eRAdoc, is a project to digitise the annual reports, books and documents relating to the Long-term Experiments printed at Rothamsted since the 19th century.
Rothamsted Research, formerly Rothamsted Experimental Station, is almost certainly the oldest agricultural research station in the world. Its foundation dates from 1843 when John Bennet Lawes, the owner of the Rothamsted Estate, appointed Joseph Henry Gilbert, a chemist, as his scientific collaborator.
Lawes first publications were in the Gardeners Chronicle in 1842 & 1843 and then he reported his findings in the Agricultural Gazette from 1844. Lawes first published with Gilbert in 1851 in Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England then started publishing in the American Agriculturist in 1878.
The first Rothamsted Annual Report was published in 1909 (for the work of the station in the previous year 1908) and continued until 1987. They were treated as a way of publishing data from many of the Long-term Experiments. From 1968-1982 the Annual Report was published in two volumes per year; Part 1 with details of staff, publications and brief reports from each department. The Part 2s contained full length papers, often about the long-term experiments. From 1983-1988 Part 1 and Part 2 were in the same document whereas prior to this there were two separate books.
This project is an ongoing process and there are many more documents to be added. These include the ‘Memoranda of the Field and Other Experiments 1898. Updates will be announced on the era_curator twitter feed.