A glass plate negative backlit by a white light. The plate has a spray of dark stars and a few large groupings of stars.

Wolbach Library and the Glass Plate Collection

We are happy to share that HCO’s Astronomical Photographic Glass Plate Collection is now part of the Wolbach Library!

This change was initiated to ensure that all projects associated with the Plates, including ongoing digitization efforts, are able to take full advantage of the resources available through Wolbach’s connections to the Harvard Library and the Smithsonian Institution.

With this change comes a unified web presence for the Library and the Plate Collection. Please take a look at our new website! We intend to iterate on the site’s structure and content over the coming months, so feel free to email me directly to share feedback. While you’re at it, consider signing up for our new Plate Stacks Newsletter.

Regarding the twenty year effort to scan the plates: in order to ensure that this work is brought to completion, and that the resulting data are archived and as useful as possible, the project is undergoing a technical overhaul under the direction of the Library. During this time, servers will be down and access to data via existing interfaces will be limited. Please contact me if you have questions. We are excited about this new phase of the project and looking forward to sharing updates as we make progress!

Glass plate A3393, taken with the 24-inch Bruce Telescope in Arequipa, Peru, in a 180-minute exposure on Nov. 10, 1898, shows the Small Magellanic Cloud, a companion galaxy to our own. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer

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