January 20, 2022

Large Scale Digitization Projects: “Digitizing Harvard’s Century of Sky”

From Sky & Telescope:

Harvard College Observatory is digitizing its famed collection of more than 500,000 glass sky-survey plates and has just released the first data set.


The collection of more than 500,000 plates fills an old brick building on Harvard’s Observatory Hill in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Here is preserved roughly a century of information about faint happenings across most of the celestial sphere. For more than a lifetime, astronomers have come from around the world to examine these plates — one by one on light tables under magnifiers — for the histories of the innumerable objects they contain.


The project is called the Digital Access to a Sky Century at Harvard (DASCH). In early May it released its first dataset. After years of development, followed by scans of more than 45,000 plates (most of them during the last two years of “production scanning”), anyone can now access a 100-year light curve of any bright object within 15° of the north galactic pole.

Read the Complete Article

Visit the Digital Access to a Sky Century at Harvard (DASCH) Web Site

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.