A) First, visit the
Print Newspaper Collection.
After you pass through the entrance turnstile of Green East, go right
and pass beyond the Information Center Desk. The Print Newspaper Collection
is located immediately to your right. Current issues of papers from
all over the world ranging from the Afro-American and the Almanakh
Panorama to the Village Voice and Die Zeit are arranged alphabetically
on low shelves and await your pleasure. You might get lucky and find
your hometown newspaper to relax with. Stacked back issues of newspapers
sit behind a wall of racks displaying current popular magazines. How
far back the newspapers are dated varies: in time, each newspaper sends
Green Library a microfiche version of its back editions. Print issues
are then removed from the shelves and discarded.
Next, pay your respects to the Current Periodicals.
Current Periodicals are located across the main floor, catty-corner
to the newspaper collection, and extend all the way back to the rear
windows. Approximately a year's worth of back issues of all manner of
magazines and journals can be found in this area, from Andean Newsletter
to Journal of Beckett Studies to Medieval Feminist Forum to World Wide
Shipping. Though breathtakingly "au courant," the periodical
section does not turn up its nose at such old, established standards
as The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and The Nation.
In time, back issues of periodicals are bound and shelved or made available
on microfilm. Use Socrates Stanford's online library catalog
to locate these materials. Once bound, periodicals circulate
for seven days. Discipline-specific periodicals and journals can also
be found in the Bing Wing's Social Sciences Resource Center and
Humanities Resource Center.
Time to doff your hat to the Reference Collection.
The Reference Collection encompasses virtually all of the book-lined
stacks on the first floor of Green East. The quick and easy Ready Reference
section is to your right after you pass through the entrance turnstile.
Ready Reference is the ideal place to turn to for some basic, nitty-gritty
info. Here you'll find J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax 2001; The
Chicago Manual of Style; Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature; the
National Faculty Directory; the Oxford Latin Dictionary; Fulltext Sources
on Line; and much more. Need a lawyer? Thumb through Who's Who in American
Law: 2000-2001. Interested in applying to a doctoral program in Immunobiology?
Check out Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States. All Ready
Reference books are marked with a large red dot. The opposing side of
the Ready Reference shelves host a small Statistics collection. Gale
Book of Averages caught my eye with its playful dustcover facts and
figures: "1,400 that's how many chickens an average American
eats in a lifetime." Consult Gale to determine the duration
of "the zebra gestation period." All works in the small
Statistics section are emblazoned with a big blue dot. Pause to cast
a grateful glance at the portrait of Cecil H. Green, Green's benefactor
and the founder of Texas Instruments; the picture hangs on the wall
above the left corner of the Ready Reference section. On top of the
Ready Reference shelves, a sturdy red box that looks like a cross between
a toolbox and a British postbox awaits your suggestions for new book
orders and library improvements.
Behind the Information Desk and extending left to the rear windows,
rows of stacks offer a treasure trove of general reference sources
encyclopedias, almanacs, biographical dictionaries perfect for
you to examine in your efforts to come up with a research topic. Among
other works in this area, you'll find Chronology of World History, Encyclopedia
of World Biography, Book Review Digest, and a wide variety of news-paper
indexes. The reference area is also home to any number of highly specialized
sources ranging from The First Illustrated Yoruba Dictionary to Bibliotheca
Nummaria: Bibliography of 16th Century Numismatic Books to the Tudor
and Stuart Glossary to Vietnam War Films.
Visit the Information Center Desk (a.k.a. The Reference Desk).
The Information Center Desk, staffed by two-three librarians in shifts
(I am, of course, referring to their work cycle, not their attire),
is to your right once you pass through the turnstile. The consensus
is that the Green librarians are friendly and helpful. They have computer
monitors that face out toward you, enabling you to watch them
BOTH the librarians and the computers doing neat tricks to call
up obscure items. Each of the librarians has expertise in a particular
research field; it is unlikely, then, that these knowledgeable folks
will fail to illuminate your path, no matter how esoteric your area
of interest may be (they've "seen it all," they report). Librarians
at the Information Center Desk also supervise Interlibrary Borrowing.
Fill out individual request forms for each item you seek and submit
them to the librarians. When the requested materials arrive, you will
be notified by email (and snail mail) and can pick up the desired items
at the Loan Desk. To the left and right of the Information Center Desk,
affixed to concrete pillars, narrow multi-level black racks hold printed
Shortcuts offering useful hints for searching various databases. By
the back left corner of the reference desk, a handsome 16-inch diameter
globe of the world turns on its axis. (Incidentally, one of the librarians
requested that I inform you that the library staff is always on the
lookout for individuals who are interested in part-time shelving jobs.)
