You are here

Stanford Libraries Blog



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. 


"Since its founding in 1977, EdSource has broadened its focus to include a broad range of education reforms, including charter schools, school accountability, STEM education, teacher evaluation and obstacles students face in the math pipeline from pre-kindergarten to college."  Several Stanford faculty members have been involved with EdSource over the years and it was through one of them that we were able to bring in the EdSource archives which are now processed and ready for use by historians interested in education policy in California.

A Cropped Part of Rebecca Solnit's Monarchs and Queens Map 2010

This exhibit will be on display May 22-28, 2015 at the Branner Earth Sciences Library and Map Collections.

Rebecca Solnit, a former visiting fellow at the Bill Lane Center for the American West and Stanford University Libraries where she focused on Glen McLaughin’s collection of Maps of California as an Island, is a writer, historian and activist based in the Bay Area. She has authored fifteen books, including Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas (2010).

Ravel's Bolero (detail)

Helen Colijn (1920-2006) was held captive in a Japanese prison camp on the island of Sumatra for three and one half years during World War II.  One remarkable survival mechanism for some of the prisoners at the Women’s Barracks Camp in Palembang was making music, and a series of concerts was prepared and given in which the women sang a cappella arrangements of great works of Western Art music.  The music was arranged by Margaret Dryburgh and Norah Chambers. Programs included Dvorak’s Largo from the New World Symphony, the Pastoral from Handel’s Messiah, Chopin’s ‘Raindrop’ Prelude, and Tchaikovsky’s Andante Cantabile, among many other works. 

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.

Music Library reflection

For your browsing pleasure, these titles have recently joined our reference collection.  In no particular order:


A dictionary for the modern clarinetist / Jane Ellsworth

Béla Bartók : a research and information guide /  Elliott Antokoletz, Paolo Susanni (3rd ed.)

This exhibition honors faculty research from the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences. Many of the papers highlighted in this exhibition are seminal works in the fields of energy, environmental sciences and climate change, and geologic and geophysical research.

Ever wondered what the most checked out books by Stanford authors were at Branner Library? So did we. Included in the exhibit are two such titles that are frequently used: Introduction to Geochemistry by Prof. Dennis Bird and Reservoir Geomechanics by Prof. Mark Zoback. Other notable titles are more recent, such as books authored by Dean Pam Matson and Prof. Rosamond Naylor.

A sampling of faculty titles on display at Branner Library.