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GES 2 -- Earth System History

Branner Earth Sciences Library and Map Collections Research Resources

The Branner Earth Sciences Library will meet most of your 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 Socrates, 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:

Ex. You want to find information about the atmosphere during the Permian. You might start with a keyword search and include terms like:

  • "permian" "atmosphere"
  • "atmosphere" or "atmospher$"
  • "geolog$" 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 subject-related terms:

  • biogeography
  • stratigraphy
  • paleogeography

And consider both time periods and rock formations:

  • try both broad terms like "Paleozoic" and narrower terms like Cambrian or Ordovician
  • 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:

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

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 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.)
  • Web of Science 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.

Web Resources

Additional Stanford Sites of Interest

Maintained by Branner Reference Staff

Compiled by Sam Teplitzky

Last modified: June 23, 2008

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