3) Locate the Loan Desk for Green East
You can check out books in both Green East and the Bing Wing. In Green
East, the Loan Desk is located ahead of you after you pass through the
entrance turnstile. Green East's Loan Desk serves as the library's main
circulation desk. If no one's visibly staffing the desk, you are invited
to ring a bell for service. One admirable fellow who works there
a friendly gent with spectacles and a white beard will be happy
to check out your books and answer any questions you have about arcane
library lore. He'll regale you with tales of resident ghosts, peeping
Toms, and ingenious students who, for a lark, strain to figure out ways
to stay in Green all night. (Should these pranksters prove successful
in remaining in the stacks after hours, they had better not move more
than a quarter of an inch or their motion will set off a chorus of shrill
alarms.) To recall a book that is already in circulation or to locate
materials that are not in their assigned places, fill out appropriate
forms at the Loan Desk. Print Reserves and Privileges are also located
here. To borrow an item from Print Reserves, identify its call number
by checking in the Reserves Catalog section of the Stanford Libraries
Homepage, and provide this information to the Loan Desk. Privileges
is the place to go when you have a visitor in tow who desires temporary
access to the library: registered visitors receive seven days' free
access to Green on a courtesy basis. Consult Privileges to inquire about
the use of a library locker; lockers are free and are assigned on a
first-come, first-served basis. Note that library materials can also
be checked out at Green's West Portal, the main entrance of the Bing
Take yourselves to the Media-Microtext Center.
Bottom floor of Green East. Go left as you exit the elevator or stairs:
the Media-Microtext Center is the glassed-in area at the end of the
corridor, on your right. The Center has an extensive video collection
and thirty-two viewing carrels complete with all the equipment you'll
need for watching some real gems. Scare yourselves silly one night by
gazing transfixed at the cinematic version of Shirley Jackson's
The Haunting (ZVD 208). If you want to see a film version of
"The Lottery," present the librarian with the call number
ZVC 7623 and give the videotape a look-see. Microfilm and microfiche
are also housed here; the microfiche collection includes the complete
New York Times to date. Once a friend who was writing an article protesting
the death penalty assigned me the ghoulish task of researching accounts
of public responses to the first electrocution in America: I discovered
what I was looking for in the August 7, 1890 edition of the Times
all the news that's fit to print and then some. The glass insulation
that makes the front of the Media-Microtext Center look like an apothecary
provides noise abatement, as the microfilm machines tend to hum loudly.
All materials in the Media-Microtext collections must be viewed in-house.
The Media-Microtext loan desk closes ten minutes before regular library
5) Explore the Stacks.
Green East: Four floors worth with various wings. Venture into the South
Stacks of Green East if you dare. Actually, this mission is only
mildly spooky and pleasantly adventurous. Take the elevator or stairs
to the basement floor of Green East and go right. Follow the signs,
which will direct you left across the length of the basement floor and
then right again. You will find yourself in an area whose eerie silence
and distinctive decor an oppressively red rug complimented by
pea-green bookshelves signal its remove from the rest of Green
East. No need to panic or become disoriented! You are not in the infernal
regions but rather in the bowels of Meyer Library. The stone stairway
you see just beyond the fire door is the outer stairway of Meyer. It
is interesting and instructive to note the correspondences between the
distribution of stacks in Green East and in the Bing Wing: in both facilities,
by design, the Humanities resources are on the top levels and
the Social Sciences resources, below. Does this arrangement suggest
a hierarchy? does it carry an anthropomorphic significance?
6) Familiarize yourself with Green East's
Information Kiosk Computers and Computer Clusters.
Kiosk computers providing access to Folio-based and Web-based
Stanford sources are distributed throughout Green East. Most of these
computers are PCs and their software is limited to Web Browser
and Telnet. Two Information Kiosks equipped with computers flank
the main stairway on the first floor of Green East. Each of the other
three floors of Green is equipped with a Communication Room that has
two pairs of side-by-side computers, a printer, a copy machine,
a pay phone, and a campus phone. On the lower level of
Green, a small cluster of five computers is nestled cozily behind
the elevators in Room 52B, the Micro Computer Room.
A cluster of twelve iMacs can be found on the first floor of
Green East, beyond the Information Center Desk and to the right of the
Current Newspaper shelves. These super-duper computers are specially
equipped and host a number of software programs, including Netscape
4.7; Internet Explorer 4.5; MacSamson; Microsoft
Office 98; and Real Player G2, among others. You can listen
to Stanford Instructional Television Network (SITN) lectures
from these machines if you bring your own headphones. A cluster of twelve
PC computers is in the Current Periodicals section. Behind the Information
Center Desk, you'll find a CD-Rom cluster with five machines.
Get acquainted with Green East's Copy Services.
Three copy machines can be found on the first floor of Green in a small
enclosed area that is adjacent to the loan desk area. The copy machines
will accept bills, coins, and vend cards. A convenient "DART"
Machine on the back wall of this section enables you to buy a photocopy
card or to add money to your StanfordCard Plan. As noted, each small
Communication Room contains a copy machine.
Art abounds. Notice it.
