About the Project

The Edgerton Digital Collections (EDC) project is an ambitious and collaborative publishing venture, documenting the history of science and technology.  This project also celebrates the spirit of a great pioneer, Harold “Doc” Edgerton, inventor and professor emeritus at MIT.  This digital archive provides the first online access to Harold Edgerton’s research notebooks held by MIT, constituting the material record of an extraordinary man who shaped public perception about science and technology.

The collections include a social dimension, including you, and the committed community of MIT alumni, faculty, students, staff, and aficionados who share Doc Edgerton’s philosophy of

“Work hard. Tell everyone everything you know. Close a deal with a handshake. Have fun!”

What you’ll find here

The site allows viewing and browsing of over 22,000 still images of Edgerton materials, 150 films and video that have been restored and are being digitized; access to approximately 8,000 pages from Doc Edgerton’s hand-written laboratory notebooks which have been recently digitized; and hundreds of high-speed photographic images.

The collection we present on this site represents a work in progress.  Since this project began, we have inventoried, analyzed, cleaned, repaired, cataloged, photographed, titled, annotated, sorted, and organized tens of thousands of Edgerton artifacts, and enabled the public viewing of Doc’s research notebooks, still and moving images.

Collaborative Research

The next and very important phase, beginning with the launch of the Museum exhibit in November 2009, is to add qualitative descriptions to these digital assets.    Doc’s hand-written materials accessible to human readers and search engines so they can better be found.

We invite the world-wide community to become part of Doc’s “Virtual Research Team” and

  • Post your memories of Doc and comments on Doc’s influences
  • Identify references,  photos, and objects in the collections
  • Transcribe a hand-written notebook page
  • If you are the owner of an Edgerton letter or manuscript, or other pertinent document, or if you know someone who is:  please get in touch with us.

See also