The Embryo Project began in 2006 when a group of researchers at Arizona State University (ASU), led by Jane Maienschein and Manfred Laubichler, received a National Science Foundation grant to use digital methods to examine the ways in which science changes over time. The project initially focused on embryology, but it grew to include developmental biology and reproductive medicine.

With the help of ASU’s library, the first version of the Embryo Project Encyclopedia went live in 2007. A new website replaced the old one in 2009, with the help of the ASU School of Life Sciences Visualization Lab and the Marine Biological Laboratory/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Library. The third and most recent iteration of the encyclopedia went live in 2012, again with the technical support of the MBLWHOI Library and the Longsight Group.

Since its inception, the Embryo Project has benefited from the contributions and expertise of greater than one hundred people. The Embryo Project Encyclopedia has morphed into a thriving website and portal into the Digital History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) Repository, and the Embryo Project has become a founding member of the Digital HPS Consortium, which established itself in 2011.