List of Projects

Harvard University provides open online access to a rich array of digital materials, much of which results from digital library projects at the University. Links to a growing number of digitized collections from the University's libraries, museums, archives and special collections can be found at: Digital Collections and E-Research @ Harvard Libraries.

LDI Funded Projects

Between 1999 and 2006 the University's Library Digital Initiative (LDI) awarded 50 grant projects covering such wide-ranging subjects as art, architecture, religion, history, culture, botany, biology, landscape design, music, politics, law, and advertising. Ten of the projects were funded to contribute descriptive metadata in the form of catalog records and archival finding aids to Harvard's online union catalogs and one of the projects was a study. All other projects involved digitizing of analog collections (including images, text, audio files, and music scores), georeferencing maps, or harvesting web resources. These digital library projects are listed below. See LDI Funded Projects for more information about the LDI Internal Challenge Grant Program and a complete list of funded projects.


Digital images including photographs, paintings, drawings, broadsides, etc.

Harvard-Yenching Library: The Hedda Morrison Photographs of China.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitizing of some 4,800 photographs taken by German photographer Hedda Morrison between 1933 and 1946 ion is used for teaching and research in the areas of East Asian studies, history, architecture, fine arts, sociology, religion and pop culture.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Baker Library: 19th Century American Trade Cards.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitizing of 1,000 advertising trade cards from the Historical Collections at the Baker Library. As an indicator of consumer habits, social values, and marketing techniques, trade cards are of interest to scholars of business history, American studies, graphic design and printing history, and social and cultural history.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Harvard Art Museums and Fine Arts Library: Asian Art Images.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitizing of 3,600 Asian Art images from the museums and Fine Arts Library using both direct digital photography of original artwork and conversion of images from transparencies, glass plates, and film negatives.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Arnold Arboretum Library of Harvard University: South Central China and Tibet Hotspot of Diversity.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitizing of over 4,000 historic and contemporary items including photographs, herbarium plant specimens, handwritten letters, transcripts, and journal articles and maps from the collections of the Arnold Arboretum, the Harvard Map Collection, the Botany Libraries, the Museum of Comparative Zoology, the Harvard-Yenching Institute and the Harvard University Herbaria. Also includes text and geospatial data.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine: Biomedical Image Library.

Detail of image from collection Provides a central catalog and collection of biomedical images produced in support of basic biomedical research. Currently provides access to 3,300 biomedical images. Biologists, medical scientists, and clinicians are able to use the Biomedical Image Library to distribute their work to the community or to identify and retrieve data for novel analysis, while educators and students can use the collection to support learning.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology with sponsorship from Tozzer Library: Maya Archaeological Photographs from the Carnegie Institute of Washington Collection, Phase I.

Detail of image from collection Phase 1: cataloging and digitization of approximately 10,000 Maya archaeological photographs from the sites of Chichen Itza and Copan. The project improves access to the photographs for government researchers working on accurate restoration and reconstruction of the sites, linguists needing undamaged scripts, archaeologists, historians, publishers, and producers.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

The Photographic Archives of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology with sponsorship from Tozzer Library: Maya Archaeological Photographs from the Carnegie Institute of Washington Collection, Phase II.

Detail of image from collection Phase 2: cataloging and digitization of an additional 30,000 images to complete the Carnegie Institute of Washington Collection. The project improves access to the photographs for government researchers working on accurate restoration and reconstruction of the sites, linguists needing undamaged scripts, archaeologists, historians, publishers, and producers.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Fine Arts Library, Harvard College Library: Digitization of the Slide Library.

