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The Branner Earth Sciences Library contains 125,000 volumes, including 2,000 serial titles, and 270,000 sheet maps. The library is also a depository for the U.S. Geological Survey and the California Geological Survey, and is housed in the Mitchell Earth Sciences Building at 397 Panama Mall.
Branner Library began as the 5,000 volume private collection of John Casper Branner, Stanford's first professor and second president, who came to Stanford in 1891.
"One of Branner's material legacies was the nucleus of what is now the Branner Earth Sciences Library. Branner was a compulsive purchaser of books and periodicals; his collection quickly became the de facto departmental library, although it remained in his possession. It was finally bought by the university at the time of Branner's retirement in 1915, and under careful management and expansion, it has become one of the best of such libraries in the nation."
Branner Earth Sciences Library and Map Collections had its origins when Stanford's first faculty member and second President, John Casper Branner, began buying books as an 18-year-old student at Cornell.