Recent human activity—including massive population growth and increased use of fossil fuels—is altering not just human history, but planet Earth itself. As environments change and plant and animal species disappear, astute written observations by seventeenth- and eighteenth- century scientists take on greater significance. These documents may hold the key to understanding conditions and ecosystems of the past, and help society prepare for the future.
UC San Diego became the first university in Southern California to partner with Google to digitize the holdings of the world's most prominent libraries.
Many of these early scientific reflections were lost simply because the documents were not accessible. At the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library, however, full-text works from the 1700s and scientific journals dating back to the 1800s have long been available for individual use. And now, through a partnership with Google, the University of California, and UC San Diego Libraries, approximately 100,000 volumes in the world’s largest oceanography library have been digitized and made available to the public, dramatically changing scholarly research. Google Books’s in-depth cross-collection searching feature enables scholars to identify and review all books on specific research topics through word and phrase searching.
The digitized materials at the Scripps Library include a wealth of books, journals, and scientific expedition reports covering a wide range of subjects, including oceanography, marine biology, marine geology, marine technology, climate science and geophysics, ecology, zoology, fisheries, and seismology. Among the works is an 1895 report on crustaceans collected on a U.S. expedition to central and South America and the Galapagos on the famous ship Albatross. Built by the U.S. government specifically for marine research, the Albatross was a precursor to today’s U.S. oceanographic fleet of ships.
In 2008, UC San Diego became the first university in Southern California to partner with Google to digitize the holdings of the world’s most prominent libraries. Since then approximately 300,000 volumes and other materials have been digitized from UC San Diego’s International Relations and Pacific Studies Library, the East Asian Language Collection, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library.