Skip to content

October is International Archives Month

Every October we have the opportunity to celebrate the incredibly valuable records and artifacts that are found in the archives. Archivists collect, preserve, and provide access to historically significant collections of unique materials, such as photographs, films, sound recordings, personal manuscripts, and official records. This work strengthens our collective memory by preserving and providing access to these unique primary sources. Access to the archives is as important as preservation, and archivists are subject matter experts dedicated to working with scholars to help them conduct their research.

The MBLWHOI Library includes archives from both the Marine Biological Laboratory and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The archives include the MBL institutional records since 1888 and the WHOI institutional records since 1930.

The archives also include scientists’ personal papers, audiovisual records, historic instruments, cruise data, ship logbooks, diaries, blueprints, oral histories, publications, maps, atlases, books, and technical reports. One notable collection is the Library’s rare books, which includes about 5,300 volumes from the 16th through the 20th century. These rare books include volumes about taxonomy, evolution, genetics, geology, physical oceanography, and natural history.

You can search the MBLWHOI archives to find finding aids for our archival material, as well as the rare books that are available in our library catalog. You can also search the MBL History collection in our institutional repository. If you would like to learn more about the archives, please contact us at and