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Open Access to Legacy Taxonomic Literature The Biodiversity Heritage Library Martin R. Kalfatovic with edits by Tom Garnett Smithsonian Institution Libraries
Biodiversity Heritage Library In any well-appointed Natural History Library there should be found every book and every edition of every book dealing in the remotest way with the subjects concerned. One never knows wherein one edition differs from or supplements the other and unless these are on the same table at the same time it is not possible to collate them properly. Moreover for accurate work it is necessary for the student to verify every reference he may find; it is not enough to copy from a previous author; he must verify each reference itself from the original . Charles Davies Sherborn, Epilogue to Index Animalium , March 1922 Charles Davies Sherborn (1861-1942)
Biodiversity Heritage Library Yet another physical difficulty is the task of assembling the library and indexes which will enable the student to work under proper conditions…. the beginner must now be prepared to spend liberally, or else must establish himself in an institution where a large library exists ; if he work by himself with only a few books, he will have to confine himself to a very narrow specialty indeed. 'The Limitations of Taxonomy' by J.M. Aldrich, Science , April 22, 1927, vol. LXV, no. 1686, p.381 Insecta. Diptera . Volume I (1886-1901)
“ The taxonomic impediment is a term that describes the gaps of knowledge in our taxonomic system” - Darwin Declaration, 1998 Georges Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon Histoire naturelle : générale et particulière (Oiseaux) , 1799-1808
Biodiversity Heritage Library Thylacine from Philip Lutley Sclater, Guide to the Gardens of the Zoological Society of London, 1891
that there is access to information held in national/regional/global collections
that electronic data is efficiently captured and provided in useable form
that existing information held in literature and by current experts is made available electronically
that stability of scientific names of organisms, used to access this information, is promoted
- Darwin Declaration, 1998
The essential requirements for accessing and utilising this global information are:
Biodiversity Heritage Library Georges Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon Histoire naturelle : générale et particulière (Oiseaux) , 1799-1808 Convention on Biological Diversity: Article 17 … exchange of information shall include exchange of results of technical, scientific and socio-economic research … It shall also, where feasible, include repatriation of information .
Biodiversity Heritage Library Biologia Centrali-Americana Edited by Frederick Ducane Godman and Osbert Salvin London : Pub. for the editors by R. H. Porter, 1879-1915 Chart showing distribution in public collections of the complete 63 volume sets held worldwide. 2 complete copies in Central America held at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Library
Biodiversity Heritage Library Henry Walter Bates The Naturalist on the River Amazons , 1863 Vishwas Chavan travels a lot. An informatician based at the National Chemical Laboratory in Pune, India, he collects data on what types of animal live where in India to enter into a biodiversity database … Much of the information Chavan seeks is in old, out-of-print tomes … To find them, Chavan has spent years trailing around libraries. He dreams of the day when books such as these are scanned and made available as digital files on the Internet. “ Science in the Web Age: The Real Death of Print” by Andreas von Bubnoff Nature 438, 550-552 1 December 2005
Biodiversity Heritage Library Progne subis- Purple Martin Illustrations of the nest and eggs of birds of Ohio , 1879-1886 Library and Laboratory: the Marriage of Research, Data and Taxonomic Literature London, February 2005 Eighty participants from 22 countries gathered to discuss the status and future of access to the taxonomic literature and to propose an agenda for actions that would improve the research environment for taxonomy. The participants were taxonomists; librarians; publishers; representatives of learned and professional societies, private foundations and government agencies; and specialists in information and communications technology.
Biodiversity Heritage Library Ernest Ingersoll Hand-book to the National Museum … Smithsonian Institution , 1886 May 2005, the libraries represented at the London meeting gathered in Washington to lay out the ground work for the Biodiversity Heritage Library. Representatives of a number of major natural history and botanical libraries met at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., with the support of the Smithsonian Institution, to develop a strategy and operational plan to digitize the published literature of biodiversity held in their respective collections and to make that literature available for open access and responsible use as a part of a global “biodiversity commons.”
Biodiversity Heritage Library Reptilia and Batrachia . (1885-1902) by Albert C.L.G. Günther Mandates: Open Access: all content can be reused, repurposed, reformatted, sliced, diced, scraped, and ???
Biodiversity Heritage Library Reptilia and Batrachia . (1885-1902) by Albert C.L.G. Günther Mandates: Opt in Copyright Model: The BHL will actively work with professional societies and associations to integrate their publications into the BHL in a way that serves the societies’ missions and goals
Biodiversity Heritage Library Jacob Christian Schäffer Elementa entomologica . . . 1766. Metadata Repository Store all bibliographic metadata for the member libraries; create volume, part, piece metadata; ingest page level metadata at scanning level for the creation of page level Globally Unique Identifiers (GUIDs) for linking to other taxonomic services
BHL Metadata Repository Member Catalog A Member Catalog B Item Records Bib. Records Item Records Item Records Bib. Records Item Records Item Records Item Records BHL MR Bib Records
BHL Metadata Repository Member Catalog A Member Catalog B Item Records Bib. Records Item Records Item Records Bib. Records Item Records Item Records Item Records BHL MR Bib Records BHL MR Item Records BHL MR Repository
BHL Metadata Repository Internet Archive Z39.50 Fetch: Internet Archive from BHL (Current Practice) Could be some other way to depending on metadata scheme (e.g. OAI-PHM?) BHL MR Bib Records BHL MR Item Records
BHL Metadata Repository Page Structure Map Internet Archive If possible, auto create explicit automated page numbering at this point 1 390888343 45632 Sub-element Barcode Bib # 0005 0004 0003 0002 0001 Image Number
BHL Metadata Repository II Internet Archive Z39.50 Fetch: BHL from Internet Archive or some other way to upload matching description with the scanned images. BHL MR Bib Records BHL MR Item Records Sub-element & page /image structure map
BHL Metadata Repository II Internet Archive BHL MR BHL Public Interface BHL MR BHL MR
BHL Metadata Repository II Internet Archive BHL MR BHL Public Interface Taxonomic Web Services e.g. CBOL, GBIF, ITIS, GenBank, INOTAXA documents, etc. BHL MR BHL MR
Biodiversity Heritage Library “ Guano diggers among the albatrosses. Laysan Island ” At this stage, we would have page pictures, “dirty OCR”, some metadata, but what good is it? Will researchers be left like these guano diggers in Hawaii? Lionel Walter Rothschild The avifauna of Laysan and the neighboring islands , 1893-1900
Biodiversity Heritage Library Agatea violaris Type specimen from the U.S. National Herbarium (Smithsonian Institution) collected by the United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842
Biodiversity Heritage Library Eleazar Albin A natural history of English song-birds…, 1 741 Massachusetts. Zoological and Botanical Survey Reports on the fishes, reptiles and birds of Mass. , 1839
Biodiversity Heritage Library BHL Taxonomic Intelligence Tool - Developed by David Remsen and staff MBL/WHOI Library Georges Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon Histoire naturelle : générale et particulière (Oiseaux) , 1799-1808