Detail of image from collection A retrospective conversion including data for 150,000 teaching slides and digitization of 100,000 of them.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Francis A. Countway Library, Rare Books and Special Collections: Enabling Access to Historical Images of the Harvard Medical School.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging (including finding aids) of 2,500 historical images of the Harvard Medical School and digitizing of 1,600 selected images including the most frequently requested ones. The collection dates from 1866 and includes photographs, negatives, drawings and engravings.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Harvard-Yenching Library: The Pickens Collection on China's Muslims.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitizing of 1000 photographs in 3 albums and 50 broadsides documenting Muslims and Christian missionary work in China from 1933-1940. The materials were assembled by the Rev. Claude L. Pickens, Jr., an American Episcopalian missionary, in his work to convert the Muslims to Christianity.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Houghton Library, Harvard Theatre Collection: Russian Theatrical Designs in the Harvard Theatre Collection.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitizing of over 600 original works of Russian theatre from 1890-1930 including costumes and set designs for operas and ballets.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Special Collections Department, Harvard Law School Library: Legal Portrait Collection.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitizing of 4000 of lawyers, jurists and legal thinkers dating from the Middle Ages to the late 20th century. The collection of these prints, drawings, and photographs depict legal figures prominent in the Common Law as well as those associated with the Canon and Civil Law traditions.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Fine Arts Library, Harvard College Library: Architectural Views of the World, 1870-1920: Digitization of Lantern Slides from the Fine Arts Library Collection.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitizing of 15,000 glass lantern slides in the Fine Arts Library documenting architectural views of North America (including all material pertaining to Harvard University architecture), Europe, and Northern Africa. About half of these images are unique to this collection.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Arnold Arboretum Library of Harvard University: The Nature of Eastern Asia: Botanical and Cultural Images from the Arnold Arboretum Archives.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitizing of over 4,600 photographs from the archives including the work of four renowned and intrepid plant collectors: Frank Meyer, William Purdom, E.H. Wilson, and Joseph Rock.

Visual Resources Department, Frances Loeb Library: Image Digitization and Cataloging Project to Support Core Course Offerings at the Harvard Design School.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitizing of 12,000 slides used in teaching core architectural courses. The department will build an in-house facility and create a workflow for ongoing digitization services as part of the project.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology: Jacques Burkhardt and the Thayer Expedition to Brazil (1865-1866).

Detail of image from collection Cataloging (including finding aids) and digitizing 1,000 Burkhardt watercolors and drawings, a bound sketchbook, a pamphlet sketchbook diary, 10 manuscript items (notes, specimens, letters) a photograph, and portraits related to the Agassiz Thayer expedition to Brazil. Also includes text.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Harvard Divinity School with sponsorship from Andover-Harvard Theological Library: New Testament and Archaeological Slides from the Harvard Divinity School.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitizing of 9,000 teaching and research slides of archaeological sites and objects primarily in Greece and Turkey dating from early Christianity.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Baker Library, Harvard Business School and Widener Library, Harvard College: The Development of American Capitalism.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitizing of documentation on the development of American capitalism from the collections at Baker Library, Widener Library, Houghton Library, and the Law Library using work flows established for the Open Collections Program. Also includes text.

The Harvard University Herbaria (HUH) with sponsorship from the HUH Botany Libraries: Orchidaceae Type Specimen Project.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitization of 7,050 type specimens of Orchidaceae, and 8,900 pages of associated published text and illustrations that include original descriptions, or protologues, for about 2000 of the type specimens. The study of plant diversity depends upon verification of research materials by comparison with the type specimens and protologues. Also includes text.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Harvard University History Department with sponsorship from Widener Library Collections Development, Harvard College Library: The Artemas Ward House and Its Collections.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitization of photographs, books, installations and select objects from the Artemas Ward house including 500 objects on the first floor, the first floor rooms and 315 photographs of the rooms in 1910.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Harvard Forest with sponsorship from Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library & Harvard Forest Library: Harvard Forest Digital Classroom.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitization of resources in support of course content based on current and historical research on the 3000 acre Harvard Forest landscape. Resources will include GIS digitized stand maps, photographs and slide images, born digital images, stand records/forest inventory, data and publications. Also includes text and geospatial data.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]


Handwritten, transcripts, and published texts including full text and page images of text.

