At a glance

Branner Earth Sciences Library & Map Collections

David Rumsey Map Center preview


Architectural rendering of the Center's interior

"Stanford is a pioneer in the digital library world. When I was thinking of where to donate my collection, I wanted to ensure the preservation not only of the original materials but also the digital copies I made. I knew Stanford would be the best place for both" -- DaviRumseyStanford Libraries Donor

David Rumsey Map Center at Stanford Libraries

The information world is changing at a breakneck pace, and Stanford, in part through its libraries, is at the leading edge of innovation in information services. Stanford Libraries provide students and faculty with new tools and resources made possible by digital technologies and continue to build a physical collection that supports both established as well as new disciplines and subject foci throughout campus. Offering original materials alongside their digital surrogates provides scholars and students new lens for exploration and discovery.

Maps are no exception. Utilization of cartographic materials in teaching, learning and research has increased significantly across multiple disciplines. The David Rumsey Map Center, named in recognition of the lead support from David and Abby Rumsey, is designed to foster a dynamic interdisciplinary environment that will bring together minds and materials across disciplines to create innovative geospatial research that will enhance current scholarship.

Stanford University Libraries’ are positioned to create a world-class venue that fuses together its exquisite collection of cartographic materials with innovative geospatial techniques, and visualization technologies. Currently there is nothing like it on the West coast and it is poised to become one of the preeminent map libraries in the United States.

Advocating access

The David Rumsey Map Center will house and make accessible the Libraries’ many cartographic collections, including early American maps, Antiquarian maps of Africa, rare World Atlases, as well as North American and California state materials. Visualization tools and expert staff will provide support to researchers, providing them with a powerful ability to interact with the items digitally to examine, analyze, and visualize cartographic materials in multiple ways.

The center will also be the destination for our unique and ongoing Cartographic Digital Philanthropy Program, whereby collectors make their personal collections available for viewing via digital surrogates the Libraries creates. The Digital Philanthropy Program, the first of its kind, will make even more materials readily available for scholarship, study and enjoyment.

Inspiring interdisciplinary research

The content, data and illustrations of maps have great appeal and research value to scholars across campus and around the world. The way in which they are made can reveal so much about the corner of the world in which they were produced. The David Rumsey Map Center will serve as a nerve center bringing together minds from the humanities, the sciences, the arts, and the professional schools to interact and incorporate cartographic materials into their research and teaching.

Expert staff from the center and the Stanford Geospatial Center will create an active learning environment whereby visitors search, access and interact with cartographic and geospatial tools allowing connections to be made between different disciplines and diverse research interests.

The center is designed to be flexible, allowing faculty to maximize the space and leverage the unique combination of traditional and technically rich tools. Scholarship that includes a cartographic or geospatial component requires special equipped environments and the center will be an optimal destination for such work. The room will be designed to encourage cross-fertilization between spatial and non-spatial data, thus influencing the quality of cartographic or geospatial instruction.

With your support, The David Rumsey Map Center will be a vibrant place for the keen, the curious and the inquisitive to meet and exchange ideas on the best ways to unlock the cartographic treasures within our vast collection.

Supporting the Center

The generous gift of David and Abby Rumsey will build a state-of-the-art map center within Stanford Libraries.  Ongoing support for the Center's programming, including the acquisition of maps and resources, installations of exhibitions, upgrades to technology, and careful conservation of materials, is needed to ensure the long term success of the David Rumsey Map Center.  
There are many ways you can support the Center, including: 
  • Endowed Map Funds 
  • Endowments for technology, conservation and exhibitions
  • Naming opportunities within the Center 
  • Planned gifts
Contact Gabrielle Karampelas, Director of Communications & Development for Stanford Libraries, to learn more about giving opportunities, including the opportunity to become a Founding Friends of the David Rumsey Map Center.
Secure online general gifts for the Center can also be made online; please designate David Rumsey Map Center in the special instructions field. 

Contact us

G. Salim Mohammed, Digital and Rare Maps Librarian
Head and Curator, David Rumsey Map Center
(650) 723-5100