There are currently 15 institutional BHL members in the United States and United Kingdom; the Secretariat, which manages BHL on a day to day basis, is housed at Smithsonian Libraries. The current chair of the BHL Executive Committee is Smithsonian Libraries Director, Nancy Gwinn.
Through active digitization of BHL member institution content and careful harvesting of relevant content from willing digital library partners, BHL has grown to over 40 million pages (111,000 volumes) in just over 5 years.
~ 1.5 million users - 231 countries / territories
BHL - A History
The Biodiversity Heritage LibraryOrigin | Growth | PartnershipsBHL Africa Launch | 15 April 2013Nancy E. Gwinn | Smithsonian Libraries
The cultivation ofnatural science cannotbe efficiently carriedon without reference toan extensive libraryCharles Darwin, et al(1847)Darwin, C. R. et al. 1847. Copy of Memorial tothe First Lord of the Treasury [Lord JohnRussell], respecting the Management of theBritish Museum. Parliamentary Papers,Accounts and Papers 1847, paper number(268), volume XXXIV.253 (13 April): 1-3.[Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online]Looking Forward
A large libraryYet another physical difficulty is thetask of assembling the library andindexes which will enable thestudent to work under properconditions…. the beginner must nowbe prepared to spend liberally, orelse must establish himself in aninstitution where a large libraryexists; if he work by himself withonly a few books, he will have toconfine himself to a very narrowspecialty indeed.The Limitations of Taxonomy by J.M. Aldrich, Science, April 22, 1927,vol. LXV, no. 1686, p.381
2003. Telluride. Encyclopedia of Life meetingFebruary 2005. London. Library andLaboratory: the Marriage of Research, Dataand Taxonomic LiteratureMay 2005. Washington. Ground work for theBiodiversity Heritage LibraryJune 2006. Washington. Organizational andTechnical meetingOctober 2006. St. Louis/San Francisco.Technical meetingsFebruary 2007. Museum of ComparativeZoology. Organizational meetingMay 2007. Encyclopedia of Life and BHLPortal Launch. Washington DC.February 2008. Launch of EOL speciespages and associated BHL literatureBHL Timeline
FBHLFormed in 2006....Now 15 Member Institutions15 Members•Academy of Natural Sciences Library andArchives•American Museum of Natural HistoryLibrary•California Academy of Sciences Library•Cornell University Library•The Field Museum Library•Harvard University Botany Libraries•Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum ofComparative Zoology•Library of Congress•Marine Biological Laboratory and WoodsHole Oceanographic Institution Library•Missouri Botanical Garden Library•Natural History Museum, London, Library& Archives•The New York Botanical Garden•Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, Library &Archives•Smithsonian Institution Libraries•United States Geological Survey Libraries
How is BHL Organized?Executive Committee- Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary- Project Director & Program Manager- Technical DirectorSteering Committee- Institutions who contribute memberdues annually- Officers elected from this groupInstitutional Council- All Steering Committee members- Other groups who are committed to purpose
Macaw (MetadataCollection andWorkflow). Scanningworkflow and ingestmanagement tool.Based on “Paginator”(MOBOT), Macawallows for creatingrobust page levelmetadata and pushingcontent to otherrepositories (e.g.Internet Archive andlocal storage) .
“ThankyoumuchforyouWhat an absolutely wonderful site. Itis a treasure trove of information.Thank you!May I compliment you on this splendid service? TheLibrarys invaluable for my work on seasonal variabilityof climate and vector-borne disease in British India,1875-1940.I really appreciate your work. The Biodiversity HeritageLibrary is an excellent resource that regularly helps myassistant and I obtain original descriptions for plants .... Ifeel so privileged to be working in a day in age when suchresources are so readily available and easy to obtain.