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Winter Newsletter 2013

Welcome to the Biodiversity Heritage Library Newsletter

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is a global consortium of natural history and botanical institutions that cooperate to digitize and make freely available the biodiversity literature in their collections. 



BHL Surpasses 40 Million Pages!
The most-viewed image in the BHL Flickr? Sammlung neuer oder wenig bekannter aussereuropšischer Schmetterlinge (1850-58), bd. 1, pl. [45], with 2,145 views.
The most-viewed image in the BHL Flickr? Sammlung neuer oder wenig bekannter aussereuropäischer Schmetterlinge (1850-58), bd. 1, pl. [45], with 2,145 views.
In December, 2012, the Biodiversity Heritage Library reached a collections milestone: providing open access to over 40 million pages (translating to over 110,000 volumes) of freely-available biodiversity literature. 

BHL officially launched in May, 2007, with just over 600 pages of primarily botanical literature. Today, over 5 years later, we've added over 39.4 million more pages, contributed from the collections of 14 BHL member institutions, 3 global partners (including China, Australia, and Europe), and 124 providers that make their content openly available in the Internet Archive.

In these past 5 years, BHL has also been working to make the scientific illustrations in its collections more accessible by exposing them via Flickr. The BHL Flickr currently provides access to over 64,000 images, available for free reuse via a Creative Commons license. Learn more about BHL's milestone achievements.  

Internship Opportunities

The Biodiversity Heritage Library has posted two internship opportunities: BHL Marketing Intern (unpaid, part-time) and BHL Virtual Reference Intern (paid, full time). The internships will be hosted by the Smithsonian Libraries in Washington, D.C. Virtual work options are available. Internships are open to students enrolled in or recently graduated from (within six months) a masters library degree program.

Celebrating Darwin Day!
Charles Darwin by George Richmond. Cambridge University Library.
Charles Darwin by George Richmond. Image reproduced with with the permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library.
On February 12, 1809, Charles Darwin, the man remembered for the theory of Evolution by means of Natural Selection, was born. This day is celebrated as Darwin Day, and this year, BHL responded with a week's worth of content dedicated to this great man of science, posted via our social media outlets
Posts highlighted our Charles Darwin's Library Collection (consisting of books found in Charles Darwin's personal library, with his hand-written annotations marked-up and indexed); our Charles Darwin iTunes U collection; and a Flickr collection featuring images from books in his library.
To mark the occasion, BHL also partnered with the Darwin Manuscripts Project (DMP) at the American Museum of Natural History, which aims to provide free access to digitized versions of Darwin's scientific manuscripts. DMP Director, David Kohn, highlighted four manuscripts that show the development of Darwin's theory of evolution, leading to the publication On the Origin of Species, via two posts on the BHL Blog. Learn more

BHL Content on iTunes U

In February, 2012, BHL launched the Biodiversity Heritage Library on iTunes U, allowing select BHL content to be downloaded for free via the iTunes interface. Current iTunes U collections include "Extinct Species," "Rarest of the Rare," "Charles Darwin's Library," and "Theodore Roosevelt." New iTunes U collections are released on a quarterly basis. Learn more.


This November, BHL's twelfth iTunes U collection launched, dedicated to Bone Wars - the infamous "battle between two renowned paleontologists for recognition as the world's leading expert on dinosaurs." Learn more.


BHL is pleased to announce the upcoming iTunes U collections for 2013: "Notable Women in Natural History" (March 2013); "Field Notebooks" (May 2013); "Napoleon's Egyptian Campaign" (July 2013); and "Alfred Russel Wallace" (November 2013).


Left to Right: Grace Costantino, Carolyn Sheffield, Bianca Crowley
Left to Right: Grace Costantino, Carolyn Sheffield, Bianca Crowley

BHL & Field Book Project at ALA 2013

On January 25-28, 2013, BHL hosted a booth in conjunction with the Smithsonian Archive's Field Book Project at the American Library Association (ALA) 2013 Midwinter meeting in Seattle, Washington. BHL and Field Book Staff provided project information to hundreds of librarians and information professionals, gave away cool swag, and raffled off prizes to eight lucky winners. Learn more.   


- More News and Events -

Improved Taxon Name Finding Algorithm

BHL will soon implement a new algorithm capable of identifying previously undiscovered taxon names throughout the BHL corpus. Test applications of this algorithm on a portion of the BHL corpus have already resulted in an increase in nearly 50 million name instances in BHL, translating to over 20 million new unique names identified. These newly-identified names are currently available in BHL.
Membership Update

Cornell University Library, a BHL member since January 2012, has expanded it's role in the BHL by becoming a Steering Committee member in January 2013. 

In This Issue
BHL Surpasses 40 Million Pages!
Internship Opportunities
Celebrating Darwin Day
BHL Content on iTunes U
BHL & Field Book Project at ALA 2013
More News and Events
BHL at a Glance
Volumes Online: 111,000+
Pages Online: 40MM+
Flickr Images:
Twitter Followers:
Facebook Likes:

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BHL Quarterly Report
BHL Report
Check out the BHL Quarterly Report to learn all about the BHL project and the progress we've made!