BHL logo

Member news, project updates, collection highlights, and more! See what's new at BHL!

Inspiring Discovery through Free Access to Biodiversity Knowledge.

The  Biodiversity Heritage Library   (BHL) improves research methodology by collaboratively making biodiversity literature openly available to the world as part of a global biodiversity community.

2017 BHL Annual Meeting in Singapore!

2017 BHL Annual Meeting Group photo at LKC Natural History Museum_ Singapore
2017 BHL Annual Meeting Group photo at LKC Natural History Museum, Singapore.

On 14-17 March 2017, 24 BHL partner representatives from nine countries gathered in Singapore for the 2017 Biodiversity Heritage Library Annual Meeting, hosted by the National Library Board (NLB). NLB organized three exciting venues to host the four meeting days, including the National Library, the Singapore Botanic Gardens, and the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum. 

Following the opening business session and global meeting on 14 March at the National Library, the Singapore Botanic Gardens hosted the BHL Open Day 2017 on 15 March. The event invited local guests to learn more about BHL and its impact on global science. 

On 16 March, representatives gathered at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum for the BHL Partners Meeting, during which partners provided project updates and institutional reports for 2016 activities. Finally, BHL Member representatives returned to the National Library on 17 March for the last day of the meeting, which included the final business and Membership Committee sessions. 

BHL Members' Council Elects New Executive Committee

The Biodiversity Heritage Library Members' Council elected a new Executive Committee at the BHL Annual Meeting in Singapore. 

The Executive Committee appointments include: Constance Rinaldo (Ernst Mayr Library, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University), Chair; Jane Smith (Natural History Museum Library, London), Vice-Chair; Doug Holland (Missouri Botanical Garden, Peter H. Raven Library), Secretary; and Nancy E. Gwinn (Smithsonian Libraries), Immediate Past-Chair.

The BHL Executive Committee provides strategic leadership and governance decisions for the Biodiversity Heritage Library. Officers are elected for two-year terms by the BHL Members' Council, which is comprised of one representative from each BHL Member institution. Learn more.

A Botanic Wonderland for National Garden Month. Shop Now!

April is National Garden Month! Get into the spirit of spring with our new Botanic Wonderland collection in the BHL Store.

The products feature stunning botanical art from the BHL collection. 100% of the proceeds will be used to help digitize more books for BHL. Start shopping today

Earth Optimism and BHL

This Earth Day weekend (21-23 April 2017), the Earth Optimism Summit in Washington, D.C. will celebrate conservation success stories and fuel discussions about how to expand conservation impact. 

BHL will participate in the Innovation Commons portion of the Summit with a booth highlighting the many ways that BHL helps save biodiversity by supporting research around the world.

The Innovation Commons is open to the public. If you're in the Washington, D.C. area, we invite you to stop by our booth to learn more about BHL and join us in celebrating conservation success stories! 

Atrium of The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. 
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004. 
Friday, 21 April: 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM 
Saturday, 22 April: 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM 
Sunday, 23 April: 7:30 AM - 2:00 PM

Joseph Dalton Hooker Celebration with Kew Gardens

Celebrating Joseph Dalton Hooker

Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker was one of the most important botanists of the 19th century and Kew Gardens' most illustrious Director (1865-1885). To celebrate the bicentenary of his birth this year, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew opened a new exhibit on 25 March and will host a conference on 30 June. Learn more.

BHL is joining Kew's celebration of J.D. Hooker by participating in the Gardens' #JDHooker2017 social media campaign. The first phase of the campaign occurred 27-31 March. The campaign will continue the week of 26-30 June.

Learn more and explore Hooker's publications and related artworks in BHL's online book collection and Flickr albums.

Stay up to Date with All the Latest BHL NDSR News

Map showing the five BHL NDSR projects and respective host institutions.
Map showing the five BHL NDSR projects and respective host institutions.

This year, as part of the IMLS-funded " Foundations to Actions: Extending Innovations in Digital Libraries in Partnership with NDSR Learners" project, five NDSR residents, stationed at geographically-dispersed BHL partner institutions, will help plan the next generation of BHL. You can stay up-to-date on their progress and findings with the  NDSR at BHL blog!

