Caselaw Access Project | Library Innovation Lab

“The Caselaw Access Project is making all U.S. case law freely accessible online.

Our common law – the written decisions issued by our state and federal courts – is not freely accessible online. This lack of access harms justice and equality and stifles innovation in legal services.

The Harvard Law School Library has one of the world’s largest, most comprehensive collections of court decisions in print form. Our collection totals over 42,000 volumes and roughly 40 million pages. Caselaw Access Project aims to transform the official print versions of these court decisions into digital files made freely accessible online.

To realize this ambitious vision, we’re teaming up with Ravel Law, an innovative legal research and analytics company. Ravel is funding the costs of digitization and will be making all of the resulting cases publicly available for free search and API access. You can learn more about the key terms of our collaboration with Ravel by reading a detailed overview here….”

Project PHAEDRA: Preserving Harvard’s Early Data and Research in Astronomy

Recently, research material originally produced during the mid-to-late 19th century and early 20th century by researchers at the Harvard College Observatory was re-discovered in the HCO Plate Stacks holdings. These early notebooks and other materials are absolutely irreplaceable. The material represents the history of the Harvard College Observatory and comprises remarkable examples of primary source material showing the evolution of observation methods, along with early astronomy as a whole. The documents are also relevant to the history of women in science as the collection contains material produced by the Harvard Computers, about whom increased interest is anticipated due to the upcoming release of a book by author Dava Sobel: The Glass Universe….In support of increased access to this important collection, Wolbach Library staff worked with the Plate Stacks’ Acting Curator, Lindsay Smith, to have the material (108 large boxes) transferred from the Plate Stacks’ holdings at Harvard Depository’s Records Management Department, to Wolbach’s shelves at the Depository so that the material could be cataloged, digitized, and preserved as needed by services available to Wolbach through Harvard Library. The material will be subsequently transcribed by the Smithsonian Transcription Center (which is already working with the Plate Stacks to transcribe logbooks from their collection!) and will eventually be searchable in both HOLLIS (Harvard’s catalog) and the NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS). The project is now being referred to as Project PHAEDRA, or Preserving Harvard’s Early Data and Research in Astronomy.”

Visual Archives » Arnold Arboretum

“Begun in the 1880s as an adjunct to the Arboretum’s living, library, and herbarium collections, today the Arboretum’s visual resources include over 65,000 items. Digital images, black-and-white and color prints, 35mm slides and their predecessor lantern slides, trace the evolution and management of the Arboretum’s landscape, record individual taxa in the living collections, and capture these same plants growing in their native habitats.

Plant collectors and their expeditions to Eastern Asia are well represented; their images document the people, events, and customs of these exotic lands as well as the flora. There are also images of the people who have curated, studied, propagated, and taken care of the plant collection, herbarium, and library. Photographs of other plant collections, private gardens, and parks located throughout the world round out the collection.

In addition to searching our collections in the Visual Information Access database (VIA), all are welcome to browse these interactive galleries….”

The Colonial North American Project at Harvard University · Colonial North American Project at Harvard

“This website provides access to some of the remarkable materials digitized as part of the ongoing, multi-year Colonial North American Project at Harvard University.


When complete, the project will make available to the world digitized images of all known archival and manuscript materials in the Harvard Library that relate to 17th and 18th century North America. Scattered through twelve repositories, these documents reveal a great deal about topics such as social life, education, trade, finance, politics, revolution, war, women, Native American life, slavery, science, medicine, and religion. In addition to reflecting the origins of the United States, the digitized materials also document aspects of life and work in Great Britain, France, Canada, the Caribbean, and Mexico. The ‘Essays’ on this website are the work of a Summer 2015 Arcadia Fellow, Alicia DeMaio, who was one of the first researchers to connect thematically related material from among the images digitized to date….”

The benefits of copyediting

“Sanford Thatcher has written a valuable, if anecdotal, analysis of some papers residing on Harvard’s DASH repository (Copyediting’s Role in an Open-Access World, Against the Grain, volume 23, number 2, April 2011, pages 30-34), in an effort to get at the differences between author manuscripts and the corresponding published versions that have benefited from copyediting.


“What may we conclude from this analysis?” he asks. “By and large, the copyediting did not result in any major improvements of the manuscripts as they appear at the DASH site.” He finds that “the vast majority of changes made were for the sake of enforcing a house formatting style and cleaning up a variety of inconsistencies and infelicities, none of which reached into the substance of the writing or affected the meaning other than by adding a bit more clarity here and there” and expects therefore that the DASH versions are “good enough” for many scholarly and educational uses….”

HMX | Office for External Education

“Designed to take full advantage of the online medium, HMX integrates foundational principles and clinical applications. 

Share in the Harvard Medical School experience.  Learn with the material that Harvard Medical School offers to our incoming students over the summer as an opportunity to prepare for a demanding curriculum and to our current students as part of the flipped classroom model….”