Once you've passed through the Green East entrance turnstile, turn right
and face the far windows: now, were you to lob a bowling ball down the
center of the corridor and should your aim prove true, you'd hit the
distinctive sculpture Ogham Speaks by Irish sculptor John Coll.
The sculpted faces ranging round the top of the figure are those of
four Irish Nobel Laureates in Literature Yeats, Shaw,
Beckett, and Seamus Heaney. Ogham, I have learned,
is the name of a runic Irish alphabet. One campus wag proposed that
this formidable art piece be christened "Writers' Block."
Next, when you're traipsing up the main stairs to the third and fourth
floors of Green East, notice the magnificent wall hanging that extends
from the top of the wall (just shy of the ceiling) to the first floor
landing. This piece two pieces, actually is a tapestry
entitled Wordscape woven by Kathryn Hernmaryk. The phrases and
fragments inscribed in it allude to works of literature (I spotted the
first four letters of "Dante" near the top, and the
charged phrase "Hamlet" midway down). The featured words were
chosen, I am told, not only for their provenance but also for their
Instead of exiting through the Green turnstile, pass on into the little
hall that jogs to the left. Here you'll notice, on your right, an exhibition
case displaying Recent Stanford University Publications, among them
Momentary Bliss: An American Memoir by Stanford English professor Bliss
Carnochan, and John Steinbeck: From Salinas to Stockholm, a catalog
produced in conjunction with the Steinbeck exhibit presented last fall
in the Bing Wing's Peterson Exhibit Gallery in the Munger Rotunda. The
contents of the display case change at regular intervals: I remember
taking in an exhibit entitled "Britannica: An Exhibition by Stanford
Students Using Primary Materials from Stanford Collections" featuring
materials on Beatrix Potter, Jewish Members of Parliament, and
séances.) To the left of the exhibition case, a cast of Rodin's
Bust of Victor Hugo lends welcome grace to the Green foyer. Opposite
the display case are the stained glass windows that, for me, are amongst
the loveliest and most often overlooked decorative features
of Green East. Four panes of glass with three panels apiece display
signs of the zodiac. Merry images of bonhomie drunk lords and
ladies feasting and peasant folk carousing dominate the center
of each panel, while individual astrological signs paired with the name
of the corresponding month (en Français, mais oui!) frame top
and bottom. At certain hours of the day when the light cooperates, the
stained glass images are reproduced on the sun-drenched library floor.
Pay attention to the location of Lavatories and Water Fountains.
To reach the lavatory on the first floor, take a left and then a right
after you enter Green. There is no water fountain on the first floor
of Green East. On the basement, second, and third floors: as you exit
the elevators or stairs, take a right and then a sharp right. On each
of these three floors a water fountain is flanked by men's and women's
Ferret out the First Floor Telephones.
A campus phone and pay phone are located to the left of the Green entrance
turnstile, in the corridor leading to the Bing Wing. (You can use these
phones without passing through the turnstile.)
MAKE HASTE TO THE BING WING!
To access the Bing Wing from the first floor of Green East, go left
after you pass through the main Green turnstile. Then go right. The
next left will usher you past a set of wooden doors and into the Bing
Wing. You'll know you've arrived when you look down at the floor and
discover that the worn red brick of Green East has given way to the
lustrous, orangey-brown, marbled linoleum of the Bing Wing. Pass through
a second set of wooden doors and advance into the foyer of the Social
Sciences Resource Center. If you take the first corridor leading right,
you will find yourself at the entrance of the Social Sciences Reading
are three other internal "passageways" between Green East
and the Bing Wing. The buildings connect on the basement level,
second floor (through an elegant thoroughfare known as The
Grand Corridor), and third floor.
Get thee to the Social Sciences Resource Center first
floor of the Bing Wing.
After you pass through the turnstile at the main entrance of the Bing
Wing, follow either one of the two corridors that flank the base of
the Grand Staircase. Both curve and converge at the entrance to the
Social Sciences Resource Center. Enter. Note the Reception Desk to your
left. The Social Sciences Reading Room lies directly behind the Reference
The Social Sciences Reading Room (SSRR) is a long, thin railroad
car of a room, with a low ceiling whose constrictive effect is offset
by a row of back windows that offer lots of light. While not as elegant
as the Lane Reading Room that sits directly above it, the Social Sciences
Reading Room is homey and serviceable, with comfortable chairs and big
work tables equipped with outlets for your laptops. A computer workstation
with twelve terminals (all equipped with ZIP and floppy disk
drives for saving files, along with Microsoft Office 2000 and
other programs) is located at the east end of the room (to your right
as you enter). The reading room houses a wide range of general reference
sources in the Social Sciences. You will find, for example, approximately
six months' worth of magazines and journals drawn from relevant disciplines.
