Photographic sky surveys and patrols performed in the 20th century have produced more than two million plates. These plates have been collected and stored in plate vaults of various sizes throughout the globe. Since the necessary skills in handling this medium is dwindling away, the plates are in danger of falling into oblivion, deteriorating or even getting lost. This paper intends to draw attention to the wealth of astronomical information lying dormant in them, what efforts are being made to conserve and exploit them and what still needs to be done.
Peter Kroll, Hans-Jürgen Bräuer: Working in a gold mine: Archival wide-field plates. In: Klaus Hentschel, Axel D. Wittmann (Eds.): The Role of Visual Representations in Astronomy: History and Research Practice (Acta Historica Astronomiae ; 9). Thun ; Frankfurt am Main : Deutsch, 2000, p. 136-145.
Html-Version: Wolfgang R. Dick. Created: 26 Nov 2000