National Archives and NOAA Announce Historic Navy Deck Log Digitization Partnership
Press Release · Monday, October 22, 2012

Innovative project uses citizen scientists to transcribe historic Arctic weather data

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A press-only briefing to share the joint National Archives’ and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) digitization project that uses citizen scientists and crowdsourcing technology to make historic Navy weather data available to the public and climate scientists worldwide. Press will learn more about this project, called “Old Weather Arctic” ( and have a chance to interview those involved.


Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero
NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D.
UK Met Office climate scientist and Old Weather project leader Philip Brohan
Old Weather project citizen scientist Kathy Wendolkowski
Zooniverse Director of Citizen Science Arfon Smith


Room 105, National Archives Building
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC
Please use the Pennsylvania Ave. entrance, between 7th and 9th Streets, NW
Metro: Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter station


Wednesday, Oct. 24, 10 a.m. ET


Reporters may attend in person or by phone.
Please RSVP to Linda Joy, 301-734-1165 or

Thanks to this National Archives–NOAA partnership, and with the aid of citizen scientists, for the first time, anyone, anywhere, will have online access historic Navy, Coast Guard, and Revenue Cutter ship logs held by the National Archives that detail Arctic voyages between 1850 and World War II. These records offer an unprecedented glimpse of weather data and climate patterns from an age long before the Weather Channel. Digital images of the logbooks will be available on both the National Archives website at and

In addition to weather data, these logbooks offer invaluable information on U.S. maritime history, military operations, scientific exploration, advancements in technology, and near-hourly accounts of dramatic adventures on the high seas including rescues and shipwrecks.

This ongoing digitization is part of the Obama-Medvedev Commission, which supports US-Russian relations through cooperation in many areas, including scientific study.

The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent Federal agency that preserves and shares with the public records that trace the story of our nation, government, and the American people. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries and online at

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Visit us at and join us on Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels. Contact: Linda Joy, 301-734-1165

The Old Weather citizen science project uses crowd sourcing and citizen archivists to
improve reconstructions of past weather and climate across the world by finding and recording historical weather observations in handwritten Navy ship logs. See

Zooniverse is the online host for numerous citizen scientist collaborative projects, including Old

The UK Met Office is the UK's national weather service and one of the world's leading providers of climate services. It supports a large number of customers in many different sectors, including civil aviation, defense and industry. It also supplies weather and climate data along with products and services to many countries throughout the world. Online at

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.


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