The Chronicle of Higher Education stood out for me, as did Econometrica;
American Indian Culture and Research Journal; and Signs: Journal of
Women in Culture and Society. The SSRR also features a small newspaper
section that will keep you attuned to the goings-on of the captains
of industry (The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The New
York Times are all represented). A bookcase devoted to works sponsored
by the Center for the Study of Language and Information can be found
immediately to your right as you enter the Reading Room. Among the linguistic
fare served up here are such earnest titles as Lectures on Linear Logic;
Fiction and the Puzzles of Non-Existence; Argument Structure in Hindi;
and A Theory of Predicates.
Rows of bookshelves announcing "Classic Texts" march down
the center of the room. Here you'll find Nietzsche, Jung,
Freud, Lévi-Strauss, Marx, and Rousseau
in lockstep with Alvin Toffler, Studs Turkel, and Betty
Friedan. You'll spot Hannah Arendt's On Revolution, Gay
Talese's The Kingdom and the Power, W.E.B. Du Bois' Black
Reconstruction in America, and Margaret Mead's Coming of Age
in Samoa. Hoping to make sense of the contemporary fixation on Krispy
Kreme doughnuts, I picked up a "classic" entitled Memoirs
of Extraordinary Popular Delusions (Vol. I) by Charles McKay.
Skimming through the chapter entitled "The Tulipomania"
a spirited account of the Dutch passion for tulips in 1634 that brought
the country to a standstill as people sold their inheritance for a handful
of bulbs I was reminded of the recent American craze for all
Bookshelves around the periphery of the room host assorted Social Sciences
reference works (15,000 volumes), including Public Papers of the Presidents;
Library of Congress Presidential Papers; The Congressional Quarterly
Weekly Report; U.S. Congressional Committee Hearing Indexes;
The International Bibliography of Anthropology; The Palgrave Dictionary
of Money and Finance; The Oxford Handbook of Criminology; and The Encyclopedia
of Aging. A small shelf in the SSRR is also devoted to new books and
documents in the Social Sciences. I winced when I glanced at Don't Breath
the Air: Air Pollution and U.S. Environmental Politics, 1945-1970; I
sighed as I noted The Insatiability of Human Wants: Economics and Aesthetics
in Market Society; I blushed (ever-so-slightly, mind) when I caught
a glimpse of New Millennial Sexstyles; and I barely repressed a chuckle
and a groan when I happened upon Bombs, Bugs, Drugs, and
Copy machines and printer services can be found in a small room that
is off the main lobby to your right as you exit the SSRR. Group study
rooms are nearby (one is located opposite the copy room; another is
to the right of the copy room).
The Social Sciences Resource Center also includes two resources whose
lifeblood is statistics: the Social Sciences Data Service (SSDS) and
Statistical Software Support (SSS). Both can be found in the Velma Denning
Room, which is located down the hall from the Social Sciences Resource
Center. (After you exit the Social Sciences Resource Center, take your
first left; the Velma Denning Room is the first door on your right.)
The SSDS offers a wide assortment of datasets (including public opinion
polls and census information) that span a range of time periods.
With proper aid from one of the astounding number-gobbling machines
the SSS maintains, you will be able to determine the quantity of non-pregnant,
fully-delivered chads Al Gore would have needed to win the 2000 Presidential
Election. Other wonders of the SSDS and SSS include special Geographic
Information Systems (GIS) workstations that facilitate the analysis
of spatial data. The Statistical Software Support staff are available
to help you use fancy statistical software to generate high-powered
maps and graphs. Office hours are by appointment and during walk-in
hours that vary weekly. On the day I ventured by to make a few queries,
I came upon an intent group of students and staff members who were analyzing
the mating frequency of monkeys. The SSDS is open every day from noon
until 5 p.m.
2) Visit the Jonsson Library of Government
The main entrance to the Jonsson Library lies directly opposite the
entrance to the Social Science Reading Room. A considerable amount of
Green Library space is devoted to Jonsson holdings. U.S. Federal Documents
fill the entire West Basement and West I stacks. West 2 stacks house
International Documents, United Nations Documents, California Documents,
and unbound copies of the Congressional Record, among other materials.
West 2 also provides microfiche storage. The Jonsson Library became
a designated Federal Government Document Depository in 1895 and, as
such, is open to the public. Many of its holdings are organized according
to agency-specific classification modes which, I am told, are significantly
less accommodating than the Library of Congress system used throughout
much of Green. As you exit Jonsson, the Social Sciences Microfiche Room
is on your left. Low bookshelves stocked with Census Bureau reports
lie immediately beyond the Jonsson exit.
3) Scale the thirty-three steps of the Grand
Staircase and explore the Munger Rotunda.
The unique and imposing table that dominates the center of the rotunda
is fashioned in part from the wood of a three-hundred-year-old coast
live oak tree that Leland Junior admired. For years, library lore maintains,
the tree "kept vigil" by the site of the family mausoleum.
