Blog topic: News

Lithograph, Recolte du café

Brazil-Stanford: A Century-Old Connection

September 4, 2014
by Adan Griego

The Stanford Libraries hold one of the most comprehensive Braziliana collections in North America. Research interests in the region date back to the university’s early years with noted  geology professor John Casper Branner.  Before coming to campus in 1891 he had participated in two scientific expeditions to Brazil and would lead two other such important research field trips in 1899 and 1907. Cultural exchanges between Stanford and Brazil continue to this day. (1)

The collection is rich in pre-1900 travel accounts (200+ titles) and includes such rare treasures as Jean de Léry's Histoire d’un voyage fait en la terre du Brésil (1585) and Maurice Rugendas’ Voyage pittoresque dans le Brésil (1835). Lery's account of a year spent living among the Tupinamba Indians is considered a masterpiece of early modern ethnography and the rich visual imagery of Rugendas documented landscapes, fauna and flora in 1820s Brazil. 

Gruesome Spectacles: Botched Executions and America's Death Penalty by Austin Sarat

A historical perspective of America's death penalty

July 25, 2014

Whatever your opinion on the death penalty is, there is no doubt that the three mishandled executions this past year (most recently this week in Arizona) were an unpleasant reminder of the complex nature of the law itself. Legal Scholar Austin Sarat, author of Gruesome Spectacles: Botched Executions and America's Death Penalty, published by Stanford University Press, discussed the subject on NPR's Morning Edition with Steve Inskeep. Sarat provided historical context and an unbiased explanation of the current state of the death penalty in America.

Tape container for Wind (1961)

Richard Maxfield Collection now streaming online

The Archive of Recorded Sound is delighted to announce that the Richard Maxfield Collection (ARS.0074) can now be listened to online, via the collection's finding aid on the Online Archive of California. This collection features nine distinct works by electronic music composer Richard Maxfield, composed between 1959-1964, four of which are believed to be previously unpublished (Dromenom, Electronic Symphony, Suite from Peripateia, and Wind). Additionally, as Maxfield frequently produced unique edits of his work for each performance, many of the open tape reels that form this collection include alternative edits to those previously published, such as the tapes for Amazing Grace which feature three different versions of the work. 

Research Libraries Group (RLG) records now available

June 17, 2014
by Glynn Edwards

The Research Libraries Group, Inc. (RLG) was founded by The New York Public Library and Columbia, Harvard, and Yale universities and incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in late 1975. In 1978 RLG moved its offices from Branford, Connecticut, to Stanford University in California; adopted Stanford’s library automation staff and computer system (BALLOTS) as the starting point for its own library system (RLIN), plus a series of complementary services and databases; and opened its membership to research institutions throughout the U.S.

James R. Lilley papers now available

June 17, 2014
by Glynn Edwards

James Roderick Lilley (1928-2009) was an American diplomat who was the ambassador to China during the time of the Tiananmen Square protests. The youngest of three children, he was born to American parents in China and was educated in American schools there until he returned to the US in 1940. After graduation from Yale University in 1951, he was employed by the CIA from 1951-1978 and worked in various Asian countries. He served as director of the American Institute in Taiwan from 19981-1984, Ambassador to South Korea from 1986-1989, and Ambassador to China from 1989-1991. He was Assistant Secretary of Defense from 1991-1993, and upon retirement from government service worked at the American Enterprise Institute. His memoir China Hands: nine decades of adventure, espionage, and diplomacy in Asia was published in 2004.

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