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Robert Darnton

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100 years of Widener

The massive library rose after the Titanic sank and remains a linchpin of learning and conservation at Harvard



Among the 33,000 Colonial North American images Harvard has digitized so far is “Problem 6th” from the 1795 student mathematical notebook of William Tudor (1779-1830), who graduated from Harvard College in 1796. He used the drawing to playfully transport himself to an island in the Pacific Ocean. Tudor became a leading literary figure in Boston, coined the phrase “Athens of America” for his native city, and helped found the first American railroad.

A Colonial goldmine

Two digital projects aim to bring vast numbers of early documents, many unexamined, to light