When it finally fell victim to disease and age, its trunk was carefully
preserved by caretakers and later given new life in the beautifully
crafted tabletop. The legs of the table mimic the columns of the rotunda.
To the right of the table (as you stand with your back to the staircase)
is the Improved Albion Press. The numbers inscribed on the center of
the press are its patent number (2185) and the year of its manufacture
by the "Walker Bros. of London" (1900).
The twin flanks of the Peterson Exhibit Gallery lie on opposite sides
of the staircase on the second floor. The present gallery display, "Cultural
Landscapes: Gilbert White's Natural History of Selborne," is
of particular interest to members of the Stanford community due to the
unusual circumstances of its production. This exhibit was first presented
at Stanford in October of 1989, a salute to the work of British naturalist
Gilbert White on the bicentennial anniversary of the initial publication
of his seminal text, The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne,
in 1799. (Selborne, according to exhibit documentation, is a small town
in Hampshire, England that has now grown to significant proportions.)
On October 15, 1989, two days after the Selborne exhibit opened,
the natural history of Northern California itself gave folks something
to talk about when the Loma Prieta earthquake struck, damaging the West
Wing of Green (which would remain closed for ten years) and requiring
the immediate dismantling of the exhibit. Now, twelve years later, the
Selborne exhibit has been restored with most of its original
materials intact and on display. As you walk through the Peterson Gallery,
you will see various editions of Gilbert White's book, which has enjoyed
widespread publication since its first appeared. A range of natural
histories provide context for the display. I must confess to a weakness
for the illustrations of "owles" in a work entitled Ornithology
of Francis Willughby, published in 1678.
Find the Lane Reading Room.
The Lane Reading Room, the heart of the Humanities and Area Studies
Resource Center, is located on the second floor of the Bing Wing, to
the left of the top of the Grand Staircase and immediately above the
Social Sciences Resource Center. (An internal staircase that feels rather
like a secret passageway leads from the Social Sciences Resource Center
to the Humanities Resource Center.) A beautiful space flooded with light
that enters through a skylight and thirteen large, high-set windows
(which look out on Hoover Tower and thus spare you any distraction),
the Lane Reading Room hosts a wide range of Humanities resources. A
collection of journals (including The Woman's Review of Books, Lingua
Franca, The New York Review of Books, and Bloomsbury Review) and an
as-yet-modest Ready Reference Section lie directly beyond the small
round table that "guards" the entrance to the room. Lane is
home to the Humanities Digital Information Service, a powerful resource
which, in its electronic incarnation, permits you to search full text
databases in literature and philosophy: sitting in front of a Lane computer
(you can do this at home, kids, with a Stanford ID and the right hook-up),
you can read Faulkner's As I Lay Dying online and, then, for
a change of pace, call up an electronic version of Ovid's Metamorphoses
(you'll need to choose between FOUR translations) and ponder the nature
of transformation as day gives way to night!
Every seat in this well-appointed room offers Internet access; there
are even concealed outlets in the small wooden cabinets that make a
graceful ensemble with the soft leather chairs. At each extreme end
of the room you'll find computer workstations. When you tire of your
labors and feel the need for ergonomic resuscitation, shrug your shoulders,
blink your eyes, and gaze up, O son or daughter of Stanford, at the
eight presidential portraits that hang high above this bower of bibliography,
bearing images of men with whose names you are already well-acquainted
Jordan, Branner, Tressider, Wilbur,
Sterling, Pitzer, Lyman, and Kennedy. The
portrait of President Donald Kennedy, who stepped down in 1992,
is the sole photograph in the lot the rest of the portraits were
executed in oils. How will Gerhardt Casper, the most recent ex-President,
choose to be represented in this age of technological innovation? A
hologram, perhaps? a video?
Two absorbing and important collections found in the Lane Reading Room
are New and Notable Books in the Humanities and Area Studies and Recent
Fiction. The New and Notable Books are in low bookcases to your right
as you enter the room, and they span the gamut with respect to subject
matter. I began browsing in this section for what I thought would be
a brief interval, but when I came up for air, the late afternoon sun
was streaming in through the windows. Here's a small sampling of some
of the books that caught my eye (they all had '99 or 2000 copyrights):
Engaged Buddhism in the West; Roman Housing; Black Cowboys of Texas;
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Learning Yiddish; Little Gray Men: Roswell
and the Rise of a Popular Culture; and Sing with a Heart: Fusions of
Native and American Poetry 1890-1999. I noticed a number of new biographies,
including lives of Mary Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft,
Mark Twain, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. For those of you
who are interested in learning more about George W., First Son
by Bill Minutaglio will likely fill the bill. Books in this collection
circulate for the regular loan period of 28 days. Works written by scholars
who are participating in the Area One Presidential Lecture Series are
also featured in the New and Notable Books Section. A worn copy of In
Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics by Presidential Lecturer Gayatri
Spivak sits on top of the New and Notable book case. These works
do not circulate.
