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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.

Women have been involved in the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences from the early days of the university.  In the beginning a few intrepid women navigated their way through an environment not designed for them.  They were not allowed in the field with the men and were sometimes treated poorly as they competed for lucrative jobs with their male counterparts.  Over the years, these women pioneers became part of the faculty, department chairs, and finally the Dean.  The population of women in the School has grown to where they are now 61% of the undergraduate population and 42% of the graduate students.

As part of the 100 days to 100 years: Branner Earth Sciences Library Celebration, we celebrate these pioneering women who were trailblazers, who literally and figuratively broke new ground in the field.  You may see items related to each of these women on display in the Branner Library exhibit case on the 2nd floor of the Mitchell Earth Sciences Building.

  • Lou Henry Hoover (B.A. Geology, 1898): the first woman to major in geology at Stanford.
  • Mary Balch Kennedy (B.A. Geology, 1929): an early student in the geology program.
  • Dr. A. Myra Keen (B.A., Ph.D. Psychology, 1934): the first woman faculty member and a professor of paleontology.
  • Dr. Gail Mahood (A.B., M.A., Ph.D. Geology, 1980): the first woman to be named department chair in the School.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Miller (B.A., M.A., Ph.D. Geology and Geophysics, 1977): the first woman run the Stanford Geological Survey.
  • Dr. Pamela Matson (B.S., M.S., Ph.D. Forest Ecology, 1983): the first woman to be named Dean of the School.

Have you ever wondered why Stanford is represented by the color cardinal, and not the original choice of gold? Or why the university's motto is in German?

The University Archives, in collaboration with Kathleen Smith, Curator of Germanic Collections and Medieval Studies, is pleased to announce a new exhibition focused on the development of Stanford's insignia. Becoming Stanford: The History and Meaning of the University’s Insignia is now on display in the South Lobby of Green Library.

San Francisco Fountain detail by Joe Thompson

As previously announced, the Ruth Asawa papers are now available. In thinking of fun and innovative ways to present certain aspects of her work, we decided to scan a small series of San Francisco architecture snapshots from her collection and upload them to the social mapping website Historypin, and also include them in their Year of the Bay local history project.  These photographs were probably used as research in creating the San Francisco Fountain in Union Square, which features many cast dough relief images of the city. Unfortunately there is no information on or about the prints in the collection. They are likely all from the 1960s, and were probably taken by Asawa (she has referred to taking pictures of the city in preparation). Architectural historian Sally Woodbridge may have also contributed. The varying qualities of the prints implies that several cameras or developers were used, and that they were probably taken over a period of time. At any rate, they collectively serve as a remarkable portrait of the city in that decade.

Women playing basketball on field,1900. Stanford Historical Photograph Collection (SC1071: 3293-006).

The University Archives is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibition celebrating the 25th anniversary of Stanford Women's first NCAA basketball victory.

Alert 747: Cecil H. Green LIbrary exhibit of the Vela 6911 Collection by Victor Gama (Archive of Recorded Sound ARS.0149)

Alert 747: Suspected Nuclear Test  - A journey to uncover facts and create dialog through humanistic creative production. This February, Stanford University Libraries (SUL) highlights a special collection, Vela 6911 by Victor Gama, with an exhibit on display in the Green Library South Lobby from February 3- March 9, 2015.  Vela 6911 is a multimedia musical piece created by Victor Gama, an Angolan composer and designer of contemporary musical instruments for new music. This exhibit offers a glimpse into this vast collection of research, images, video content and musical scores that reside in the SUL Archive of Recorded Sound.  It also supports and coincides with the March 6th live performance of VELA 6911 by Gama, the Stanford University New Ensemble and special guests from Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). Information about the concert is at the Stanford Events Page. 

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