The NDSR at BHL blog features posts from the residents about project developments, successes, and challenges as well as discussions about biodiversity librarianship and content and data management in digital libraries. Learn more.

Building the Field Notes Collection in BHL

Journals of William Brewster_ 1871-1919 _inclusive_. _1890_. http___biodiversitylibrary.org_page_44690675. Digitized by Harvard University_ Museum of Comparative Zoology_ Ernst Mayr Library.
Journals of William Brewster. 1871-1919 (inclusive). (1890). Digitized by Harvard University, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Ernst Mayr Library.
Through the collaborative efforts of eleven participating institutions, the CLIR-funded  BHL Field Notes Project will provide open access to over 450,000 pages of natural history field research material. 

From the writings of William Brewster, which document "a new epoch in the study of American birds", to the fieldnotes of Edmund Heller, who participated in a self-proclaimed "unequaled record of expeditions", these archival materials offer a wealth of data for today's researchers. Learn more about the content being contributed as part of the BHL Field Notes Project.

Celebrating the Foundations of Modern Zoology

Celebrating Gesner

Conrad Gesner was a Swiss naturalist whose Historia Animalium is considered the starting point of modern zoology. 26 March marked the 501st anniversary of his birth. To celebrate, BHL hosted the Celebrating Gesner Facebook Live tour at the Smithsonian Libraries, where Leslie Overstreet, Curator of Natural-History Rare Books, showcased some of the Gesner books in the Smithsonian's collection and discussed Gesner's contributions to science.

The event was viewed over 9,500 times. You can watch a recording of it  on Facebook.

Thank You to Our BHL Volunteers!

BHL Volunteer Recognition Ceremony
BHL Volunteer Recognition Ceremony

BHL's success is due in part to the many incredible volunteers working on the program at our partner libraries around the world. We recognized these volunteers during a ceremony at the BHL Annual Meeting in Singapore on 16 March 2017. You can view a recording of the ceremony, which was broadcast as a Facebook Live event, on BHL's YouTube channel

We extend a huge thanks to our many volunteers around the world. We could not do what we do without you!

Collection Highlights
Explore our Book of the Month features from the past quarter in these highlights. Check out the whole series on our blog .
Torrey's Calendarium

John Torrey's Calendarium Florae for the Vicinity of New York, written between 1818-1820, is a phenological record documenting the date of first bloom and location of several hundred plant species around the New York archipelago. It provides valuable data for modern climate change research and documents species that have since been extirpated from the New York area. It's now available in BHL thanks to The New York Botanical Garden. 

By Daniel Atha. Director of Conservation Outreach at The New York Botanical Garden.
The First Singapore Bird Book

The Birds of Singapore Island (1927) is the first printed book on the birds of Singapore. Co-authored by John Alexander Strachey Bucknill and Frederick Nutter Chasen, it covers all the common birds of Singapore and includes 31 color plates illustrated by Gerald Aylmer Levett-Yeats. It has been digitized in BHL by the National Library, Singapore. 

By Ong Eng Chuan. Senior Librarian at the National Library, National Library Board, Singapore

BHL User Testimonials
Learn how BHL supports research around the world in our BHL User series .
Supporting Worldwide Research

How did BHL help Eulàlia Gassó Miracle, Curator of Butterflies at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center, create a type catalog for the museum's South East Asian Adoliadini (butterfly) specimens? Find out!

How did BHL help Colin Favret, an assistant professor of insect systematics and biodiversity at the University of Montreal, create a database containing taxonomic, nomenclatural, and bibliographic information for all the aphids of the world? Find out

Presentations, Events, and Workshops

Explore some of the BHL presentations, events, and workshops that staff have given and hosted over the past few months.

Get Involved with BHL!

There are many ways to get involved with BHL, from becoming a Member or  Affiliate and contributing content to donating to support BHL or  participating in one of our many citizen science activities.  Currently, BHL's volunteer opportunities include  Flickr image tagging , transcribing field books as part of  The Field Book Project , correcting OCR via our two crowdsourcing games , or describing illustrations via Science Gossip on Zooniverse Learn more about how you can get involved today!

Support BHL

Providing researchers with free access to biodiversity knowledge is critical to saving life on Earth. Help us accomplish this goal by donating to BHL today!

118,000+ Titles | 200,000+ Volumes | 51+ Million Pages