The Recent Fiction collection is located directly opposite the
New and Notable Books. Be the first on your block to read Joyce
Carol Oates' most recent novel whatever it is! (in this case,
Blonde). Books in this collection circulate for a 28-day loan period.
Three other small collections are independently grouped in low bookcases
in the Lane Reading Room: the Digital Culture and Humanities
Collection (which is maintained by the Humanities Digital Information
Service), the Stanford History Collection, and the California
History Collection. The works in these three collections are
available for in-house use only. Digital Culture and Humanities
features an assortment of works both cutting-edge books and more
seasoned that examine the culture of cyberspace and the role
of computing in the Humanities: here Katie.com and The Happy Hacker:
A Guide to (Mostly) Harmless Computer Hacking share shelf space with
Civilizing Cyberspace: Policy, Power, and the Information Superhighway
and Of Two Minds: Hypertext Pedagogy and Poetics. The Stanford History
Collection includes all previous editions of the school yearbook,
The Stanford Quad, first published in 1894. Browse through Sam McDonald's
Farm: Stanford Reminiscences by Emanuel B. "Sam" McDonald
and read first-hand reminisces of the 1906 earthquake as it was experienced
on The Farm. In The Innocents at Cedro, Stanford alumnus R.L. Duffus
recalls the interval he spent as a nineteen-year-old college student
living in the Cedro Cottage dwelling of Professor Thorstein Veblen.
Cardinal sports fans will exult in the triumphs of yesteryear as they
turn the pages of The Color of Life is Red: A History of Stanford Athletics
1892-1972. Meanwhile, the California History Section is an invaluable
find for those who wish to augment their knowledge of the history and
culture of the Golden State. Read Gold Rush Album and Verdi at the Golden
Gate: Opera and San Francisco in the Gold Rush Years to learn more about
the era that gave San Francisco's premier football team its name. Decco
by the Bay will enlighten readers interested in local art and architecture,
while students of the 60s can groove to the vibes of The Summer of Love:
Haight-Ashbury at Its Highest. Birds of San Francisco and the Bay Area
will sharpen the eye and tune the ear of the ornithologist fortunate
enough to happen on this book.
Around the peripheries of the room bibliographies on a wide range of
subjects in the Humanities can be found. There are indexes to theater
and film collections (American Regional Theatre History to 1900; The
British Comic Catalogue; Film Study: An Analytical Bibliography; Cinema
Booklist) and multiple fiction indexes (Gothic Science Fiction; Index
to Fairy Tales; The Encyclopedia of Erotic Literature; War Story Guide:
An Annotated Bibliography of Military Fiction). There are concordances
to the Bible, bibliographies of Medieval manuscript collections, city
directories of the United States, an assortment of indexes to works
on heraldry (including Fairbairn's Books of Crests and The Heraldry
of Fish), and Who's Who in Tudor England. Immediately after you exit
the Lane Reading Room, you will see the Humanities Resource Center Reception
Desk on your left.
Make your way to Special Collections and University Archives.
After you leave the Lane Reading Room, approach the top of the Grand
Staircase. Go right and follow the corridor as it curves to the left.
After passing a small room with a phone and double rows of wooden lockers,
you will see the entrance to the Charles and Frances Field Room. This
tranquil, spacious area serves as the Special Collections Reading Room.
To ensure the safety of materials, you must sign a guest register when
you arrive and deposit all personal belongings except pencil,
paper, and laptop (should you be so blessed!) in lockers. Because
the materials used in this room are old and rare, the room is proctored
and all materials are non-circulating. You feel special when you're
working here. Special Collections is open Monday through Friday, 9:00
a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Particular strengths of the Department of Special Collections are its
holdings in American literature, the history of Science and Technology,
California history, Mexican American history, Religious Studies, and
children's literature. Relatively recent acquisitions include the papers
and paraphernalia of the beat poet Alan Ginsberg (complete with
the worn tennis shoe on whose sole Ginsberg inscribed the poem "feet");
the papers and personal memorabilia of William Saroyan, author
of The Human Comedy and My Name is Aram; a collection of first editions
of the novels of Ernest Hemingway (note the handsome bust of
Papa that sits on the Special Collections reference desk); the archives
of R. Buckminster Fuller, the irrepressible cosmologist who originated
the phrase "Spaceship Earth" and invented the geodesic dome;
and the papers of The Dr Huey P. Newton Foundation Collection,
commonly referred to as The Black Panther Papers. As patrons of Special
Collections, you can examine original editions of the compositions of
Stravinsky, survey antiquarian maps dating back to the 16th century,
and marvel at the beauty of authentic illuminated manuscripts.
