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QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER | WINTER 2018

R ecommendations for new features and functionality, behind-the-scenes tours, and more! See what's new at BHL!


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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.

Behind-the-Scenes at the National Agricultural Library for Seeds in the Stacks

Seeds in the Stacks Live Webcast

Mail order catalogs have long been used by seed companies as a valuable and beautiful form of advertising. Such catalogs not only offered products for sale, but many also provided gardening tips, scientific essays, and beautiful artworks.

BHL recently went behind-the-scenes at the National Agricultural Library during Seeds in the Stacks on Facebook Live to explore a selection of the library's over 200,000 catalogs. 

How Can We Improve BHL's Features and Functionality? NDSR Residents Provide Recommendations

BHL NDSR residents

In 2017 as part of the  Foundations to Actions  project, BHL hosted five National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR) residents, stationed at geographically-dispersed BHL partner institutions, to work on interrelated projects to improve the features and functionality of BHL. The residents recently delivered the results of their research and recommendations during a series of webinars.

BHL Celebrates NDSR Residents During Capstone Event

BHL NDSR Residents and Mentors
BHL NDSR Residents and Mentors

On 4 January 2018, BHL celebrated the successful completion of the BHL NDSR residencies during a Capstone event hosted by Smithsonian Libraries at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. 

During the event, project mentors and residents reflected on their experiences over the past year and keynote speakers Dr. Scott Miller (Deputy Undersecretary for Collections and Interdisciplinary Support at the Smithsonian) and Dr. Trevor Owens (Head of Digital Content Management in Library Services at the Library of Congress) discussed the impact of BHL on the science community and the importance of a National Digital Platform in building the digital capacity of libraries and museums across the United States. 

BHL Australia - Now a Truly National Project 

BHL Australia Contributors
BHL Australia Contributors

BHL Australia now includes contributors from every state and territory in Australia!

Founded in 2010 by the Atlas of Living Australia with Museums Victoria as the lead agency, BHL Australia is a partnership of BHL's Australian contributors. These contributors uploaded a record number of pages to BHL in 2017 and have now contributed over 224,000 pages to the library. 

How Can Illustrations Teach Students About Physical Adaptations in Animals?

Illustrations can be used to help highlight structural or physiological characteristics that allow animals to thrive in their environments. The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) created a lesson plan using illustrations from BHL to help students understand the relationship between bird beak structure and diet. 
Explore more lesson plans, species cards, and other educational resources from the  EOL Learning + Education group .

Collection Highlights
Explore our Book of the Month features from the past quarter in these highlights. Check out the whole series on our blog .
Annual report of the Acclimatisation Society of Victoria. no. 1. 1862.
A History of Introduced Species in Australia

The Acclimatisation Society of Victoria played a fascinating, yet devastating, role in Australia's ecological history. Founded in 1861 with the objectives to introduce "useful and ornamental" species to Australia and to spread indigenous plants and animals from the continent to other parts of the world, the Society's activities are documented in its  Annual Reports , which have been digitized in BHL by Museums Victoria. 


Illustration by James Sowerby for Malacostraca Podophthalmata Brittaniae_ by William Elford Leach. Tab. XXX.
Magnificent Crustacea

Malacostraca Podophthalmata Brittanniae  (1815-1875) is a beautiful publication dedicated to Crustacea. Thanks to the Naturalis Library in the Netherlands, BHL's collection now includes a very special proofprint copy of this work, with prints featuring author William Elford Leach's hand-written directions to artist James Sowerby.


Denisse_ Etienne. Flore d_Amerique. 1843-46. Digitized by the LuEsther T. Mertz Library at The New York Botanical Garden.
Illustrating America's Tropical Flora

In the 1840s, Europe was enraptured by the beauty of America's tropical flora. With the production of the lavishly-illustrated  Flore d'Amérique  (1843-46), featuring 201 hand-colored lithographic plates, Etienne Denisse brought the exotic flowers, fruits, trees, vines, and nuts growing in the Caribbean Islands to captivated readers across the Atlantic.




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

Dr. George Beccaloni

How is the Biodiversity Heritage Library helping Dr. George Beccaloni create a catalog of species collected by Alfred Russel Wallace in Southeast Asia? 


Paige Madison

How is BHL helping Paige Madison, PhD candidate at Arizona State University, study the history of paleoanthropology and hominin fossils?


Presentations, Events, and Workshops

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

  • TDWG 2017 Annual Conference . October 2017. Presentations by Martin R. Kalfatovic, Mariah Lewis, Mike Lichtenberg, Katie Mika, Dmitry Mozzherin, Thomas M. Orrell, and Carolyn Sheffield.
  • DLF Forum. October 2017. Presentation by Marissa Kings and Pamela McClanahan.
  • DLF Forum. October 2017. Presentations by Adriana Marroquin, Elizabeth Gushee, Jullianne Ballou, Winston Atkins, Sarah Bost, and Danielle Butler.
  • Charleston Library Conference. November 2017. Presentation by Barbara Ferry.
  • U.S. Government Printing Office FDLP Academy. November 2017. Presentation by Grace Costantino and Bianca Crowley.
  • VALA 2018. December 2017. Presentation by Elycia Wallis and Nicole Kearney.

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

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!


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