September 29, 2009
Issue No. 81

Table of Contents

See the Stanford Libraries' Island in Second Life

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by Deni Wicklund

Virtual worlds, most particularly Second Life, are being used by academics world-wide for collaboration, research and education. Stanford University Libraries' Second Life island provides a new way to make the libraries' unique collections more accessible, and also provides a set of tools to support the teaching, learning and research needs of many different members of the Stanford community.

Screenshot of Special Collections exhibit in Second Life
The Stanford Libraries' Special Collections Exhibit in Second Life.

What's on the Island

SULAIR's island currently offers several exhibits, has successfully hosted live-feed lectures, conferences, in-world classes and tours, and has provided international outreach for our Special Collections. We have several permanent exhibits for special collections, including Zuancho kimono textile design, artifacts relating to the founding of Tel Aviv, and a variety of rare antique books images, plus links to the various Libraries' Web pages, and samples of Stanford's Google scanned books.

Our most recent exhibits include a documentary, Women in a New Land, on our International pier, and a Virtual Archive that contains interactive manuscript boxes with digitized representations of real world content normally confined to use in the Green Library Field Room. (For a video of this exhibit, see

Not Just for the Tech Savvy

Second Life is not just for the tech savvy, and plenty of help is available for the novice user. Our island is continually evolving and our group of volunteers is always looking for new ways to meet the educational needs of the Stanford community. We invite you to come explore and join the Libraries in discovering new and creative ways of using this versatile tool.

For More Information

If you are already a Second Life user, here is a link to our island.

For more information, questions or comments, please email us at