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Primary historical materials can be essential to pioneering work across the sciences, yet rapidly spiraling fees charged by private companies to access information are raising ever-higher barriers to the advancement of knowledge.

Highlighting the importance of current open access efforts to facilitate discovery and learning now and in the future, three Cornell life scientists--neurobiologist Tom Seeley, mycologist Kathie Hodge, and science historian Karen Penders St. Clair—reflect on the role that the historical scientific record has played in their own research. This program took place at Mann Library in conjunction with the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Biodiversity Heritage Library held at Cornell from April 30 –May 2, 2019.