~ Archive for Biodiversity Heritage Library ~

Global Biodiversity Heritage Library


The third global Biodiversity Heritage Library meeting took place in Berlin, Germany on June 7-8, 2012, hosted by Henning Scholz at  the Museum fur Naturkunde. We covered many important issues during these two days. Representatives attended from the BHL (represented by several institutions in the US and UK), BHLEurope (represented by several institutions in the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, Czech Republic and Austria), BHLEgypt (represented by Noha Adley from the Bibliotheca Alexandrina), BHL Australia (represented by Elicia Wallis from the Museum of Victoria) and BHL SciELO (represented by Abel Packer and Fabio Batalha from SciELO in Brazil). Chinese colleagues were unable to attend.
Each global group reported on the state of the BHL in their region. By-laws and a governance structure were approved. Officers were elected for the Executive Committee: Elicia Wallis, Museum Victoria, Australia, Chair; Henning Scholz, Museum fur Naturkunde, Berlin, Vice-Chair; and Nancy Gwinn, Smithsonian Libraries (and BHL Executive Chair), Secretary. Noha Adley from the Bibliotheca Alexandrina was appointed as the global BHL Technical Director. We also discussed how to synchronize BHL data, avoid duplication, address global copyright issues and ensure metadata quality across the regions.
Each region has put its own stamp on their version of the BHL.
The global BHL currently has nodes in Europe, Egypt, China, Brazil, US/UK, and Australia. Following the global BHL meeting, a several members of the Smithsonian, MOBOT, and Field Museum teams continued on to meet African colleagues in South Africa to establish BHL Africa. Chris Freeland, BHL Technical Director was unable to attend the BHL Europe, Global BHL and BHL Africa meetings due to a bike accident.  He never rests, however, and made an amazing video statement to encourage a BHL Africa

The Biodiversity Heritage Library marches on!

BHL Europe


Recently  I travelled to Berlin, Germany to attend the final meeting of BHL Europe, which reached the end of its initial funding stream on April 30, 2012, and the Third Global BHL meeting (another post to come).  The BHL Europe project has come a long way and the international audience received a glimpse of the hard work that went into producing a Biodiversity Heritage Library for Europe.  Why is this important?  Check out the Biodiversity Heritage Library for Europe video.

Scientists have told us how important the Biodiversity Heritage Library is to their work–making information gathering so much easier and reducing the time it takes for them to complete their work.

The BHL Europe portal that is under development has some very impressive options.  I particularly like the book viewer, which can be seen here.  The BHL Europe portal also adds some features that would be nice to add to the current BHL portal like searching (and finding!) monographs, serials AND articles: view portal .  The taxonomic names feature, so important to BHL users, is also available in the BHL Europe portal.  The most impressive and exciting addition to BHL Europe is the Exhibition page.  Currently, there are exhibits about spices and expeditions.  Future exhibitions include poisonous creatures and the development of scientific illustration. The BHL Europe’s collaboration with Europeana offers new ways to explore biodiversity-related data, including items not found in BHL such as photographs and cultural heritage objects.

And one of the highlights of the meeting was the reception in the Museum fur Naturkunde, enjoyed by all of us.  I feel privileged to work with these colleagues from many institutions all over the world.  Thank you to Henning and Anne-Marie Scholz for organizing this meeting to celebrate the success of the Biodiversity Heritage Library for Europe.  May the collaborations continue to evolve.



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