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Earth & Planets Laboratory Library: Home

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From the Archives

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#TBT: Here's a group photo from October 10, 1934. The group seen here is celebrating 33 years of continuous operation at the Cheltenham Magnetic Observatory at Cheltenham, MD. The unbroken continuity of their magnetic observations, which began in April 1901, was a pretty big deal and the continuity alone made a major impact on our understanding of the Earth's magnetic field and its fluctuations. At the time of the observatory's establishment in 1900, Terrestrial Magnetism was still mysterious yet the potential applications were numerous—from navigation to prospecting to radio communications. The Cheltenham records were notably used in connection with radio transmission problems. Broadcasting companies and the Naval Research Laboratories relied on continuous access to their data. When the program was established in Cheltenham, it was part of the Coast and Geodetic Survey and under the leadership of @CarnegiePlanets (then DTM) founder and director Louis A. Bauer and then John A. Fleming (both served as the Director of DTM). The observatory was moved to Fredericksburg, VA in 1956, a site which for many years served as the program’s headquarters. Photo #2: Interior view of the office building at Cheltenham Magnetic Observatory. In the view are shown several special devices, charts and magnetic instruments. Note the non-magnetic stove at the extreme left. #ScienceHistory #ThrowbackThursday #TerrestrialMagnetism

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Using the Library



The Library and Archives are located in the Abelson Building of the Carnegie Institution's Broad Branch Road campus in Washington, DC.

Books and periodicals in the earth and planetary sciences, physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, and statistics are housed in the Main Library on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Abelson Building. Current journals and special collections are shelved in the Reading Room.  Reference works (encyclopedias, handbooks, atlases, etc.), laboratory safety information, and writing guides are located in  A-208.  A separate Astronomy Library in Research Building Room 272 holds materials in stellar/galactic astronomy and exoplanet research.

The Abelson Collaboration Center (ACC), located in A-208, has advanced audiovisual equipment and may be reserved for group meetings, presentations, classroom instruction, and videoconferencing

We are open to Carnegie personnel 24 hours a day and to other researchers by appointment from 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday.  Please contact us to arrange for your visit.

All borrowed library materials must be signed out. Only persons with formal Carnegie Institution affiliation (staff members, post-docs, pre-docs, interns, visiting investigators) are entitled to borrow materials. The honor system is used; please complete a sign-out card for each item you borrow and deposit in one of the boxes provided. When returning materials, place them on the cart next to the copier on the 2nd floor -- please do not reshelve them yourself.

Books and maps may be borrowed for extended periods, but are subject to recall at any time. Books marked "Reference Use" may not be taken out of the library, except by special arrangement. Current issues of journals do not circulate. They may be removed from the Reading Room briefly for photocopying, but then must be returned immediately. Borrowing of back volumes (bound or unbound) from the periodicals stacks is strongly discouraged; if necessary, however, these older journals may be signed out for a period of one week.

The Abelson Collaboration Center (ACC), located in A-208, has advanced audiovisual equipment and may be reserved for group meetings, presentations, classroom instruction, and videoconferencing. Seating capacity is 16-38, depending on the desired configuration.
The Reading Room is the original DTM library and dates to 1914, when the Broad Branch Road campus opened.  It seats 8-10 comfortably.
To reserve either space contact the library staff or the DTM or GL front office.
Carnegie employees may access the library’s ejournals, ebooks, and online databases offsite by connecting to the BBR campus network using VPN. Please contact your department IT manager to request VPN access and follow the instructions here: Remote Access Tools.