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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.

Salmon data in EarthWorks

Stanford University Libraries is happy to introduce EarthWorks, our new geospatial data discovery application. EarthWorks is a discovery tool for geospatial (a.k.a. GIS) data. It allows users to search and browse the GIS collections owned by Stanford University Libraries, as well as data collections from many other institutions. Data can be searched spatially, by manipulating a map; by keyword search; by selecting search limiting facets (e.g., limit to a given format type); or by combining these options.

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.  

A new & correct map... by Herman Moll, 1719

One of the exhibitions at the Cantor Arts Center is called Imagining the Oceans, curated by Margaret Cohen, who is the Andrew B. Hammon Professor French Language, Literature and Civilization.The exhibit is at the Marie Stauffer Sigall Gallery at the Cantor Art Center and runs through June 29, 2015.

As part of that exhibition, on display, is one of the maps from the Glen McLauglin Map Collection of California as an Island, which is one of several collections at the Branner Earth Sciences Library:

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.

Image of the Kendua Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Task

The Stanford Geospatial Center, in support of a project headed by Stanford University Pediatric Global Health Physician/Scientist Eric Nelson, will host a Mapathon! where volunteer mappers will help create basemap data for a project to improve the quality and access to care for children in Bangladesh during cholera outbreaks.

Volunteer mappers from Eastern University in Dhaka, Bangladesh will be collaborating and mapping simultaneously. We will be able to share the work we accomplish and look at each other's mapping contribution. Read more about the project in a recent blog post about the humanitarian effort.


6:00 - 7:00pm Kick-off. Let's Map: Learn more about the project, Learn more about and learn more about Humanitarian Mapping! Beginner mappers will receive training.

7:00 - 7:30pm Food break (Free Pizza & Soda Provided)

7:30 - 9:00pm Mapathon Mapping!

To sign up, please for the event, please visit our Evenbrite Page!

Branner Libary Centennial June 14, 1915 – June 14, 2015

Join us in celebrating the milestone of 100 years of collaboration, education, and experience at the Branner Earth Sciences Library & Map Collection.

We'll be hosting a series of anniversary events over the next 100 days that will culminate on Thursday, June 11, 2015, with a public celebration, speakers, and a curator's tour of the library. In addition, each week between now and the anniversary on June 14, 2015, we'll be exhibiting items from our collection and archive. You can see these items on display in the Branner Library exhibit case on the 2nd floor of the Mitchell Earth Sciences Building. Check below for more information about this week's exhibit and upcoming Branner 100 events.

Branner, John Casper. “The Clays of Arkansas” in The U. S. Geological Survey. Bulletin 351. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1908. Taken from Writings of John Casper Branner, Stanford’s Second President 
Friday, March 13 – Thursday, March 26

This exhibition commemorates the 100th anniversary of the University's purchase of John Casper Branner’s personal geological library, the foundation for the current Branner Earth Sciences Library. 

A prolific writer, Branner published over 400 articles and books during his lifetime, many of which are kept at Branner Library. A sampling of his writing is included in the exhibit, including resources written about the clays of Arkansas while he was State Geologist of Arkansas.