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Branner Geological Library bookplate

The Stanford University Archives is pleased to announce a one-week exhibit of materials relating to John Casper Branner and the Branner Library. This exhibit will be on display at Branner Earth Sciences Library from June 5-12.

Items on display include photographs and other materials relating to Branner’s inauguration; photographs of Branner and family, including some taken on the Stanford campus with Thomas Edison; and materials documenting the founding of Branner Library.

This exhibit is part of the anniversary celebration commemorating the 100th year since the founding of the Branner Earth Sciences Library & Map Collections (June 14, 1915 - June 14, 2015). It is part of an ongoing series of anniversary events that culminates with a public celebration, speakers, and tour of the library on Thursday, June 11, 2015 from 4-6:30 pm.

For more information about John Casper Branner, or about any of the collection materials included in this exhibit, please contact the University Archives at archivesref@stanford.edu. 

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. 

 

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.

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.

Before the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, the map collection at Branner Library consisted mostly of geologic and topographic maps.  Stanford's "Central Map Collection," which had resided in the badly-damaged west wing of Green Library, was subsequently transferred to Branner.

Among the many thematic maps acquired after that time were a number of fanciful "pictorial maps," some of the most interesting being from the 1930's.

For example, there is a 1937 Dole Pineapple map of the Hawaiian Islands, with pictures of boats, fish, cattle, surfers, wildlife, palm trees and airplanes.  The top margin displays distinctive Hawaiian flowers, and the bottom margin shows fish.  The Hawaiian Pineapple Co., Ltd., prepared and distributed this map, presumably to attract visitors.

The Dole Map of the Hawaiian Islands, U.S.A.  Found at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/8514913

Mappa [sic] geologico do Brazil, Geological Society of America, 1991 Branner, John Casper, Contributor.

The Branner Earth Sciences Library is named after John Casper Branner (1850-1922). Branner was, among many things, a geologist, an academic and a founding member of the faculty at Stanford and went on to become Stanford’s second president. He was also president of the Geological Society of America and served as the president of the Seismological Society of America.

 

Mappa [sic] geologico do Brazil, Geological Society of America, 1919. Branner, John Casper, Contributor.

California, Palo Alto Sheet, 1895

From the very start of Stanford University, geology students were sent into the field to learn mapping.  John Casper Branner and John Flesher Newsom taught field mapping to budding geologists first on the campus and then in the Santa Cruz mountains.  In 1903, an official course was inaugurated called, "Field Geology," taught by geology and mining professors Dr. Branner and Dr. Newsom.  Summer field trips took place every year until 1987.  Students mapped areas such as Mt. Hamilton (San Jose), the Sonoma Range, the Summit King Mine, the Santa Lucia Mountains, and the Snake Range in Nevada. 

The current exhibit at the library includes a map from 1895 by R.B. Marshall covering all of the Stanford lands and out into the marshy Bay, Thomas Dibblee's field notebook from 1932 when he was still in high school, Mary Balch's report on the geology of the New Almaden quadrangle from 1929, the expense account ledger from 1937 showing the expenditures for the season, and more.  

John Casper Branner, Stanford Historical Photograph Collection (SC1049)

The Stanford University Archives is very glad to announce a one-week exhibit of materials relating to John Casper Branner, the first Professor of Geology at Stanford University, and its second President. This exhibit will be on display at Branner Earth Sciences Library from April 10-17.

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