Harvard University Archives and Radcliffe Archives: Harvard/Radcliffe Online Historical Reference Shelf.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging, digitizing and optical character recognition (OCR) for full text searching of over 105,000 pages of text from the most frequently consulted reference sources for historical information about Harvard and Radcliffe including annual reports, narrative histories, and founding documents of both institutions.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Arnold Arboretum Library of Harvard University: South Central China and Tibet Hotspot of Diversity.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitizing of over 4,000 historic and contemporary items including photographs, herbarium plant specimens, handwritten letters, transcripts, and journal articles and maps from the collections of the Arnold Arboretum, the Harvard Map Collection, the Botany Libraries, the Museum of Comparative Zoology, the Harvard-Yenching Institute and the Harvard University Herbaria. Also includes images and geospatial data.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Harvard College Library Widener Library Collection Development Department: Latin American Pamphlets.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging, microfilming and digitizing (from the film) of a core group of 3,000 pamphlets from throughout Latin America. The collection provides valuable documentation of the region and includes historic material that is scarce or unique

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Harvard Law School Library: Nuremberg Trials Project – Case 1 Medical Trial.

Detail of image from collection Editing and digitizing of 19,200 documents to complete all of the Medical Case, Case 1 of the Nuremberg Military Trials.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology: Jacques Burkhardt and the Thayer Expedition to Brazil (1865-1866).

Detail of image from collection Cataloging (including finding aids) and digitizing 1,000 Burkhardt watercolors and drawings, a bound sketchbook, a pamphlet sketchbook diary, 10 manuscript items (notes, specimens, letters) a photograph, and portraits related to the Agassiz Thayer expedition to Brazil. Also includes images.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies Library: The Singer Continues the Song: Text and Music from the Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitization of sound recordings and text images from 1933-35 and 1950-51 in the Milman Parry Collection, the largest single repository of South Slavic heroic song in the world. Also includes audio.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Baker Library, Harvard Business School and Widener Library, Harvard College: The Development of American Capitalism.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitizing of documentation on the development of American capitalism from the collections at Baker Library, Widener Library, Houghton Library, and the Law Library using work flows established for the Open Collections Program. Also includes images.

The Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies with sponsorship from the Slavic Division of Widener Library, Harvard College Library: Harvard Project on the Soviet Social System Online.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitization of a collection of 764 transcripts of interviews conducted with refugees from the USSR during the early years of the Cold War. The collection is a unique resource for the study of Soviet society between 1917 and the mid-1940s with one-of-a-kind data on political, economic, social and cultural conditions.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

The Harvard University Herbaria (HUH) with sponsorship from the HUH Botany Libraries: Orchidaceae Type Specimen Project.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitization of 7,050 type specimens of Orchidaceae, and 8,900 pages of associated published text and illustrations that include original descriptions, or protologues, for about 2000 of the type specimens. The study of plant diversity depends upon verification of research materials by comparison with the type specimens and protologues. Also includes images.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Houghton Library of the Harvard College Library: Medieval Manuscript Digital Project at Houghton Library.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitization of 30 medieval and renaissance manuscripts.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Harvard Forest with sponsorship from Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library & Harvard Forest Library: Harvard Forest Digital Classroom.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitization of resources in support of course content based on current and historical research on the 3000 acre Harvard Forest landscape. Resources will include GIS digitized stand maps, photographs and slide images, born digital images, stand records/forest inventory, data and publications. Also includes images and geospatial data.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]


World Wide Web resources.

Harvard University Archives: Web Archiving Development Project — Documenting Born Digital Harvard: A demonstration project to collect and make accessible departmental history of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Detail of image from collection One of three project partners selected to provide content and curatorial input for a web archiving development pilot project.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study: Web Archiving Development Project — Blogs: Capturing the Alternative Voice.

Detail of image from collection One of three project partners selected to provide content and curatorial input for a web archiving development pilot project.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies with sponsorship from Harvard College Library: Web Archiving Development Project — Japanese Constitutional Revision Kenkyűkai.

Detail of image from collection One of three project partners selected to provide content and curatorial input for a web archiving development pilot project.


Geospatial data and digital images of maps (raster and vector).

Harvard College Library Social Science Program: Harvard Geospatial Library.

