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Exploring Maps with the California Rare Book School - Map Digitization

Nova totius Terrarum orbis tabula

During the week of November 4th, Julie Sweetkind-Singer hosted the California Rare Book School ( with several sessions held at Stanford University Libraries. The CalRBS is an ongoing program founded by UCLA that educates students interested in the field of rare books. This specific course was designed to provide a general overview of the history of maps in the western world, as well as their use in modern-day teaching and research.

The CalRBS had not previously offered a course in the History of Cartography/Maps, so Susan Allen, the director of the program, approached Julie to fill the gap. Julie agreed, providing the course's approach be tailored to increase its relevance to today's professionals. The students who attended were required to write essays as to why they wished to take the course, and many showed interest in making their materials available digitally for broader use and access.

During Thursday’s session, students learned about SUL’s map program which included a tour of our oversized and high-speed imaging labs, managing high resolution images from creation to preservation, and the development of viewing environments specific to map related content.

California Rare Book School at SUL

Kudos to all those involved:

Doris Cheung
Alissa Hafele
G. Salim Mohammed
Michael Olson
Julie Sweetkind-Singer
Wayne Vanderkuil


Lead Photographer, Digitization Specialist