NOAA Photo Library - Treasures of the Library:
"Through these documents, much of the early evolution of scientific and geographic knowledge of our atmosphere, oceans, and the remote areas of our planet can be traced. Words, thoughts, and deeds of scientists, surveyors, mapmakers, and explorers have been immortalized through the printed book. Within some of these documents, images of their work, observations, and concepts survive as engraved plates, woodcut images, or, in approaching the Twentieth Century, as photographic plates. However, only a lucky few scholars of the history of science ever see these images; fewer still scientists ever have the opportunity to study and learn from such images of the work of their early predecessors; and virtually no members of the general public ever have the opportunity to see such images as exist in these early works. Now all, including scientists, teachers, students, and all who enjoy learning from the past will have the opportunity to see and learn from these treasures. "