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Learn about our history

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Library Catalog

Visit the NOAA Libraries catalog to find items held by our Library. By selecting "NEFSC Lionel A. Walford Library" from the drop-down menu of libraries, you can find items specific to our collection.

Lionel A. Walford Library


The Lionel A. Walford Library serves the James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory. It is part of the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Fisheries Science Center system of information services. The Library was established in 1961 with the founding of the Sandy Hook Marine Laboratory. The original Library collection was comprised of Dr. Walford's personal papers and donated books. In 1985 the marine laboratory suffered a tragic loss when fire destroyed one of its two main buildings that housed laboratories and the entire holdings of the Walford Library. Since then the library has received donations from around the world, from other libraries and from the scientific community at large. About 90% of the new collection was received through donation.


The Library provides specialized research assistance to Laboratory scientists and works to preserve the Laboratory’s institutional history and intellectual output. Services include reference and literature searches, as well as procuring reference materials through acquisition, interlibrary loan, and direct request. To ensure the long-term preservation of the Laboratory’s institutional history and intellectual output, the Library maintains physical copies of publications, special collections relating to the Laboratory, and has dedicated considerable effort to the digitization of publications and images.


For detailed information about our collections, please visit the Collections page.

Visit or Borrow Materials

The Walford Library is open to others as a reference, but not a lending institution. It is used by environmental groups, state and local agencies, commercial and recreational fishermen, fishing industry personnel, writers of popular literature on marine life and those affiliated with our cooperating agencies.  If you find an item that you would like to use from our collection, you can ask your local library to request a loan from the Walford Library through OCLC FirstSearch.

Digital Image Library

Visit our Digital Image Library to view the images and publications that the Library digitized as part of its 50th Anniversary Reels to Research project.

collage of historal photographs

Learn more about Reels to Research.

poster graphic

Check out a flipbook of the 50th Anniversary exhibit panels!

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