Monday, September 09, 2019

TPDL 2019 Poster: The Biodiversity Heritage Library: Unveiling a World of Knowledge About Life on Earth

The Biodiversity Heritage Library: Unveiling a World of Knowledge About Life on Earth

Presented at: 
  • TPDL 2019: 23rd International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries [full paper here]
The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is an international consortium making research literature openly available to the world as part of a global biodiversity community. Through its extensive network of Members, Affiliates, and Reciprocal Partners, over 56 million pages of biodiversity literature are openly available through the BHL portal. Created in 2006, the BHL was a direct response to the needs of the taxonomic community for access to early literature. The original BHL organizational model, based on United States and United Kingdom partners, provided a template for what is now over 80 global partners. In the international digital library world, BHL collaborates with, and aggregates content to national and pan-national digital libraries including Europeana and the Digital Public Library of America. 

Now a cornerstone of biodiversity infrastructure, BHL is integral to key databases and data aggregators (e.g. World Registry of Marine Species, Tropicos, Global Biodiversity Information Facility, and the Encyclopedia of Life), and has engaged the research community in tool development and content reuse. Data contained in the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) describes collections held in the world's major museums and botanical garden libraries. Finding those collections data, however, remains a challenge. BHL is actively engaging in incorporating tools and services (including digital object identifiers, full-text-search, and application programming interface) to make finding and linking to collection specimen information better. 

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