Library News and Announcements

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) donated the Watkins/Schevill Sound Archive to the New Bedford Whaling Museum in December 2016.  Highlights from the digitized audio recordings of marine mammals continue to be held by the WHOI Archives. We recently loaned the museum a Rochelle salt hydrophone and a Gray Audograph Dictaphone.  These instruments took some of the first recordings of marine mammal sounds and will be part of a long term exhibit, Whales Today, that opened on February 18, 2019.  Read more about the exhibit, Whales Today.



The Library’s application to the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission" (IOC) of UNESCO to become an Associate Information Unit (AIU) has been accepted.

From the IODE website:

2-October-2018: Two first IODE Associate Units (AIU) established

Information (as usually managed by librarians) is as essential in the research process as data. The marine library community should therefore be a natural key stakeholder in the IODE programme. While IODE had a Group of Experts on Marine Information Management (GE-MIM) since 1984 and also IODE national coordinators for marine information management, until 2017 IODE lacked channels of direct communication with individual marine science libraries and information centres which limited engagement with the marine information community.  Accordingly IODE-XXIV adopted Recommendation IODE-XXIV.5 (IODE ASSOCIATE INFORMATION UNIT). The two first AIUs have now been formally established: the MBLWHOI Library (Woods Hole, MA, United States) and INSTM Library (Salammbo, Tunisia). Find more information from IODE.

DataCite, a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) registry agent, is an international organization which aims to improve data citation in order to:

  • establish easier access to research data on the internet
  • increase acceptance of research data as legitimate, citable contributions to the scholarly record
  • support data archiving that will permit results to be verified and re-purposed for future study

From the Executive Director:

“DataCite's Executive Board overwhelmingly supported your application for membership.”

This membership enables the Library to provide increased data services that will support data citation and discovery.

Do you need a DOI for a dataset?  Contact the Library at .

Librarian, Audrey Mickle will provide an update about the DMP Tool Project, go over changes and improvements to the interface, and answer questions about how to use the DMP Tool, as well as questions about data management in general. Feel free to email questions ahead of time. There will be a presentation for both the village and the quissett campus on July 12th. 
Time and location: July 12th, 11:00 am in Clark 509
Time and location: July 12th, 1:00 pm at the WHOI Exhibit Center auditorium 
Contact:, 508-289-2538

Join us for a Rare Books Open House event on Friday, December 1st, at 6:15 in the Lillie Building's newly updated Grass Reading Room. The event will feature literature from expeditions of scientific exploration and works of Icelandic scientific literature. The open house is followed by the Falmouth Forum at 7:30 in the Lillie auditorium. The lecture is free to the public and will be given by Robert Cushman Barber, (Former) U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Iceland and Partner at Prince Lobel.

The current exhibit at the Cape Cod Museum of Art includes items from the WHOI Data Library and Archives. The exhibit, "Mysteries & Revelations: Discovering Cape Cod's Museum Treasures," focuses on items with previously unknown stories behind them, held by 36 art, science and history organizations on the Cape. The Data Library's addition to the exhibition includes two items related to a photograph of Gregorio Fuentes, who was Ernest Hemingway's first mate on his boat, El Pilar, and was one of the inspirations for the Old Man and the Sea. Fuentes worked on WHOI's vessel, the Atlantis, during a cruise that circumnavigated Cuba in 1938 collecting fish samples. A reference request at the Data Library led to the discovery of Fuentes' time on the Atlantis.

The exhibition runs until November 26 at the Cape Cod Museum of Art at 60 Hope Lane in Dennnis, MA.

As we celebrate International Open Access Week 2017, below we take a look at the freely accessible digitized version of an article from the Marine Biological Laboratory 1926 newspaper called "The Collecting Net". In an article entitled "Cooperation in Research" the editors foreshadow the concept of open access:

"Some workers are reticent about letting others know just what they are doing or how they are doing it. ...This is not in the interest of science, even though in some cases it may be better for the ego."

Collecting Net V.1 n. 2 (1926) MBLWHOI Library via Biodiversity Heritage Library


The article goes on to propose an open laboratory scheme in which scientists visit each others laboratories at appointed times...given this 1926 pre-electronic pre-open access period, in an international laboratory which was active for only 10 or so weeks a year, promotion of such an attitude, if practiced would have had the same type of impact modern Open Access has today!

We worked with our partner the Biodiversity Heritage Library to digitize the Collecting Net. The BHL serves over 200,000 volumes of scientific literature, freely accessible with an computer or similar device.

Link to above page in Collecting Net



The library's online finding aid guide, is currently undergoing routine maintenance. We expect it to be available after 3:00 pm, today, July 31st. If you have a question about our collections, please feel free to contact our staff. 

For questions about WHOI archives, contact Dave Sherman at 508-289-2269. For questions about MBL archives, please contact Jen Walton at 508-289-7452. 

Update: The library's archivesspace installation has be updated and is now available at 

Fifty years ago this month, Woods Hole received a visit from then Vice-President Hubert Humphrey. Humphrey, in his role as Chairman of the Marine Resources and Engineering Development Council, toured a number of ocean science institutions throughout the country, and on July 27, 1967, he arrived in Woods Hole for tours of U.S. Fisheries and the Marine Biological Laboratory before taking an overnight cruise to the Gulf of Maine on the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's research vessel, Atlantis II. While on board, Humphrey was given demonstrations of oceanographic instruments and equipment, and even participated in the release of some seabed drifters. Several years later, one of the drifters Humphrey released was returned to WHOI when it was found by a fishing vessel working out of Gloucester.

While in Woods Hole, Humphrey was presented with a gift of a piece of scrimshaw (pictured) created specifically for his visit by Barrett "Buzzy" McLaughlin. McLaughlin, Chief Engineer on the R/V Chain, taught himself the art of scrimshaw in an improvised work area on the desk in his cabin after he received some whale teeth from a sailor on a Russian whaling vessel while the Chain was in port in Beirut. Several pieces of McLaughlin's scrimshaw, as well as records related to Humphrey's visit, are held by the Data Library and Archives.


Kate MacCord, Program Administrator and James McDonnell Foundation Fellow

All talks are 12:15PM, Grass Reading Room, MBLWHOI Library, MBL Lillie Building, Woods Hole

Thursday, August 3rd

At the intersection of history, philosophy, and science


While historians and philosophers of science have long held discourse at the Marine Biological Laboratory, MBL scientists have had few opportunities to interact with them and explore the rewards of interdisciplinary communication and collaboration.

This has just become much easier through a new initiative to connect historians and philosophers of science (HPS) with MBL experimentalists, with the goal of enriching and transforming the research discovery process for all. The program is co-led by historian and MBL Fellow Jane Maienschein, who is also Regents’, President’s and University Professor at Arizona State University, and incoming MBL Director of Research David Mark Welch. It is funded by the James S. McDonnell Foundation.

Kate MacCord was recently awarded her PhD from Arizona State University, and is currently the first McDonnell Foundation Fellow


Challie Facemire, MBL History Project Editor


Wednesday, September 20th

Parcelling out the wild


Challie is currently the MBL History Project Editor, and is a PhD candidate from the Arizona State University Center for Biology and Society. 

Challie’s research interests focus around wilderness, natural resources, and public lands. She is particularly interested in how different agencies work within established policy and law regarding land management, natural resource management, and how that management takes place when dealing with evolving ecosystems. 


All talks are at 12:15PM, MBLWHOI Library Grass Reading Room

All are welcome, refreshments served