The University Archives division collects materials relating to the
oft-entwined histories of Stanford, the University, and Stanford,
the family. You can read the originals papers of Leland and Jane
Stanford as they worked to realize their goal of creating a university
as a memorial to their son. Leland Junior's skates are preserved in
the Archives, along with his portable writing desk and the half-finished
letter he began to his father on the day he became ill. The dissertations
and theses of Stanford graduates pass eternity together in the Archives,
in company with old copies of Stanford publications. Recently, a group
of freshmen enjoying a workshop on archival material in the Barchas
Room (a Special Collections seminar room, adjacent to the Field Room)
asked permission from the Archivist to place a snapshot of themselves
in the Archives, explaining that when they return to Stanford
years hence, they want to be able to point out their smiling faces to
their progeny). Reader, she said yes. (Do you think these prudent students
are secretly hoping to achieve a release from time álà
Many of the Special Collections holdings are housed in on-site stacks
closed to the public and in the Stanford Auxiliary Library. Visitors
fill out slips requesting these materials, which are paged twice daily.
If you submit your request by 12 noon of a given day, the materials
will be available to you (at Special Collections) by 4 p.m. of the same
day. If the request slip is submitted at the close of the day (5:00
p.m.), materials will be available by 11:30 a.m. the following morning.
Materials can also be requested electronically at email@example.com.
While I'm on the subject of the Stanford Auxiliary Library (SAL),
let me make the following recommendation: when you have a little time,
jump on your bike and pedal over to see the new modern mechanized stacks
at SAL. You push a button, the stacks move, and the world reconfigures
itself. This facility is located at 691 Pampas Lane, off Serra,
across from the Stanford Federal Credit Union. SAL stores materials
from Special Collections as well as assorted library overflow. If you're
feeling too weary to bike over to Pampas, you can page requests from
SAL electronically by searching for the item you want in Socrates
II and then selecting the "page this item" option that
appears next to the call number in the long information record. Materials
paged by 1:00 p.m. are usually available that same day after 4:30. You
can pick them up at the Green East Loan Desk.
You only live once, so hie thee to the Albert M. Bender Room
on the fifth floor of the Bing Wing.
This room, expressly designated the "Gentleperson's Reading Room"
(see the plaque on the far left side of the windows), may well be the
crown jewel of Green Library, a little piece of heaven in Palo Alto.
To reach the Bender Room, take the elevator to the fifth floor of the
Bing Wing. As you exit the elevator, you'll see an unobtrusive wood-paneled
door on your left. If you walk past this door and proceed down the corridor,
you'll encounter two similar doors at well-spaced intervals. Open any
one of these wooden doors and you'll find yourself at the top of the
world. As you enter the Bender Room, you'll doubtless be struck not
only by the glorious view without a generous panorama of the
campus but by the room's resemblance to nothing so much as an
old-fashioned English drawing room (or at least what this reader imagines
such a room would look like). Gracious rugs of varying sizes in an identical
botanical pattern all rust-red bloom and coral swirl and dusty
green arabesque leave large swathes of hardwood floor exposed.
Small, round tables for reading are set discretely in various corners
of the room, while clusters of chairs and sofa beckon the gentleperson
who wants a brief reprieve from the day's labors. (Seldom have I visited
this room without catching sight of some weary soul who has forsaken
the halls of Academe for the land of Nod.) Look up! Twelve large chandelier
are suspended from the ceiling. Squat table lamps with antique shades
throw off a dim coppery light that adds to the ambiance. Around the
peripheries of the room bookshelves hold select classics and contemporary
works, the gift of a Stanford institution whose investment in your reading
pleasure rivals Green's own the Stanford Bookstore (on the occasion
of its one-hundredth anniversary).
The concentrated presence in this room of so many old, familiar titles,
the reassuring proximity of books read and remembered with great satisfaction
(Bulfinch's Mythology, Catcher in the Rye, Beloved, Lord of the Rings,
The Autobiography of Malcolm X) gives the Bender Room a homey feel that
does not detract from its elegance. Neither a reference room nor a representative
part of the stacks, this upscale aerie is a genuine reading room, appropriately
genteel. If you require further evidence of its imperturbable decorum,
simply examine the spine of the collected books and note the absence
of call numbers, those tokens of library bureaucracy. Books in the Bender
Room are given special dispensation: any vestige of crude "officialdom"
is confined to the upper inner-corner of each book, invisible to those
Before you sit down to read, perchance to sleep, in one of those chairs
pronounced "lethally comfortable" by Green devotees, stroll
over and examine the exhibition case on the right side of the windows.
Among the items displayed in this rotating archive of Stanford's early
years are an 1891 portrait of David Starr Jordan, Stanford's
first president, standing amidst his first faculty on the steps of Encina
Hall; featured doodles on the margins of his Paleontology lectures notes
by student Richard K. Culver (Stanford 1899), who was later to
become a nationally syndicated cartoonist; hats and more hats, including
the Plug Ugly favored by juniors and the Senior Sombrero; and the worn
tin horn, its length etched with faded names, that made its debut at
the first-ever Stanford-Berkeley game on March 19, 1892.
