Natural history illustrations from the Biodiversity Heritage Library seem to span the domains of history, science and art. As historic documents, some of them paint a vibrant picture of important events like the first time European scientists and explorers encountered exotic plants and animals in the 17th and 18th centuries, drawn by some of the finest illustrators of their time. Also, as biodiversity records, they can provide valuable documentation of when, where, and sometimes who first observed a species, and some of them are even our only surviving representation of extinct species. Finally, as aesthetic elements, some illustrations reflect human emotions and other values toward nature in their composition, providing a vivid expression of human creativity and imagination. This year, the Missouri Botanical Garden received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support a project called The Art of Life: Data Mining and Crowdsourcing the Identification and Description of Natural History Illustrations from the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL). Initially, software tools will help discover visual resources (illustrations, maps, and other works of art) in the BHL, and basic metadata will be recorded. These resources will then be shared on multiple image delivery systems, including Flickr and the Wikimedia Commons, where citizen scientists will be able to add further annotations. Because of the wide diversity of information that a citizen scientist may add to any image, a comprehensive yet manageable schema is needed to help standardize inputs and enable synchronization and seamless import back into the BHL databases. Rather than developing yet another schema from scratch, the authors have identified existing schemas that meet the needs of the project and provided an integrated solution that combines the best in biodiversity informatics and image curation standards with best practices. This schema needs to support three main objectives: (1) to enable the discovery, description and use of the identified images by artists, biologists, humanities scholars, and educators; (2) to make BHL’s metadata and images available to other online image repositories; and (3) to import crowdsourced metadata generated in some of such repositories back into BHL. In order to obtain feedback for the final version, a preliminary schema will be presented to the TDWG community, explaining how we addressed metadata challenges specific to biodiversity data.