By Jane Maienschein
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Additional info for 100 years exploring life, 1888-1988: the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole
Page x In the two decades since, I have never failed to feel the excitement of this library each day-as much, perhaps, as the embryologist still feels each time he or she looks at a developing ctenophore or sea urchin embryo. I am reminded of the tribute Stephen Jay Gould paid to the MBL Library in his book, Ontogeny and Phytogeny, written partly in Woods Hole over a decade ago: "Where else could an idiosyncratic worker like me find a library open all the time, free from the rules and bureaucracy that stifle scholarship and 'protect' books only by guarding them from use.
Here was a complete set of the Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society, or the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, dating back to volume 1, in 1665, sitting on the shelves for browsing. ) These same journals had been perused in the past by Lillie, Morgan, Conklin, Harrison and other greats in early twentieth-century biology. Page x In the two decades since, I have never failed to feel the excitement of this library each day-as much, perhaps, as the embryologist still feels each time he or she looks at a developing ctenophore or sea urchin embryo.
Full of energy and ideas, Baird wanted to build a major research center in Woods Hole. He had local friends who encouraged the enterprise and helped to secure the land, including a plot right across the street from the Page 20 Old Fisheries Building with Crane and Candle buildings behind, 1923. Edmund Collection, MBL Archives. Fish Commission building intended for a future research laboratory. As it became clear that the Fish Commission could not do everything by itself, Baird encouraged others to join him with a teaching laboratory in Woods Hole.