American History

Historical American Maps collection donated to Stanford

Map collector David Rumsey has agreed to donate some 150,000 maps of the Americas, most of which were drawn between 1700 and 1925, to the Stanford University Libraries. The collection includes physical maps as well as digital images. The physical maps will be housed in the University Libraries' Special Collections, and the digital files will be preserved in Stanford's digital preservation archive. Digital images from Rumsey's collection can be viewed at the David Rumsey Map Collection. The collection includes such gems as a map showing the first depiction of the Rocky Mountains found folded into a first edition of Lewis and Clark's 1814 travel book chronicling their trek across the American West and an 1839 atlas showing Texas as an independent republic.
Many of the maps from the Rumsey collection are already cataloged, and can be found by searching for David Rumsey maps.

Video of Maps of Americas past.

For more information about this amazing collection see the Stanford Report article Maps of Americas past, or visit the Branner Earth Sciences Library and Map Collections.

Live stream of Presidential Inaugural in the library

President Barack Obama Want to be witness to an historic event?

The inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States will be streamed live in the Social Sciences Seminar Room on the first floor of the Bing Wing, Green Library from 8am - Noon PST on Tuesday, January 20, 2009. Bring your friends, check out some of the library's Presidential materials, celebrate the democratic process! See you there!!

Q&A: Old Annual Reports of the Alien Property Custodian


I'm looking for the annual reports of the U.S. Alien Property Custodian from 1919 to 1926. According to Socrates, Stanford owns only the 1922 report. Where can I find the other years?


For many annual reports of agencies for this period, one should always check the Congressional Serial Set in our Databases. Sure enough, a search in that database for "Annual Report Alien Property Custodian" returns the reports for every year you're trying to find.

Q&A: Papers of the U.S. Constitution's Framers


Where can I find the papers of America's founders, the framers of the U.S. Constitution?


You might want to start with Stanford's U.S. History Collections Page for Colonial/Revolutionary History, specifically the section on founders' documents, which has links to digital papers and locations for print items.

As far as digital collections go, there are two good databases: Thomas (from the Library of Congress) and the Avalon Project from Yale Law School. The Avalon Project's page has a search function. Start by linking to pre-18th century documents, then search for "framers." You will find many relevant documents.

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