About the MBL Images in the Museum Collection

Over the years the Museum Archives has been given or loaned many wonderful images from the personal collections of those who either did research at the MBL, worked there or spent summers here. Many of these images are from the years 1912 through the 1920s. Julian Scott took a wonderful series of portraits of major MBL scientists from 1912 to 1920. Julian was a pathologist as well as a photographer. He was called “Wireless” because he wore a hearing aid. He made a paper album of his candid portraits of prominent scientists and listed them with their academic affiliations under the heading “Photographs of Habituees of Wood’s Hole—1912-1920.”

In the late 1990s when the Museum Archives was beginning to digitize its photo collection, we were offered the opportunity to digitize a wonderful family album belonging to the Hibbard-Romer family. The family kept the original but we were given the right to use the images. In addition the family did give us their canoe, featured in many of these photos – the RHAMPHORYNCUS – which you may see hanging on the far wall in our Small Boat Barn. Over the years we have wanted to have an excuse to display the Hibbard-Romer images, since they show summer investigators having so much fun!

More recently we were given a number of original photos by Michael D. Fisher. They include some more fun photos as well as some serious images of laboratory work.

Other images come from the accumulated donations given to the Archives during our almost 40 years as a historical repository. We hope that you enjoy them, although they show a very limited time period and an incomplete view of the MBL. There are a few images which came from the MBL Archives rather than our own; these had been loaned for earlier exhibits and became part of our digital collection.

The earliest images mostly come from the lens of Boston photographer Baldwin Coolidge (1845-1920), who was hired by the MBL in the 1890s to take the annual summer class photos. Coolidge also took many photos of Woods Hole while he was here.

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