Marine Biological Laboratory History Project

The mission of the History Project is to preserve and communicate the history of science at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Mass. The laboratory opened its doors in 1888, and since then has housed some of the most foundational and groundbreaking science and science education in the world.

To preserve the institution's 125+ year history, we work with the MBL Library and Archives to digitize their archival materials. Over 10,000 photographs, pieces of correspondence, and records of science have been digitized and made publically available through the MBL History Project’s website and the HPS Repository 

To communicate the vast and important history of science and its surrounding community at the MBL, researchers from Arizona State University and institutions from around the world convene in Woods Hole, Mass., every summer. This group conducts oral histories with scientists and community members, which are edited and published on YouTube. They also write digital exhibits—short narratives about some aspect of the history of science at the MBL that get published to the project’s website along with digitized materials from the archives. These exhibits bring together the history and philosophy of science with the life sciences in order to communicate the context and development of science to a broad, general audience.

The MBL History Project is funded by the National Science Foundation, Arizona State University, the Webster Foundation, and the James S. McDonnell Foundation.