Detail of image from collection A new system serving as a catalog and repository for geospatial data held by Harvard University, with enhanced metadata and database functions designed specifically for geographic information. The system currently provides access to over 2,500 catalog records and data layers and enables students, faculty, and other researchers to perform meaningful geospatial analyses within the strict time requirements of a problem set, a term paper, or a real-world issue.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Arnold Arboretum Library of Harvard University: South Central China and Tibet Hotspot of Diversity.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitizing of over 4,000 historic and contemporary items including photographs, herbarium plant specimens, handwritten letters, transcripts, and journal articles and maps from the collections of the Arnold Arboretum, the Harvard Map Collection, the Botany Libraries, the Museum of Comparative Zoology, the Harvard-Yenching Institute and the Harvard University Herbaria. Also includes images and text.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Harvard College Library Harvard Map Collection: The Geospatial Data Access Project.

Detail of image from collection A project to increase awareness and use of geospatial data across the university by providing GIS training and support; by adding 322 georeferenced historical maps and 14 new data to the Harvard Geospatial Library; and by the creation of new map tools for course web sites.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Harvard College Library Harvard Map Collection: Imaging the Urban Environment.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging, digitizing and georeferencing of selected historical urban maps for courses that focus on the historical development of urban areas through time. Beginning with urban bird's eye views from the 1572 Civitates Orbis Terrarum, cities that will be included in this project are: Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Providence, London, Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Venice, Vienna, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Beijing, and Tokyo.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Harvard Forest with sponsorship from Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library & Harvard Forest Library: Harvard Forest Digital Classroom.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitization of resources in support of course content based on current and historical research on the 3000 acre Harvard Forest landscape. Resources will include GIS digitized stand maps, photographs and slide images, born digital images, stand records/forest inventory, data and publications. Also includes images and text.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]


Digital audio files.

Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library: Music from the Archive: A New Model of Access to Rare and Unique Sound Recordings.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitization of 2,976 pages of text, 17 record label images and 73 hours of music from three collections in the Music Library: The Laura Boulton Collection of Byzantine and Eastern Orthodox Chant; The Joseph Jeffers Dodge Duke Ellington Collection; The Rubin Collection of Indian Classical Music.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies Library: The Singer Continues the Song: Text and Music from the Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitization of sound recordings and text images from 1933-35 and 1950-51 in the Milman Parry Collection, the largest single repository of South Slavic heroic song in the world. Also includes text.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Harvard College Library Houghton Library/Woodberry Poetry Room: The Poet's Voice — A Digital Poetry Collection.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitizing some 200 hours of poetry recordings from the largest archive of recorded poetry in the world. The recording will be selected from those specifically made by or for the Poetry Room at Harvard, comprising a collection which uniquely documents world literary history from the 1930's to the present; the collection is utilized by scholars worldwide and in many courses across the Harvard curriculum, but is also of interest in its own right.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]


Digital scores.

Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Harvard College Library: Digital Scores from the Collections of the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library.

Detail of image from collection Cataloging and digitizing of over 8,800 pages from 30 large musical scores of significant musical works drawn from Harvard's extensive collections of first and early editions of Bach family composers, Mozart, Beethoven, and the multiple versions of 19th-century opera that open our eyes to the richly varied performance traditions of the operas of Europe.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Harvard College Library: Digital Scores from the Collections of the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Phase II.

Detail of image from collection Continued cataloging and digitizing selected material from a collection of rare and unique musical scores. This selection is drawn from relevant holdings related to undergraduate and graduate teaching including music of the 18th century, and musical modernism and the 2nd Viennese School.

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]

Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Harvard College Library: Digital Scores from the Collections of the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Phase III.

Detail of image from collection Continued cataloging and digitizing selected material from a collection of rare and unique musical scores. This selection includes 218 scores from the 18th and early 19th centuries; scores of 19th and early 20th century operas; 19th-century indices and facsimile manuscripts of medieval and renaissance music and chant; and works of Harvard composers and notable musicians from the 19th and early 20th centuries..

LDI Final Project Report [pdf]