At a glance

Branner Earth Sciences Library & Map Collections

Branner Library News

Logo of the International Image Interoperability Framework

The Stanford University Libraries (SUL) has introduced new features in its online catalog, SearchWorks, and the Stanford Digital Repository to make it easier for users worldwide to get access to a treasure trove of high resolution digital images.  The basis of these new features is the International Image Interoperability Framework, a global initiative co-founded by SUL to support the creation of a global network of broadly accessible images curated and produced by libraries, museums, archives and galleries to support research, teaching and broad public use.  

IIIF is a new set of technology standards intended to make it easier for researchers, students and the public to view, manipulate, compare and annotate digital images on the web. It has been adopted, or is in the process of being adopted, by many of the world's cultural institutions who have been systematically digitizing their collections for years.  You can see a partial list of institutions adopting IIIF here.

Now when you go to any record for a digitized image in SearchWorks you will see the IIIF logo . This means that the image can be used in any IIIF-compatible viewer, making it possible to easily compare it to similar images at other institutions or to deeply analyse, manipulate or annotate them.  An example of a IIIF-compatible viewer is Mirador, which was initially developed at Stanford and is now being extended in collaboration with Harvard, the National Gallery of Art and several other institutions from around the world. Mirador is unique in that it allows a user to open multiple images in the same workspace to compare side-by-side and even draw annotations to highlight and describe regions of an image.  You can try Mirador at with any image that has the IIIF logo.  Below is a video of how to open a Stanford IIIF image and compare to a similar image in Oxford’s Digital Bodleian image database, which is also IIIF-compatible.  


IIIF is a relatively new initiative, but is rapidly being adopted by the great cultural institutions around the world, opening up interoperable access to tens of millions of high quality images (maps, photographs, books, medieval manuscripts, newspapers, art work) digitized directly from original historical artifacts specifically to support scholarship. Many of these images are not easily found in more popular image resources likely Google Images and Flickr. Tools like Mirador make it easier for scholars and students alike to assemble images from disparate online collections and engage in creative and novel forms of research and teaching.  

The Stanford Libraries has a systematic program of digitizing images, audio and video materials from our general collections, special collections and archives.  You can access these resources in the Digital Collections section of SearchWorks and at our online exhibits gallery.

Screenshot of Claudia's Data Visualization

The 2016 Summer Olympics are drawing lots of attention to Rio de Janeiro. But while most people are focused on the current games -- as well as current events, politics, and health issues that might impact the games -- others have been spending their time delving into the history of this more than 450 year-old city. And Stanford Libraries' own Claudia Engel couldn't resist dipping her hand in either.

In honor of the useR! 2016 Conference taking place this week, we wanted to outline ways researchers can use the Stanford Digital Repository to power their R visualizations.

The Stanford Digital Repository allow Stanford researchers and affiliates to deposit research data for preservation, access, and discovery. Data deposited in the repository is citable and from which the original content can be downloaded. The data is then made available through open web standard services for consumption. For example, images in the repository are delivered by a IIIF-compatible service, geospatial data are served out as Web Mapping Services (WMS) and Web Feature Services (WFS), and generic files are all served through HTTP.

R users can take advantage of these web services and the data being served out.

Stanford Chemistry Safety Portal search tool

Chemists need a wide array of information before doing experimental work in the lab.  To help them find chemical safety information they need more effectively and efficiently, a Chemical Safety Portal was created that searches multiple resources at one time.  Developed in collaboration with Deep Web Technologies, this search site includes 60+ resources. 

Water jet with x-ray pulse

When Stanford Digital Repository staff found out someone was depositing research data about using x-ray lasers to explode jets of liquid, I have to admit there was a bit of excitement. Researching explosions (even on a small scale) sounds like an immense amount of fun. But Stanford researcher Claudiu Stan and his colleagues were doing way more important things out at SLAC than just having fun. They were performing serious research into fluid dynamics.

New Resources in Branner Library

Following is a listing of new print and e-books recently added to the Branner Earth Sciences Library.

  1. Paul Lyle. 2016

  2. William Rankin. 2016

  3. Mingxin Guo, Zhongqi He, and Sophie Minori Uchimiya, editors. 2016

  4. edited and produced by Sandu Publishing Co., Ltd.. 2016