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GES55Q — California Gold Rush

Branner Earth Sciences Library and Map Collections

Stanford University Libraries/Information Resources

Contact a Librarian

Julie Sweetkind-Singer
Assistant Director of Geospatial, Cartographic and Scientific Data & Services
Head Librarian

Hannah Winkler
Earth Sciences Librarian & Bibliographer

G. Salim Mohammed 
Digital and Rare Maps Librarian

Jane Ingalls
Assistant Map Librarian

Ben Stone
British & American History Librarian




Library Catalogs

Use SEARCHWORKS — Stanford's Web-based Catalogs to find the location of needed books, journals, and maps. It offers many new features such as the ability to search full records to find works by publisher, place of publication, contents notes information, etc.

Some possibly helpful subjects might include:

  • California gold discoveries
  • California history 1850
  • Gold dredging (environmental aspects)
  • Gold mines and mining
  • Mines and mineral resources (environmental aspects)
  • Hydraulic mining
  • Frontier and pioneer life

If you have science or environment questions, send them to the Branner Reference staff: Refer social, economic, history or policy questions to Ask a Librarian or go to the Information Center, Green Library East Wing, First Floor.


Indexes will lead you to articles in journals and series, to papers in conference proceedings, and technical reports.

Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Handbooks, Bibliographies

Listed here are a just a few of these resources, designed to give you a flavor of the types of information available. Either come in and browse the shelves or browse Socrates if you can't find the information you need in one of these.

  • AccessScience: The Online Encyclopedia of Science & Technology (Stanford only).
  • Britannica Online (Stanford only)
  • Glossary of Geology: Branner Library Reference, QE5 .B38 1997
  • Kurutz, Gary F. The California Gold Rush: A Descriptive bibliography of books and pamphlets covering the years 1848-1853. San Francisco, Book Club of California, 1997. Green Library, Special Collections: XX (3450297.1)
  • Santos, Robert L. The Gold Rush of California: A bibliography of periodical articles. Denair, CA: Alley-Cass Publishers, 1998. Green Library: Z1261.S35 1998
  • Wheat, Carl I. The maps of the California gold region, 1848-1857: A biblio-cartography of an important decade. Storrs-Mansfield, CT: Maurizio Martino Publisher, 1995. Green Library, Lane Room (HASRC): Z6027.C15 W5 1995

Full Text Materials

  • ACLS History E-Book Project (Stanford only) American Council of Learned Societies presentation of history books published by various University Presses and Learned Societies, with over 1000 titles included as of Spring 2005.
  • ebrary (Stanford only) Full text searching of over 10,000 titles in various disciplines. Plug-in required.
  • David Rumsey Map Collection The collection contains to date over 11,000 maps online and focuses on rare 18th and 19th century maps, including maps of California at the time of the Gold Rush.
  • E-Journals Link to electronic journals.
  • JSTOR Search Full text, back files of journals (Stanford only)
  • National Academy Press Full text searching and viewing of 2,500 book titles in various disciplines.
  • Project Muse Project MUSE covers the fields of literature and criticism, history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, economics, and many others (1993 - ). (Stanford only).
  • ARTSTOR Search 2Digital library of nearly 1 million images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities and the social sciences. (Stanford only)
  • Google Books
  • Reid Dennis Collection of California Lithographs Many lithographs of San Francisco from 1850-1906.
  • Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps Maps of California cities from 1867 - 1970.

For more complete listings: search SEARCHWORKS— Stanford's Web-based Catalog for the availability of journals, maps or other items. Display the full record to obtain the URL, determine number of accessible volumes, or confirm access restrictions, if any.



Microfilm (located in Media-Microtext, lower level Green Library):

  • Sacramento Union, Sacramento, CA (1851-1870): MFILM N.S. 12529
  • The Alta California, San Francisco, CA [Steamer ed.] (1849-1869): UNCLACK9496


  • Swindle, Lewis J., compiler and editor. The History of the Gold Discoveries of the Northern Mines of California’s Mother Lode Gold Belt, as told by the newspapers and miners, 1848-1875. Victoria, B.C.: Trafford, 2000. Green Library: F865.S98 2000
  • Swindle, Lewis J., compiler and editor. The History of the Gold Discoveries of the Southern Mines of California’s Mother Lode Gold Belt, as told by the newspapers and miners, 1848-1860. Victoria, B.C.: Trafford, 2001. Green Library: F865.S982 2001

Government Documents

Web Resources

Branner Branner roll for this course.

Alaska Gold Rush:


Writing Help:

Additional Stanford Sites of Interest

Maintained by Branner Staff

Compiler: Charlotte Derksen

Last modified: February 14, 2012

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