we house almost half a million recordings in the Archive of Recorded Sound, and a quarter of a million contemporary maps in the Branner Library along with well over ten thousand rare maps, globes, and atlases in the David Rumsey Map Collection, the majority of them digitized and available online. There are over eleven million physical volumes, over three million e-books, over 65,000 serial licenses, and enumerable digital resources, including datasets.

At the forefront of digital library development, Stanford University Libraries have developed and are operating the Stanford Digital Repository, which contains millions of digital objects. The Libraries further make available hundreds of digital exhibits, and our staff teach workshops on topics ranging from coding in R to text mining and the latest geospatial technologies. Behind the scenes, the Libraries’ staff have developed and deployed numerous applications that deliver a seamless online experience to users at Stanford and at libraries across the World, many of which have adopted our technologies that are made available without charge. Of particular interest and high levels of adoption is the LOCKSS network caching application that is the basis of the CLOCKSS service.

Learn more about Stanford Libraries' leadership team.

Our values

Our staff cultivate mutual respect, are driven by integrity, trust, creativity, and openness, and celebrate diversity. We act against racism, sexism, or social discrimination of any kind. We recognize the inequities of the past and present, and we strive to learn, grow, and act in fair and equitable ways.  

We value and protect privacy for our community and ourselves and achieve success through the fulfillment of both our individual and collective responsibilities.

We recognize that Stanford sits on the ancestral land of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe. This land was and continues to be of great importance to the Ohlone people.

Consistent with our values of community and inclusion, we have a responsibility to acknowledge, honor and make visible the university’s relationship to Native peoples.

Find out more about Stanford University's relationship to native peoples. 

Students and instructor using archival material in Special Collection classroom

Our mission is to encourage, stimulate, connect, and share. At Stanford Libraries, you will meet approachable, engaged, solution-oriented staff who are easy to talk to and will encourage your learning and empower your research.  

With diverse collections and services to stimulate everyone on their quest for knowledge—narrow, broad, conventional, or quirky—something is bound to spark your curiosity. 

More on our mission

Our physical and digital spaces are designed to promote freedom and discovery, making knowledge-seeking more meaningful, more personal, and more connected than ever.

We provide and constantly seek feedback, criticism, and advice from the Stanford community on all aspects of our work. There are feedback buttons on every page of our website, and our subject specialists, managers, and leadership are always open to hearing from members of the Stanford community directly, whether from individuals or collectives.

We are committed to the creation of a more equitable, accessible system of content sharing, community contributions, and preservation of scholarly works.

Statement on harmful language

Stanford Libraries’ fundamental mission is to support scholarly research and learning by providing access to resources and information that cover topics, beliefs, and ideas from a wide range of perspectives and time periods. As a result, some of our holdings express or endorse views that may be offensive or harmful, and the metadata for these holdings may be difficult to view. Stanford Libraries do not necessarily endorse or support the viewpoints or language of items in our collections.   

If you are a Stanford community member and encounter language in our catalog records, finding aids, digital object metadata, exhibits, blog posts, social media, or elsewhere that you find offensive or harmful, we welcome your feedback, questions, or concerns. Please use the "Contact us" link in the upper right corner of the Stanford Libraries webpage you are viewing.

Our vision and strategic directions

We aim to support and inform teaching, learning, and research at Stanford. To do so, we will continue to innovate to address the changing scholarly landscape. By creating new services and enhancing existing ones, we support teaching and research while building strong campus partnerships. 

We will deliver collections to address current and future needs. Both physical and digital information resources are foundational to research. Our intention is to anticipate needs and interests in growing our collections. We recognize that we must identify, understand, and respond to the expressed needs of today’s scholars, instructors, and students. We must also anticipated issues, needs, and questions of tomorrow. 

We will promote open, fair, and equitable access to information. As Stanford’s libraries, we are responsible for preserving and providing access to information for Stanford’s benefit and that  of society. The applications of our expertise can simplify and facilitate the complexities of access. We try to understand in depth the cultural expectations and requirements of diverse communities at Stanford and beyond in order to better serve those communities and to represent their expressions fairly in the collections we build and maintain. 

We will strengthen our staff diversity, collaboration, and well-being. A diverse staff that is treated with equity, inclusivity, and belonging is a strong staff. By fostering a sense of  collaboration and team work, we strengthen staff motivation and resolution to serve campus needs.

Learn more about the Libraries' strategic directions.

You can support Stanford Libraries

Each gift, regardless of size, is meaningful to us and helps us sustain and support a robust scholarly community. Donations impact all corners of campus, every discipline, and have a positive influence on Stanford faculty, students, staff, and visiting scholars.

Donors to the Libraries value investing in research, preserving cultural heritage, advancing discovery using data, creating spaces that arouse curiosity, and believe in making information and scholarship accessible.

Donating your ideas and expressing your interests are important elements of our ability to understand community interests, issues, and challenges.

Ways to support us

Give in a way that works for you:

  • Endowments

  • Bequest and beneficiary designations  
  • Memorial and celebratory gifts  
  • Gifts of securities  
  • Gifts-in-kind of collections, rare books, manuscripts, maps or archives
Learn how to support Stanford Libraries

Ready to give?

Support Stanford Libraries today:

  • Online gift form
  • Phone: (866) 543-0243
  • Mail (checks made out to Stanford University):


Libraries Development Office
557 Escondido Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6004

Last updated May 28, 2024