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Questions & Answers

Q&A: Audio Books at Stanford Libraries

Do Stanford Libraries have audio books in their collections


We do not have an audiobook collection. I don't think you will find much in that format, but if you want to try to search for your favorite book or author and see if we have an audio version, you can do a "combined search" in Socrates, and limit the format to Recordings. We do have some poets and famous authors reading selections, but on the whole, these are not in a format that can circulate.

If you do a combined search and type under Subject: fiction or literature and Format: recordings you will probably get most of what we have available.

I found some interesting ones: Tortilla Flat; Grapes of Wrath; but most of the sound recording we have will be authors reading selections from their poetry or books.

The collection selectors do not buy audio-books as they have not been deemed to have any added value over the text to the research collection.

Although there will be a few "author's readings" these will not be that useful for patrons seeking company on a long commute.

Public libraries generally have large audio-book holdings for the patronage, and now, this need is generously met on the internet at sites like:

Simply Audio Books

Q&A: Information on Kircher's magnetic clock

I visited the display of Kircher's Magnetic Clock in Green Library, and enjoyed the write-up that accompanied it. However, I lost the sheet. Is this available online?

Yes, it is. All the information in the flier, plus a lot of extras, are at the Magnetic Clock web site. Just click on the Clock, and all sorts of things are offered.

Q&A: Annual reports of the Western Pacific Railroad to the Interstate Commerce Commission

I'm looking for the annual filings of the Western Pacific Railroad to the Interstate Commerce Commission, which are done on Form R-1. Do you have those reports for the years 1960 through 1980?

We don't archive original filings of companies with either the Commerce Dept. or the Interstate Commerce Commission. However, after doing some research on the railroad filings with the ICC, we discover that these filings were used for, among other things, compiling the Annual Report on Transport Statistics. The original Forms R-1 were also used by the IRS for tax purposes. The ICC statistical parts, compiled in the Annual Report on Transport Statistics, do have specific statistics for each railroad, including the Western Pacific. We have these statistical reports for the years 1954 through 1994.

Q&A: Finding NATO troop levels for Balkan operations

Question: I came by the library today to seek help finding some information related to NATO. In particular, I am looking for statistics on NATO's Implementation Force (IFOR), Stabilization Force (SFOR), and the Kosovo Force (KFOR), all of which took place in the Balkans in the early 1990s. I am interested in how much money and how many troops did NATO countries commit to those three operations. Even though it is easy to get the numbers for the US, other countries are somewhat more difficult. NATO does not have that kind of information on its website either. Thus, I was wondering if you could direct me to some sources?

Answer: There are 3 angles to think about in tackling this question: 1) statistics; 2) the organizations themselves (in this case NATO and the United Nations); and 3) Secondary scholarly literature.

LexisNexis Statistical database (Stanford only) is a good place to start. If you're on campus, that link should go right through, or perhaps ask you for your SUNET id/password. If you're off campus, you'll want to set up the proxy in your browser. If you search LN statistical for NATO and allied contributions, You'll find an annual report to Congress on allied contributions to NATO going back to 1985. Hopefully, that report will have all the information you need. I also found a table for "Defense Spending As A Percentage Of GDP, 1990-2001 [U.S., NATO Allies, Pacific Allies, And Gulf Cooperation Council, By Country]" issued by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and several others from the DoD.


You'll want to look into both NATO and the United nations as those forces were established through various UN Security Council resolutions.

The sites for the various implementation forces have varying degrees of information about them. For instance:

NATO publishes a couple of documents similar to an annual report:

United Nations angle:

Since these were all based on UN security council resolutions, there is considerable documentation from the UN Security Council and reports from the UN Secretary General. Search the UN online document system (ODS) -- which is free to the public! -- by those 3 acronyms. I've found lists of contributing nations to all 3 forces and total numbers of troops embedded in reports, but have not as yet come across more specific troop numbers by country or amount of money coming from each country. Searching ODS will give you access to the same documents on the UN Security Council Web site. ODS may also bring up information on monetary figures as this was usually reported to the UN General Assembly. For example I found a cite for A/52/837, "Support for Peacekeeping Operations" in 1998.

The Global Policy Forum tracks UN policy making, and their site includes some useful statistics on UN Peacekeeping Operations Budget and UN finance in general.

Lastly, the Center for Defense Information, a security policy research organization, has background and statistics. The World Organizing for Peace:

20,000 members of the Bosnia Stabilization Force (SFOR) from 33 nations (4,600 U.S.) or the 38,000 in the Kosovo Force (KFOR) from 37 nations (5,500 U.S.).

Scholarly literature:

If those resources don't give you the exact numbers for which you're looking, then the next step is to search the secondary scholarly literature for journal articles with the data. Start with Worldwide Political Science Abstracts (Stanford only). Then check other article databases in the political science or history sections.

Q&A: Doing a patent search

Can I do a detailed patent search here at Stanford Libraries?

Swain Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Library has a good patent site pointing to various databases, search aids, etc. Google Patent Search covers the entire collection of issued patents and millions of patent application made available by the USPTO—from patents issued in the 1790s through those most recently issued in the past few months (from their About page).

In order to search the official patent and trademark databases, at the United States Patent Office, you need to go to one of the authorized depository libraries for patent searches. These depository sites have full access to the patent databases. The closest such depository to Stanford is in Sunnyvale, at the Sunnyvale Public Library.

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