The Environmental Information Center (EIC) embarks on its seventh year with a new librarian, plans for influential collection expansion, and an intense commitment to interdisciplinary research.
“We want the Environmental Science and Public Policy Archives to be the first place scholars think of when they investigate the shaping of international environmental policy,” said George E. Clark, environmental resources librarian and curator of the Environmental Science and Public Policy Archives. Clark, who stepped into his new position this fall, previously worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a social scientist.
Founded in 1995, the EIC was created in a collaborative effort between the Harvard University Center for the Environment and the Harvard College Library. Its purpose is twofold: first, to foster research and communication among all areas of study that deal with environmental issues, and second, to help coordinate acquisitions of environmental materials across the University. “Initially, the EIC existed principally as a Web site that offered information pertaining to the environment such as job listings, upcoming events, links to Web sites, and works by Harvard professors,” said Diane Garner, librarian for the social sciences of the Harvard College Library, who administers the EIC.
After the Web site was smoothly functioning, the EIC saw the need for a place to collect and provide intellectual access to reports, correspondence, and documents generated by the environmental movement. In 1997 the EIC established the Environmental Science and Public Policy Archives, and since then has developed a significant collection of monographs, gray papers, and government documents on international environmental policy.
To expand the archives’ current collections, Clark is working on a strategic collection development plan. Because the environmental movement is relatively new, much of the pertinent material about it exists as reports and papers rather than monographs. As a result, most of the archives’ holdings have come from key individuals in the environmental movement. The EIC works closely with faculty to locate principal environmental figures who are looking for a place for their materials to be accessed and preserved.
Further information about the Environmental Information Center and the Environmental Science and Public Policy Archives can be found on the Harvard College Library Web site, http://hcl.harvard.edu/environment/ and the Harvard Uni – versity Center for the Environment Web site, http://environment.harvard.edu/home.html.