SCRIPPS Oceanographic Library goes public

As part of Google’s effort to digitize information and make it available to everyone, SCRIPPS Institute of Oceanography Library is going online. SCRIPPS is accordingly excited as is apparent in their recent press release:

“Approximately 100,000 volumes from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library, the world’s largest oceanography library, have been digitized and are being made publically accessible as part of a partnership between Google, the University of California and the UC San Diego Libraries.

In 2008, UC San Diego became the first Southern California university to partner with Google in its efforts to digitize the holdings of the world’s most prominent libraries. Since then, approximately 300,000 volumes and other materials have been digitized from UCSD’s International Relations & Pacific Studies Library, the East Asian Language Collection and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library. The University of California was an early partner with Google, joining the Google Book Search Project in 2006 and agreeing to provide several million books from UC libraries for digitization. To date, more than 2 million books from UC libraries have been digitized.

Image from Image from “The Echinoderm Fauna of Torres Strait: Its Composition and Origin,” 1921, Hubert Lyman Clark.

“Partnering with Google in this global effort will lead to much greater scholarly and public access to the rich, diverse and, in many cases, rare, materials at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library,” said Brian E. C. Schottlaender, The Audrey Geisel University Librarian at UC San Diego. “Making this treasure trove of materials accessible to anyone with Internet access is a tremendous boon for scholars, students and interested members of the public.”


The digitized materials include numerous research expedition reports documenting scientific observations and discoveries dating back to the 1800s. These works, which laid the foundation for modern oceanography, include a report on crustaceans (The Stalk-eyed Crustacea, Walter Faxon, 1895) collected on a U.S. expedition to central and South America and the Galapagos on the famous ship Albatross. The Albatross, a ship built by the U.S. government specifically for marine research, was a precursor to today’s U.S. oceanographic fleet of ships. Another report (The Fishes of the Swedish South Polar Expedition, Einar Lonnberg, 1905) documented the fishes collected on a famous Antarctic expedition, the Swedish South-Polar Expedition of 1901-1903 led by Otto Nordenskjold. Although the expedition was a great scientific success, resulting in the collection of many species new to science, their ship was crushed by ice, forcing the crew to build and live in a stone hut on an Antarctic island, subsisting on bird’s eggs and penguins, until they were rescued by a ship from Argentina. Other digitized works include: The Medusae, (1909) by the pioneering ocean researcher Henry Bigelow, the founding director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; The Land and Sea Mammals of Middle America and the West Indies , (1921) by Harvard zoologist Hubert Lyman Clark; and The Land and Sea Mammals of Middle America and the West Indies by zoologist Daniel Giraud Elliot, one of the founders of the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the American Ornithologists’ Union.”

To read the rest of the full release, click here.

To search Google’s digital holdings, click here.


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