The NOAA Library: Preserving NOAA's Past for America's Future
The NOAA Central Library houses an extensive collection of books and information, both historic and modern, about our oceans and atmosphere. Click image for larger view.
Perhaps the largest repository of NOAA heritage resources is the NOAA Central Library. The library traces its origin to Ferdinand R. Hassler, the first superintendent of the Coast Survey, who established a collection a few years after that agency was formed in 1807.
Today, the library houses documents and artifacts from each of NOAA’s ancestor agencies, including the U.S. Weather Bureau, the Coast and Geodetic Survey, and the U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries.
Among the library’s holdings is the largest, most comprehensive meteorological collection in the Western Hemisphere. These resources have proven critical for studies of past weather, climate change, and oceanographic conditions.
About 40 percent of the items in the NOAA Library’s collection are unique and not found anywhere else in the world. The library recently launched a dynamic Web site, celebrating 200 years of NOAA science and service. In addition to serving as NOAA’s “institutional memory,” the library supports ongoing research by NOAA staff, academia, industry, and the public.