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Research Files in Archives

Since its inception in the early 1900s, the Harvard Forest has maintained extensive records of institutional research and forestry operations. These documents are permanently housed in the Harvard Forest Archives, a purpose-built, climate controlled facility. The collection consists of a variety of materials, including original research data and notes, publications and theses, a map library, comprehensive forestry and vegetation records of all Harvard Forest properties from 1907 to the present, photographs and slides, and regional records such as historical soil and forest surveys and census data.
The physical records are available by permission to anyone with a valid scientific or educational purpose.

To visit the archives, please follow these steps.

  1. Review the archives collection description to determine the materials of interest are available.
  2. Review the catalog to help narrow down your search for materials of interest.
  3. Contact the Archivist (email - to make an appointment to view the material.  Mornings are the most convenient time for the archivists.
  4. Agree to follow archival rules and provide a copy of all publications and/or data generated as a result of the associated research.
  5. Review the Archives Access Policy for more specific information about your visit.
NOTE: The Archives include ample table work space and power sources for laptop computers. Archival items do not circulate and are not allowed to leave the building under any circumstances, but a photocopier and scanning services are available; some data sets may also be available in electronic form in our data archive

Archives Collection

Research Records include, but are not limited to:

    • Research proposals by Harvard Forest staff (funded or not),
    • Publications,
    • Unpublished reports,
    • Field notes/notebooks, copies or transcriptions
    • Maps,
    • Data analyses for research projects,
    • Photographs (physical and electronic) and scrapbooks,
    • Notes and email that provide the background and development of research
    • Research samples (e.g. soil samples - see special section on samples archives)
    • Conference files
    • Harvard Forest Course materials
    • Links to related data available online

Administrative Records include:

    • Correspondences with current and previous directors
    • Facilities maps and documentation
    • Deeds, gifts and donation documentation
    • Friends of the Harvard Forest
    • Advisory and Committee meetings

Please review the Harvard Forest Archives Collection Policy to determine if materials you might wish to donate fit within the scope our collection and your expectations of their use.

Archives Catalog 

This catalog identifies the content and extent of research files held in the Harvard Forest Archives. This catalog also identifies maps, research samples, administrative records and visual materials.  The physical records are available by permission to anyone with a valid scientific or educational purpose. Contact if you would like to visit the archives.

Highlighted Collections

Stand Records On-line

Detailed records of all research and forest operations are stored in the Harvard Forest Archives. A small but unique selection documenting stand records, forest operations and inventories on Harvard Forest properties since 1900 (27,571 pages) was digitized and is available online as part of a Harvard University Library Digital Initiative (LDI) project. A complete finding aid is available for these materials.

Berry Engineering Archives

In 2017, Harvard forest received the contents of Berry Engineering, Inc. located in Petersham, Massachusetts for nearly a half century. The company performed operations of land surveying and civil engineering in the Central Massachusetts, North Quabbin Area.The collection includes prepared surveys, topographic maps, preliminary and definitive subdivision plans, site plans, as-built plans, mortgage surveys, subsurface sewage disposal systems, deeds and field notes.  Learn more about the Berry Engineering collection and how to access it.