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Harvard Forest's 100 year old records made available with a Library Digital Initiative grant

Tuesday, May 1, 2007
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For nearly a century, detailed records for all research and forestry operations on the Harvard Forest properties have been maintained HF Tabulation Sheetin the form of extensive research files, maps, photographs, and other materials. This information allows researchers to interpret the landscape history of research sites, and analyze how past natural and anthropogenic factors influence current ecological patterns. The Harvard Forest is the best documented research forest in the world and is an irreplaceable asset.

Harvard University's Library Digital Initiative (LDI) has provided funding to digitize a number of these archival materials. The LDI grant will provide a great start to populating a central repository for digital resources related to the 3000 acre Harvard Forest lab and classroom. Students, scientists and collaborators have used the land and its associated research facilities to explore topics ranging from conservation and environmental change to land-use history and the ways in which physical, biological and human systems interact to change our earth.

Materials to be digitized as part of the LDI project include:

  • 1000 digitally born high resolution images
  • 175 historical black and white photographic prints
  • 150 Lantern and 35mm slides
  • 33,000 pages of stand records and forest inventory from original paper resources
  • and the creation of a searchable metadata catalog for all research records stored in the archives.

The first products of this initiative have been digitized and are available for viewing. At the completion of the project a comprehesive webpage will provide a new gateway to the Harvard Forest digital resources. 

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