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The fourth in a series of online collections from Harvard University, Expeditions and Discoveries delivers maps, photographs, and published materials, as well as field notes, letters, and a unique range of manuscript materials on selected expeditions between 1626 and 1953. The collection is made possible with the generous support of the Arcadia Fund.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Harvard University played a significant role—as underwriter, participant, collector, and repository—for pace-setting expeditions around the world. For Internet users, Expeditions and Discoveries provides selective access to Harvard’s multidisciplinary records of those expeditions.

Created by the Harvard University Library’s Open Collections Program, Expeditions and Discoveries offers important—often unique—historical resources for students of anthropology, archaeology, astronomy, botany, geography, geology, medicine, oceanography, and zoology.

The collection features nine major expeditions as they are reflected in the holdings of Harvard’s libraries, museums, and archives. Other materials—both published and unpublished—provide vital, contextual information on exploration in the modern age.

In addition, users can search or browse materials by discipline or region, explore holdings related to 22 notable people, and find vital, contextual information on modern-age explorations from the Arctic to the Antarctic, from South America to Africa and Australia, and more.

The Harvard University Library established the Open Collections Program in 2002, with funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The program received subsequent support from Arcadia, and, more recently, from Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud.