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UC/Stanford Map Libraries Group: Annual Report, 2004-05

Reported by Cynthia Jahns (SC), Chair

The convener for 2004-05 was Fatemah VanBuren (UCB).

The group met on December 3, 2004, at UC Berkeley. The minutes of this meeting are available at the UC/S MLG web site:

Major topics discussed were:

  • The CalTopo scanning project,
  • The NDIPP grant for archiving of geospatial data,
  • and the Shared Cataloging Project.

The CalTopo scanning project is designed to coordinate efforts to scan USGS topographic maps of California, following our discovery in spring 2004 that duplicative efforts were underway. Kathy Stroud (UCD) set up the “caltopo” listserv so that we can keep in touch concerning the CalTopo project.

Under the terms of the NDIPP Grant, UCSB and Stanford will jointly lead the formation of the National Geospatial Federated Digital Repository, a collecting network for the archiving of geospatial images and data. This network will recruit additional partners and content providers to assure persistent access to a critical mass of digital information that might otherwise disappear.

The UC/S MLG submitted a proposal to SOPAG in April to have bibliographic records for online cartographic materials included as a project of the Shared Cataloging Project (SCP), titled “Online Cartographic Resources Collaborative Cataloging”.

UC/S MLG discussed its concern about NGA's intent to remove maps displaying aeronautical information from public sale and distribution. Many libraries undertook inventory projects of standard map sets this year, in order to fill in missing map sheets in case the USGS and/or the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) stops making them available for sale. Many members of the group took the opportunity to submit comments, as individuals, on the Federal Register Notice (FR Doc. 04-25631) concerning NGA's intent.

Through discussions with our government information librarians we participated in the Government Printing Office survey to compile an Essential Titles list.

UC/S MLG wrote a letter supporting CalSpace Center of Excellence's request for full membership in AmericaView.

Representatives from nearly all campuses attended the meeting in May at the Library of Congress, “Map and Geographic Information Collections in Transition”. The national meeting, the likes of which had not been held for ten years, provided a wonderful opportunity to hear speakers and discuss issues with colleagues from the Library of Congress and academic libraries across the country.  Julie Sweetkind-Singer spoke about the UC/S MLG, which resulted in many complimentary remarks from librarians in other states who regard the UC/S MLG as a national model for statewide cooperation.

UC/S MLG met in June at UC Irvine, and meeting minutes are at:

Major topics discussed were:

  • Scanning pre-1923 Sanborn fire insurance maps
  • ProQuest’s digital Sanborn maps as a Tier 2
  • The CalTopo scanning project
  • The NDIPP grant for archiving of geospatial data,
  • Cooperative purchase of scanned Mexican topos (INEGI)

The group discussed working with the Library of Congress Geography & Maps Division to scan the pre-1923 Sanborn atlases for California and then add them into the American Memory section of the LC web site. There are 18,532 sheets that could be scanned from 1884-1923. We may explore an IMLS grant for this project.

ProQuest is interested in negotiating with us to purchase a system-wide subscription to their Digital Sanborn maps of California. This would give us access to post-1923 content. The group will propose this as a Tier 2 purchase.

The steering committee for the CalTopo project includes Doug Shenk (USGS), Mary Larsgaard (chair, beginning July 1, 2006), Kathy Stroud, and David Deckelbaum. There is a web site for the CalTopo project at

that lists sites that make available scanned topos.

Julie Sweetkind-Singer and Mary Larsgaard gave an update on their NDIIPP/NGDAgrant. Both UCSB and Stanford are starting to build repositories and are working on collection development policies for geospatial collections.

The UC Map Librarians will submit a proposal to CDC for a shared purchase of Mexican digitized maps.

In August we received word that CDC had several questions about the proposal. There was concern about our ability to manage data that is only on CD's (122 of them!). Would we be able to mount the data centrally for UC use? This is a question we are researching, due to previous copyright restrictions.

A new member of the group this year is Dawn Martin, GIS coordinator at UCSD; and we noted the arrival of Samantha (Sam) Teplitzky as the new Earth Sciences Librarian and Bibliographer at Stanford.

The map libraries of the University of California lost an enormous part of our corporate memory this year with the retirements of three people who had worked here since the 1960s: John Creaser (UCB), Larry Cruse, (UCSD), and Paul Leverenz (UCSD-Scripps). We will greatly miss their expertise and fellowship.




Maintained by Cynthia Jahns ( Last updated September 2005