Friends, I take leave of you now, assured of your comfort. The tour
is over. Select a good book, sink back into your chair, and glory in
the sight of the sun setting over the Dish.
1) Elevator: to your right, after
you pass through the entrance turnstile. Floors designated by a "W"
and a number (in combination) indicate floors in the West Stacks. Floors
designated by a number only are floors of the Bing Wing. The West Stacks
are adjacent to the Bing Wing.
First floor (women's): after you pass through the turnstile, follow
the corridor to your left. Make a left at the end of the corridor.
First floor (men's): after you pass through the turnstile, follow the
corridor to your right. Make a right at the end of the corridor. (There
are drinking fountains opposite both lavatories.)
Second floor: the spatial design described above is repeated on the
Third floor: lavatories can be found at the extreme ends of this U-shaped
study area (women's on the left; men's on the right).
Fifth floor: after you exit the elevator, follow the corridor to the
end and turn right. Walk up the ramp, and you'll find the women's room
on the right and the men's room on the left.
3) Phones (campus and public):
First floor: to your left after you pass through the turnstile.
Second floor: in the foyer of that small room near Special Collections
where people store their personal belongings in wooden lockers. (If
you're standing at the top of the Grand Staircase, face the Quad and
follow the flank of the rotunda that curves right). There are likely
other phones in the Bing Wing, but I haven't found them yet.
4) Third floor: The third floor consists
of the Timothy Hopkins Room, which hosts the office of the Associates
of the Stanford Universities Libraries, and a U-shaped study area with
assigned carrels. There is a window at the bridge of the "U,"
and from this vantage point you can look down into the depths of the
5) Fourth floor: A mystery, not mentioned
in any of the library literature I've seen. I took the elevator up to
the fourth floor, disembarked, only to be met by a sign that announced:
"No public services on this floor." I retreated hurriedly
into the waiting elevator.
ASSORTED USEFUL INFO
1) Green's Customary Hours: M-TH: 8 AM -
Midnight. F: 8 AM - 6 PM. SAT: 9 AM - 9 PM. SUN: Noon - Midnight. Special
Collections/University Archives--closed on Saturday and Sunday. The
Stanford Auxiliary Library is closed on Sunday.
2) Important Phone Numbers: Information
Center: 725-1064; Media-Microtexts: 723-9394; Loan Desk: 723-1493; Special
Collections and University Archives: 725-1022; Jonsson Library: 723-9372.
3) Borrowing Privileges: Undergraduates
can borrow books for four weeks. Bound periodicals circulate for a week.
4) Late Fines: Yes, you have a two-week grace
period for late book returns. But don't push your luck. On day 15, you
are charged a non-refundable $5.00 billing fee, along with a $75.00
replacement fee (which will be refunded, at least in part, when and
if you return the book). There is no grace period for the late return
of bound-serials. The fine is $1.50 a day up to $10.50. After seven
days, you will be charged both a non-refundable $5.00 billing fee and
a $100.00 replacement fee. There is a one-week grace period for the
late return of books that have been recalled. You will be charged $3.00
a day for these missing books, up to a maximum of $21.00. At the end
of a week, you'll be charged a non-refundable $5.00 billing fee, along
with a $75.00 replacement fee. Your library borrowing privileges
will be blocked when you have incurred $50.00 in late charges. Get 'em
back on time!
5) Renewals: If no one else needs item
in question, you can renew it in one of three ways: in person, at the
Loan Desk; online, through the My Circulation Records section
of the Stanford Libraries Homepage;
and by email (when you receive an email message from Green reminding
you that your book or journal is overdue, email 'em back and request
6) Food: Alas, there are no vending machines
or eateries located in Green, though you're permitted to bring water
bottles inside. But check out the delicious fare at Moonbeams, the small
café that sits between Green and Meyer. Another option: pack
a lunch and bring it over to the first floor of Meyer Library, where
you can eat to your heart's content, twenty-four/seven.
7) Other Libraries at Stanford: At last count
there were fifteen (as well as five coordinate libraries). Of particular
interest to you may be Meyer Library (described in the 2000-2001 Brief
Guide to Stanford University Libraries and Academic Resources as "the
Academic Computing and Instructional Technology Services Library"),
Cubberly Education Library, Hoover Institution Library and Archives,
and Lane Medical Library.
8) Book Return Drops: there is a Book Return
Box (No Media or Reserves) to the left of the Bing Wing main
entrance. Both a Book Return Box (No Media or Reserves) and an
Overnight Return (For Media and Reserves Only) sit by the door
outside the main entrance of Green East. The Overnight Return is locked
during those hours when Green is open.
9) Green, Bing, Lane, Peterson, Field, Munger
(the list goes on): each of these names bespeaks people and histories
which limitations of time and space forbid my exploring here. In closing,
I salute these folks whose common love of books and shared devotion
to Stanford have given us Green Library.