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GES 1 -- Dynamic Earth

Branner Earth Sciences Library and Map Collections Research Resources

Table of Contents

Map resources
Other Resources
Additional Stanford Sites

Stanford University Libraries/Information Resources

The Branner Earth Sciences Library will meet most of the information needs for this class.

Map of all Library Locations, Lists of Library Hours and Reserve Lists for most Stanford Libraries are available.

Library Catalogs

Use SearchWorks, Stanford's Web-based Catalog, to find the location of needed books, field guides, and maps. Searching Socrates is an art, and figuring out the most appropriate terminology for your topic is an important step. Follow the steps below to help you hone your search strategy:

Keyword Searching: To look for guides to geology field trips in the U.S. and abroad, start with a keyword search. In addition to the name of the locality of feature you seek, include keywords like:

  • "field trip" or "fieldtrip"
  • "guidebook" or "guide"
  • "geolog$" for geology, geologic, and geological

To specify a location, consider your site at different scales. For information about Lake Tahoe, use terms like:

  • Lake Tahoe
  • Northern Sierra Nevada
  • State names (California and Nevada); County names

Also add geologically-related terms:

  • tectonics
  • stratigraphy
  • paleogeography
  • mines and mining

And consider both time periods and rock formations:

  • Cambrian, Pleistocene, etc.
  • Navajo Sandstone

Subject Searching: For a more directed search, do a subject search. In a subject search, you need to use official Library of Congress terminology. This type of language might not seem natural to you, but if you are not having any luck with keywords, it can be quite useful. For example, to find a guide for the Lake Tahoe region, you would type:

  • Geology--California--Guidebooks
  • Geology--Tahoe, Lake, Region (Calif. and Nev.)--Guidebooks
  • Geology--Nevada--Reno Region--Guidebooks

Other "official" subject terms include:

  • Geology, Structural
  • Faults (Geology)
  • Geology, Stratigraphic
  • Geology, Stratigraphic--Pleistocene
  • Plate tectonics

If you have questions, send them to the Branner Reference staff.

Encyclopedias/Reference Books:

Here are a just a few of the encyclopedias we have to give you a sense of the information available. Come in and browse the shelves or Socrates if you can't find the information you need in one of these. Remember to use the bibliographies at the end of any signed article in Encyclopedias below for further information.

  • AccessScience: The Online Encyclopedia of Science & Technology Stanford Only.
  • Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 33 volumes (1973-2005), QE35 .A5
  • Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences series, 24 volumes: BranRef, QE501 .E56 V.1-24.
  • Encyclopedia of Earth System Science: BranRef, QE5 .E514 1992
  • A Geologic Time Scale: BranRef, QE508 .G3956 2004
  • Glossary of Geology: BranRef, QE5 .B38 1997
  • Lyell Collection (E-books from the Geological Society of London)
  • McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Earth Science: BranRef, QE5 .M363 2005


Indexes will lead you to articles in journals conference proceedings, and USGS reports.

  • GEOREF Stanford only
  • GeoScienceWorld allows you to search GeoRef and includes direct, full-text access to many Earth Science journals including Geology and GSA Bulletin. Stanford only.
  • Google Scholar (set your scholar preferences to link into Stanford Library's resources.)
  • SciSearch gives you access to more general science citations. Stanford only.

To check if we have electronic access to a journal title, use the E-journals page.


For information about finding geologic and other maps, consult the Map Collections page.

Other Resources

  • United States Geologic Survey. For USGS reports, search in Socrates or through the USGS website's publication warehouse. Use the "advanced search" feature on the USGS site to search by year, report number or publication series.
  • Individual state geologic surveys
  • Occasional papers from Geology and GSA Bulletin. These journals can be accessed via GEOREF and/or GeoScienceWorld.
  • Roadside Geology Series. Search for Roadside Geology books in Socrates by state name.
  • Travels in Geology: a special section of Geotimes that describes geologically significant travel destinations.

Sources for Field Trip Information:

  • For North American guides, the Geologic Guidebooks of North America Database brings you to the titles (not full text) of guidebooks. You will then need to look the titles up in Socrates to see if Branner owns the guide of interest.
  • For California specific geology, try An Index to Online Geologic Field Trip Guides of California from the California Geological Survey.
  • Field trips are often organized by a geologic survey or occur as part of a conference. Knowing who organized a field trip will help you locate the guide, both online and at Branner.
    • Try searching online for the name and website of a survey. Examples include: Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, and Arizona Geological Survey. Check the following site from the University of Mainz for a comprehensive list of international surveys, and go to the Association of American State Geologists for a list of state surveys in the U.S.
    • For conference field trips, try to decipher the name of the sponsoring organization or society, as well as the year of the conference. Examples include: the Geological Society of America ; National Association of Geology Teachers; or the American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists.

Additional Stanford Sites of Interest

Maintained by Branner Reference Staff

Compiled by Sam Teplitzky

Last modified: September 23, 2011

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